I caught the travel bug early in my life. As a young adult, my first international trip was to Europe. I spent three weeks there and had the time of my life. With being the only girl in the group for most of the time, I had my share of loneliness, exhaustion, happiness, and sheer exasperation. I decided to document my travel experiences in a diary. I was only 18, but due to my diligence and a precocious attraction to words, I spent an hour each night writing all that I saw, felt, and any funny or unique family experiences I had. That diary became a wonderful and sentimental memento for me. And I decided to document my future travels in creative ways. There is no end to how creative you can get. I have seen people go crazy with Mod-podge and maps or framing their currency or coin collection to no end. Pick a way that is easy and economical for you. So here are 6 creative ways to commemorate my travels:
1. Write a Travel Blog: All About Sana has been a great catharses tool for me. My travel journal writing has evolved into a full-time gig and this time I am writing for a wider audience. If you have a travel blog, you are more conscious to remember or note things/sights/feelings and take unique, creative pictures during your travels. You notice more things, you research more, basically your whole behavior changes as you become an unofficial sociologist in a foreign land. I promise you will get more out of your travels if you have an intention of documenting it for an audience.
2. Scrapbooking: I fell in love with scrapbooking my junior year in high school. I visited our nation’s capital for a school trip and went crazy with taking photos and saving ticket stubs, brochures, and flyers from all the activities I participated in. At the time, there was a scrapbook supply store (think Michael’s, but filled with just scrapbooking related goods) near my home and I would spend hours picking background paper, stickers, and stencils. After dividing my photos in categories, I started scrapbooking thinking of creative ways to display them. Using colorful pages, pens, and 3 dimensional stickers enhanced the photographs and it is always fun to look through them years later.
3. Postcard Wallpaper: I learned this trick in a family magazine (sorry, I don’t remember the name) and loved it. I was 17 or 18 at the time, and my first postcard on the wall was of Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Fifteen years later, that postcard is just one of over 150 postcards I have accumulated and posted on my wall. You may have seen a portion of it on my Instagram account, and it is always a conversation piece in my family. So how do you make a postcard wallpaper? Travel your butt off, buy postcards of your favorite places, and post them on a wall with scotch tape. It is THAT easy.
4. Trinkets/Souvenirs: This is kind of fun for me. Even as a young teenager, I dreamt of one day owning my own home and decorating it with souvenirs of my travels. It started with a blown-glass paper weight from Venice in 2001 and ended with an embroidered pillowcase from Peru in 2011 (I haven’t traveled to new places since then). IA when I will be visiting Missouri and Toronto for the first time this year, I am thinking of getting more souvenirs for my future home. So how do you start a collection? I personally haven’t picked a theme myself because I pick whatever speaks to me. I have seen people collect snow globes from around the world or have an insane collection of mugs of all the states they have visited. Pick something that suits the look and feel of your home and speaks to you and start one destination at a time.
5. Jewelry (not clothes): I will be honest, my travel jewelry collection started by a happy accident. I personally haven’t bought myself any jewelry during my travels, but I have received many gifts from family and friends from their travels. I have pearls from India, an Afghani- jewelry set from Japan, blown-glass pendant from Italy, earrings and a necklace from South Africa and so on. I don’t recommend investing in clothes (I bought sweatshirts) unless you have kids, because they are not that durable (the sweatshirts shrank).
6. Travel Guides: This is a personal creative idea of mine and I am very proud of it. A travel guide collection is a great way for you to remember your travels and your house guests to learn about the countries you have visited. Yes, they may get obsolete, but you will always remember the year you visited Brazil or Australia whenever you look at your bookshelf. It is a cheap and easy way to commemorate your travels.
Hope this post gives you some inspiration. Happy Travels!