Do you go on trips, have an amazing time full of lots of new experience that you’re sure you’ll never forget and 6 months later, it’s all faded? I got into the habit of carrying a note book when I studied fashion at Uni. It was important to be sketching all the time and to remember what I saw when I was shopping, have somewhere to stick fabric swatches, bits of colour that were interesting and the business cards of contacts and suppliers.
I use exactly the same discipline when I’m travelling and have a travel notebook. It might seem a bit naff to keep the sugar packets from a cup of coffee by the river or the stirrer from your drink at the great bar, but each item evokes a memory. Hotels often have postcards in the room; whether they’re lovely or atrocious they still have a relevance to your trip. Keep everything. You can always throw it away when you get home, but you can’t go back and get it.
Prepare before you go, it all adds to the anticipation of your trip. Look up places to go, restaurants to visit and get a feel for the town or city you’re going to. The Guardian top ten lists are often a helpful. You don’t have to visit these places but it gives you a starting point. Stick the information in your note book.
My notebook is carefully chosen depending on the trip. It needs to fit in my bag but be big enough to stick things in to and have some form of closure so that the pages don’t get too damaged. A Moleskine with an elastic fastening works well. I use it all the time, to jot notes, things that will remind me of where we’ve been. The smell of the sun baked grass, the amazing colour of the sand, I might put a little in a bit of tissue to go into a small bag later. The sound of the children, birds, horrendous band or amazing sax in the market, all get jotted down. Some with just a word for me to come back to, some with longer descriptions. If I’m coming back to an event or topic I usually do it within twenty four hours, or the spontaneity’s gone.
The collecting and describing can become a group or family thing, or it can be just yours. Don’t forget the power of your own drawings or doodles. Even if you can’t draw it’s a quick way of remembering what you saw and at the end of the day this is for you, so what does it matter whether it’s a masterpiece.
My 8 Top Tips For A Travel Memory Book
- Get yourself a note book that has a closure and is the right size for you.
- Prepare a bit before you go.
- Collect everything, From paper napkins to bus tickets, even receipts for cakes.
- Remember the who, what, when, where to get you started writing, but also the colour, smell and sound.
- Carry a pen and convenient sticky stuff, it’s fun to ‘do’ your book in a cafe.
- Everything can go in, don’t think of it as Special or you’ll never start your book.
- Drawings and doodles are as important as photographs
- If you do leave it without doing anything for a couple of days or more, don’t worry. It’s your book to use as you like.
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