I’ve been recording my family’s everyday adventures through pocket pages and mini books for a few years now. My style has evolved, and my approach has changed, but on the whole the format has been consistent. It works really well for me, and I love the resultant albums.
But I haven’t been a memory keeper for just a few years. I’ve been doing it in different ways for my whole life. I’m a storyteller and a collector by nature, and while they may have differed at various stages of my life those tendencies have always found some form of expression.
I thought it would be fun to have a look at some of the roots of my memory keeping, and revisit some of the old folders, notebooks, and journals that I hoard in various corners of the house.
I want to start with some of my most favourite and precious little relics – my travel chronicles.
SJ and I don’t travel much these days – it’s not exactly in the budget – but we had some awesome adventures together as younger women. Whenever we set out on a trip, I would buy a cloth bound journal and a new pen, and keep a diary of our adventures.
Every time we sat down in a cafe, or found ourselves waiting at a bus stop or an airport I would be scribbling our experiences down in it, and pasting in bits and pieces that I’d picked up on the way.
Maps, tickets, and postcards were my favourite things to collect, but there’d also be sweet wrappers, receipts, tags from things we’d purchased – pretty much anything that I could flatten out and stick down.
As you can see, the pages are quite journalling-heavy, and not very carefully presented. I was journalling in the moment, and focussing more on recording impressions and experiences than on making things that pretty. I would do things differently now, so these books tell a story not just about our travels, but also about what kind of approach I was taking to my craft at the time.
These pictures are all from a trip we took to the UK and Paris in 2008. It was the most brilliant adventure, and I’d give almost anything to go back and explore those parts of the world further, and with Arty in tow.
I’ve got another journal stuffed with artefacts and stories about a trip to the US and Canada in 2005, and another from a trip to New Zealand.
I love flicking through them from time to time, and being reminded of details and stories that I know I’d never be able to recall if I hadn’t committed them to paper.
These books are treasures to me.
Do you keep a travel journal when you go on adventures? What form does it take?