Even after the most extraordinary of adventures, it’s easy to get back home and feel like it never happened. The demands of every day life can make it hard to remember what it was like when I hiked to Macchu Picchu, took S to Disney World or discovered the amazing food in Taipei. It’s not just the big things that we want to remember. I want to remember what it was like to arrive in Kulala Lumpur for the first time with kids, what a normal day was like while road tripping the US and even the bad moments, like one of our worst days in Asia.
I also want to keep these memories alive for my children. They may be young, but it is surprising what they already remember. S often talks about random things from our Asia trip over a year ago when she was two.
One day, when they are older, I want them to look back on these trips fondly. They will probably not actually remember them, so it’s important that these memories are kept alive in photos and this blog. I want them to know what amazing little explorers they were and have an understanding of the many events that shaped who they are.
So how do we keep travel memories alive when we are at home in Australia?
There are often opportunities to talk about things we have done on our travels. Many random little things trigger memories. My daughter will often see something that reminds her of something from one of our trips. We will talk through what we each remember and it helps consolidate the memories for both of us. It also shows me just what an impact travel has already had on the person that she is becoming.
This might be an obvious one, but I want to take it a step further to suggest not just printing out copious amounts of photos. If you are anything like me they will just end up in a folder somewhere never to be seen again.
What works best for us is to make photo books. The type that you can easily make online. We have made many of these books. We have one for each longer trip and combine smaller trips into books as well. Why this works much better for us than normal photo albums is that it is easy to combine text and photos and we end up with an end product that is much smaller than our normal photo album.
We try to keep the photo books very lean. That way we look at it often and get a great overview. Our kids are also happy to look at short books with enthusiasm rather than boredom.
I am not talking about our own videos, but actually those of others found on YouTube.
Miss S loves watching random YouTube videos. I find that watching a clip about somewhere we have been is an interesting way to trigger her memories and get her talking about what she remembers. It is also fun and we often find some things that we would like to do next time we visit that destination.
This might sound bizarre, but I have actually found that the more that we travel, the more we remember of all of our adventures. I find when I am on the road that there are far more things that trigger memories of previous trips than when I am at home. I guess this is natural as every trip has elements in common with previous ones.
I am not much of a souvenir buyer and we like to travel light so we do not bring much home. We do put a lot of thought into what we do bring home and this has left us with some great items that trigger great memories. It especially works well for S. She remembers where we bought each of the toys we bought for her along the way. She often begs to go back to the cabbage patch kid hospital to get another one!
This blog is obviously an awesome way for us to remember our previous trips. I often go back and reflect on old posts. I have over 1000 of them (not all are published).
A blog is not for everyone, but there is no reason you can’t keep a journal. It does not have to be detailed. I suggest trying to at least write in a little notebook some random thought or highlight every day and you might be surprised by the awesome memories it triggers many years later.
Read my article about how to start a travel blog here.
How do you keep travel memories alive?
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.