As we age, the desire to hang on to travel memories and preserve them grows even stronger. After all, there may be times down the road when we can’t travel with the same people or can’t travel at all. Finding ways to preserve and retrieve memories of past trips can be the “next best thing” to being there!
Here are a variety of ways you can collect, preserve and share memories:
People always wish is that they could share the things they have seen or done with other people they love. The Postcard app, Postcard App MyPostcard, lets you do just that in real-time from anywhere in the world. So if you have a jam-packed itinerary spanning hundreds or thousands of miles, you can snap photos and turn them into postcards to send to your family and friends back home. You can also collect your own postcards from each city you visit.
This option is a more personal one, perhaps, making a poster you can display at your home or office. We take hundreds of photos on our travels, and we can choose our favorites and inexpensively make them into canvas wall art or posters for display. In this way, they’ll be reminders of that breathtaking sunset or the specialty coffee that tasted out of this world. You can make it a project and systematically take photos at historic buildings or famous museums in each country, or even at a coffee shop in each city.
A great app to help you collect little snippets of each day is the 1 Second Everyday app. Like the name suggests you simply take a second of video every day. At the end of your journey, you can sit in the comfort of your own home and piece all of the footage together to make a video diary of your time away. You can also add music in the background and create a video that will give you something to watch when you start to get that wanderlust again but can only be an armchair traveler.
If you really enjoy the medium, you can take longer videos of each place using video software like iMovie or Final Cut Pro to create really cool videos. It would be a shame to let all of the footage merely sit on a memory card. If you don’t think you have the skills to become a videographer, your mobile can do most of the magic for you by using Google Photos.
Start a collection
Even if you aren’t the type who is “attracted to” magnets, key rings or postcards, then there are plenty of other things to collect. Many times, it’s something unique, without intrinsic value, that catches your fancy.
Here are some ideas:
- Maps – Often these are available at no cost if you pick them up at hotels or tourist bureaus. Some can be attractive enough to frame.
- Hotel pens – Pens can offer memories of places where you’ve stayed (they are a favorite with grandkids, too!)
- Mugs – We met a man who collected Starbuck’s mugs from each city he visited in Europe.
- Patches – These are light, easy to carry and take up precious little space. When you return from your trip, you can stitch them all on a piece of fabric
- Foreign currency – Most travelers wind up with extra small bills or currency; it’s fun to organize and label them.
- Kitchen tools – Culinary souvenirs like these are ones you can actually use when you get back home.
Create a scrapbook
Before you head to a new destination, find a blank book you can use as a scrapbook and “secure” the right type of adhesive. You can add tickets stubs from your experiences, postcards, some print photos, business cards of places you’ve visited, paper coasters from drinks and other mementos. If you write notes next to each item in your book, when you look back, you’ll have reminders of the places you’re been. If you eat in different restaurants or even indulge in the finest street foods, you can write down names, ingredients and even recreate some of the recipes in your own kitchen when you get home.
It is easy to forget little moments once they have passed. Especially when you are doing so many new and exciting things. You could add these memories to a scrapbook, but you probably won’t have it everywhere with you. Some people, especially travel writers, bring along little notebooks to document their travels. However, one easy approach is to use your smartphone – which most people happen to always have at hand. An added bonus is that you’ll always have your electronic notes at hand and be able to search them. It doesn’t have to be an essay; it can just be a few words to trigger your memories. If you want to get really organized, you can use an app like Asana or Evernote and add images, notes and even links to build a story that you can read back later. When you save things as they happen, you capture the emotion you felt at the time. Combine that with the scrapbook, and you might be hard-pressed not to experience a rush of emotions. If you are traveling as a family or a couple, you can take it in turns in adding things to the list.
Make a memory box
If you are a visual artist and aren’t big on digital lists, you can create small memory boxes and decorate them, perhaps, one to represent each trip you have taken or each country you have visited. You don’t have to get too complicated: A plain wooden box is ideal because you can decorate it any way you like. Just make sure that it is large enough to fit every meaningful thing that you’ll be collecting on your trip. These are almost like time capsules that preserve the past.
Write it down
If you want to do write, shoot and collect, one of the best things you can do is start a travel blog. Via social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, you can share your experiences through words and photos. Or, perhaps, if you prefer to talk and film, YouTube the perfect place for you to share all of your exciting adventures with a private or public audience.
In the end, we all know that the feeling of calm, exhilaration, joy and peace we find while traveling can feel remote and very far away when you return home, sometimes years or even weeks later. Preserving memories in a range of ways, and being able to share them with people you love allows you to keep them forever. And that can be pretty special for years to come.
All photo credits: Pixabay
*This is a collaborative post written by aspiring writer, Amelia Hudson.