How to Keep Your Memories Forever without Taking a Single Photo

Some people just love photography – I am one of them. Just drop me off me in any place with a fully charged camera and you can be sure that I am pretty well entertained and will rise with an SD card full of photos after only a couple of hours. I am serious! But maybe that’s not your cup of tea? No big deal either. I have something special extra for you in case you want to remember your holidays without the camera hassle.

You don’t necessarily have to be a super creative person – even though it would help a lot. What I am proposing to you is a scrapbook. Do I make out a faint moaning? It is really easy and a great alternative or addition to your usual travel pics. Here’s why.


Sound Reasoning

I used to make a photo booklet for each and every country I visited. They are glossy pages full of mesmerising photos (carefully selected and meticulously arranged with each site being designed from page border to number), which took me hours in the making. I loved it and it was always worth the effort. Especially showing them to everyone who was interested in seeing my photos. A much better option than showing them all of my portfolio. I take a 1000 photos a day!

My friends always remarked that it looked like a glossy coffee table tourist brochure and indeed, I unconsciously made it look so. I wanted to present the place in the best place possible, with the main sights, the most beautiful sunsets and greenest slopes. I always had an optional audio commentary to go along with it. My brain just had all the information on all the sights and the most random stories stored away, just waiting to be asked for.

What it didn’t have, though, was me. It was not personal apart from the design touch that marked it as mine. And the copyright disclaimer. Mostly, it didn’t even have pictures of me in it, which bugged most people and led them to ask the rhetorical question I can’t stand for the life of me: “If you’re not in the pictures, then have you even been there?” So I decided to go another route. On top of my photo obsession because that’s not going away.


One Fateful Day

One day, my colleague just had an idea. Out of the blue. She turned to me in our small room, where we were working side by side and said: “You know what you should be doing? You’re so creative, why don’t you make a scrapbook?” My initial reaction was of the typical sceptical kind. Why? I had my photos, my photo software and online printing.

She insisted I at least check out the local craft shop. Nearly forgetting about it, I walked past it one day and decided to just step in. And was blown away. So much beautiful stuff! So many amazing thingies to use for whatever. But I wanted them. All of them! I came out with the cheapest notebook of them all. And washi tapes. And tape.

From thejn on the 2cm thick makeshift scrapbook turned into a full blown, uncloseable monster full of all of my adventures and with personal messages by the lovely people I’ve met. Each city I’ve been to received at least one page with all the brochures I had collected and never knew what to use them for. I must admit, I am a hoarder.

Just Get Messy

It is a priced treasure now and I never looked back. For my world travel, I prepared a completely new scrapbook (the other one was absolutely, seam-burstingly full anyway). It has already reached its half and is 6 times its size already and weighs a lot. But I would never part with it and always get a sense of paranoia when I have to give it to someone for them to write in it. Losing it would be unbearable!

So what do I do in it? Basically, I collect everything along my travels: brochures, magazine clippings, pictures and tickets. I tear them up, glue them together and put a load of (washi) tape on top of it to make sure it really holds together. It easily draws out for a whole evening and apart from a fun (and hilariously hilarious) activity, it makes for a very unique look. Unless you prefer all neatly cut out. It’s completely up to you.

Some people like to use it as their travel diary as well and just doodle and glue scraps in there. It all depends on the individual creator and everything is fine. The scrapbook is your blank canvas and you can do whatever you feel like doing. Don’t think about it too hard and don’t attempt a masterpiece. If nothing else, see it as recreational.

Get Inspired

I keep talking and talking but the scrapbook is for showing. So I have taken my camera aside and combined the two aspects of my travel memoir process and captured each page until today for you to see and draw inspiration from. Whether that is for your own scrapbooking or even travels. Every place I saw, event I’ve been to and other people’s perceptions are in there and revolve around wanderlust.

If you are still unsure of how to proceed or wondering about costs, take me as an example. I am always low budget, wanting to save as much as possible for my travels. And when I started out – and for all of my scrapbooks really – I choose the cheapest materials possible. The scrapbook was none you are usually sold. It was a mere notebook.

I use common glue, sometimes see through tape and washi tape I feel like I want to spend money on. There are cheap ones out there. Or you could just use a pen and doodle and draw. You can even cut things out of it, if you are short on adhesives and cut in thin slits to hold things. Get inventive and just go with the flow. No judging here, just fun. And trust me, it will be fun in the end. Taking a camera with you after all this is optional.

Have you ever thought of making a scrapbook? Is that something you would like to try out or have you done it already?

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It had to happen, after ditching the 9-5 for a prolonged break, Annemarie's wokaholic tendencies led her to start a daily blog about her adventures. Realising how much travel has helped rebuild her confidence and and general #GirlBoss-iness, Travel on the Brain released a book about her adventures in Down Under and New Zealand and creates quirky video series focusing on story telling in destinations around the globe.
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