So we take these extraordinary architectural journeys and visit inspirational places and but when we get home it seem almost immediately to be like a dream that went by in a flash. Before you begin planning your next trip take some time and package your architectural memories.
Make the most of your experiences and re-live them by sharing with family and friends. This is what I do to keep the inspiration and memories around me or at my finger tips.
Scrapbook / Box it
It sounds nerdier then it is. I try to keep all the tickets stubs, receipts, plane boarding passes, train tickets and even subway cards from my trips. When I return home I usually put them all in a scrapbook or well labeled box. It is surprising how much you forget until you open up the scrapbook or box and see a ticket stub to a museum or tour and flooded with memories of the day and experience. I also like to look back to see how much I paid for things like flights or dinners and it makes it much easier when friends ask me what I did when I was there. It is also nice to see how different the each scrapbook can be, ticket stubs and receipts in different languages, little notes and things you pick up along your travels can vary immensely. The scrapbook doesn’t need to be beautiful – just make sure the paper has a heavy weight, I like paperclips for pamphlets and maps, staples and glue work well also.
Some of us will have taken thousands of digital pictures which will go into our computers never to be seen again. Create a photobook that looks like a magazine, the days of the old 4×6 picture album with plastic sleeves is over. There are much better photobooks that are so easy to make online. I have used the Blacks photobooks but there are lots of companies that provide similar services.
Now that we take hundreds, even thousands of photos on our trips picking the right pictures can be a bit of work. An easy way to sift through all of this is to make a ‘BEST OF…’ folder. Then go through all the pictures and any one you like COPY into the ‘BEST OF…’ folder, you do not need to be too picky at this point, if you are really thorough this is when you can delete any out of focus shots or just really bad ones. When you are done the first round go to the ‘BEST OF…’ folder and see how many pictures you have. Keep narrowing it down removing photos that are repetitive, try to get the essence of the trip. Depending on how big you want to make your photobook is how many photos you should have in this folder.
Using the photos from your ‘BEST OF…’ folder you can easily make this into a slideshow. There is so much software available to do this I won’t go through all of them, keep in mind you can add any videos you took, include local music, add captions and so on. Be creative and have fun. You can play your slideshow on your TV or computer; you can send it to your friends and family online. I recommend no more than 200 pictures – this is even pushing it for the average attention span – they weren’t there so they are only so interested. Also be sure that the pictures you use in a slideshow are not just of you with a landmark in the background, my brother and his girlfriend did this and watching a slideshow essentially of just them was pretty boring and we have never let them live it down (all in good fun).
Writing and/or drawing in a journal is so gratifying for your future reminiscing. I highly encourage you to spend a few minutes everyday on the trip and jot down a few things you were thinking throughout the day. But what do you write, here are some ideas: the most surprising or best part of the day, what really inspired you and why, what you thought was disappointing. If you don’t’ like to spend time doing this when you could be out and about take advantage of the train rides or waiting in the airport, there is always some downtime that can be better utilized. These short notes are priceless and you can keep them private or share them.
It is always nice to surround yourself with memories of the places you have been and also a way to decorate your home. Here are some suggestions of ways to display your photos which I have done.
Print 4×6 photos and collage them together, this is inexpensive and a fun home project. The image above is a small portion of my photos of Japan, if you make the collage big enough it has lots of impact and can tell the story of your trip and all the places you have been.
This image are photos I printed on my home printer and then spray glued each photo on foamcore, using an x acto knifecut off the boarders and mounted them on the wall using a small piece of double sided tape (be careful to use a tape that can come off the wall easily).
A series of photos is also nice, the image above are two photos from Turkey I sent to be printed and then mounted them in frames I purchased. This is more expensive, the cost will depend on the frame and type of printing you choose.
Often when I return from a trip I am eager to share what I have seen and learned with anyone who will listen. Returning from a vacation doesn’t mean the fun is over – have a party themed and inspired by it. When I returned home from Peru I decided to have a bunch a girlfriends over and host a ‘Peruvian night’ we all brought a Peruvian dish, drank pisco sours and I ran my slideshow with the native music playing. It was all very fun and relaxed and because a few of them had already been there it was a trip down memory lane for them too.