Traveling can give you a lot of once-in-a-lifetime experiences – but it’s surprising how few of these memories really do last a lifetime.
In the midst of a trip, it seems impossible that you could ever forget the places you’ve been or the people you’ve met. But, with the passage of time, for every memory that remains crystal clear, there will be a countless smaller details you’ll forget without ever even realizing.
The travel memories we tend to keep are the ones we re-live most often – the Facebook photos that remind us of a night out, the anecdotes we tell over and over again. If you want to preserve as many memories of your travels as possible, therefore, it pays to keep a record of everything as much as you can, and then look over them regularly until they become etched in your mind. The 4 following tips are designed to do just this, with the aim of helping you to maximize your travels memories:
1. Stay connected
It seems obvious, but the easiest way to hold onto your memories of a trip is to keep in touch with the people you shared it with. Whether this means your travel companion or the friends you made along the way – having someone on hand to reminisce with is a great way to keep the trip alive in your min. Plus, they won’t get bored of your nostalgic ramblings like your other friends. These days, thanks to the power of email, social media and Skype, it’s never been easier to make and maintain connections that span across the globe – although don’t discount the power of a good ol’ fashioned letter or postcard either.
2. Picture perfect
Don’t just rely on putting your photos on Facebook; lots of moments don’t get caught on camera, and even the ones that do are easily forgotten once they’re buried deep in the Internet. Instead of only taking photos, glue a sturdy envelope into the back of your travel journal or slip one into your backpack and use it to collect mementos like bus tickets, leaflets or even your own drawings or sketches. Then, go retro: have your photos physically printed out, and then use everything to make scrapbooks or collages. If you want to go even greater, Printed Memories offer to print all your pictures in a personalized photobook which will last more than a lifetime. They also ship globally and the designing of the pages are made easier. These will not only serve to jog your memory regularly, but can also promote questions and conversations about your travel if openly displayed – another sure way to keep your memories fresh.
3. Write on!
You don’t have to be a prizewinning author or travel blogger to write about your experiences. Simply carry a notebook with you at all times and write down anything and everything – if you don’t fancy keeping a journal then simply keep a record of any small bits of information. From snatches of conversation you overhear to the address for your next hostel – it’s amazing how many memories these little bits and pieces can trigger when looked at, even years later.
4. Playlists are a girl’s best friend
Music can evoke powerful memories, and often becomes intrinsically linked to a particular time or place. For me, ‘Tian mi mi’ and Jackie Chan’s rendition of Mulan’s ‘Be a Man’ will forever be associated with Chinese class, ‘We no Speak Americano’ and ‘Waka Waka’ will always remind me of my summer working in an Italian nightclub, and nothing takes my mind back to the clubs of Ecuador faster than Daddy Yankee. Keep a record of songs that keep cropping up or have developed a special meaning for you as you travel, then make a playlist upon your return. Nostalgia is 100% guaranteed.
Have any tips for keeping your travel memories alive? Share them below!