Travel. It’s one of my great loves and passions. It’s something that my husband and I have made a priority in our lives. How can you truly understand another culture until you’ve experienced it? There are a few things that I love to do when traveling abroad, that I’ve found really help keep the memories alive. Are you ready???
1. Keep a travel journal
Sometimes a vacation can feel like a whirlwind, especially when trying to fit in lots of sites and activities. Taking a few minutes in the morning at breakfast or in the evening before bed to jot down the events of the day can be really helpful. Your memory of the trip will fade but a journal will last forever. Whenever you read it you’ll be reminded of the sequence of events, exactly how you were feeling at the time, and all the museums, cafe names and statues you may otherwise loose forever. Plus, a bonus is that your children will hopefully read about your travel experiences one day. Maybe they’ll go to those places, after your gone, and they’ll feel like you’re there with them. Ok, I know that was extremely sappy. I’ll try to tone it down!!
2. Start a collection
I think it’s a great idea to pick an item you can find just about anywhere and always make a point to buy one. My personal fave is a coffee mug. This is an item I use everyday and most mornings I think about the place where I bought the mug. Sometimes I choose my coffee mug based off of my mood, i.e. “It’s a NYC kind of day!” But maybe you’re not into coffee mugs so instead you collect rocks or shells or maybe jewelry or art or small plates.
3. Go to a concert
It’s always a good idea to check before you leave for a trip to see if any good concerts or shows will be happening while you’re there. Once I saw The Cure in Rome, not because I’m particularly fond of The Cure but it was a free concert open to the public so it was something to do. Now, anytime The Cure comes on the radio I’m suddenly transported back to Rome. Music can conjure feelings and emotions within us in a way that’s so special. I remember exactly where I was standing, who was around me, and I can almost taste the wine we were all passing around and drinking out of the bottle.
4. Take GOOD photos
This one sounds pretty obvious but I just have to say that in this day of smartphones many of us travel abroad and don’t even bring a camera. We purely snap photos from our phones. Please take a good camera with you and please use it. Find a good bag to carry it in so that you won’t have an excuse to leave it in your room. When you get back home actually do something with the photos. Order prints and start a travel wall that you can continually add to. I always love the look of gallery walls. Or order a simple photo book to leave out on your coffee table. I love this one that I put together at Artifact Uprising.
5. Everyday items
I love to purchase ordinary, “non-special” items abroad and then they are suddenly special back at home. On a recent trip to Paris I made several trips to Monoprix, France’s equivalent to Target. I bought lots of things, clothes for myself, clothes for my kids, napkins, bath soap, purse tissues, a baby gift, you name it. I didn’t spend a lot of money but I LOVE having those things. When I grab a tissue out of my purse and the packaging is in French, it makes me smile. Every day clothes are so fun to buy especially because you wear them weekly. And it’s a lot of fun when someone compliments you on an item and asks you where you bought it? Oh, in Paris on the Champs-Elysees. No big deal…
I hope you enjoyed these tips and I hope you use them on your next vacation!