“It is my dream to document our family’s travels. But my struggle is having SO MUCH pictures that I don't even know where to start.”
“I've got a bag stuffed full with brochures, receipts, tickets, and coins that is slowly turning into clutter.”
“I should really start taking notes because I tend to forget some details of our trips!”
These are just some of the main struggles that most travelers have about documenting their experiences.
I’ve personally experienced all of this and I just feel like it’s such a waste to have all these assets - photos, stories, ephemera - just gathering dust, physically and digitally.
Is there a solution? Is there an alternative to just storing it all inside hard drives and memory boxes?
You want to be able to pull out all your travel photos when you feel that wanderlust creeping in.
You want to remember the specific stories of your experiences - what you are, what your conversations were like, where you got lost. You want a house for all your travel ephemera and souvenirs.
There is a perfect solution for you, my friends, and it’s called pocket-page travel memory-keeping.
If you’re not sure what pocket-page memory-keeping is, I wrote a three-part series introducing you to the basics + essentials on this amazing memory-keeping method. It’s essentially the Pocket-Page Memory-keeping 101 course ;) You can take a couple of minutes to read those blogposts here.
But the gist is this:
Pocket-page memory-keeping is a modern approach to traditional scrapbooking. This simplified memory-keeping system is based on the principle of modularity and grids.
This is another one of those things that are easier to show than tell so let me just show you what this “pocket-page memory-keeping method” looks like:
If you’re already loving how this method looks like and you’re just ready to make your own, you can grab my free checklist of the tools + materials that I frequently use to create my own travel albums:
The pocket-page method is absolutely PERFECT for travel memory-keeping and here are four reasons why:
01. It allows you to house your photos, your stories and your ephemera all in one travel album.
There are so many methods that you can use to document your travels but nothing combines together your photos, your stories and your ephemera in a single album as easily as using pocket page method.
Uploading your photos on sites like Facebook only allows you to keep your photos (and maybe some stories if you cared to write a caption for each photo). Not to mention the fear of losing it all when Facebook calls it quits or decides to make a huge change to their technology.
Filming travel videos allows you to keep your photos - in this case, videos -and stories but not the physical and tangible ephemera that you’ve collected.
Traditional scrapbooking or travel journaling actually allows you to keep all three BUT it can be a hassle to have to cut and paste things on a blank canvas. And one thing that I absolutely don’t like about this method is how unforgiving it is to mistakes (gluing something in the wrong place, writing the wrong date, etc.) because then, you’ll have to re-do the whole layout.
The pocket page method is the golden nugget. It’s practically that special center space where all the circles in a Venn diagram intersect.
The foundation of this method is the use of pockets of different sizes so you can simply just insert your photos, your stories (written on some thicker paper like index cards) and ephemera into individual pockets and you’re all set.
Here’s a layout that I did for my El Nido, Palawan anniversary trip this year:
You can clearly see that I have all three travel memory-keeping assets in this single layout and I love how all three assets just help me tell this one specific story in a very visual and detailed way. If I look back to this layout in 10 years, I can actually grasp the entire context of the photos and remember the specific conversations, thoughts and emotions that I had during this one moment of my life.
02. It’s crazy simple and crazy easy to create a travel album.
If after seeing the couple of travel album layouts that I shared above you’re thinking that “This method is way too difficult for me with all of the embellishing and “artsy” things,” I want you to stop that thought right now.
Trust me on this: using the pocket page method to create your travel albums is easiest method of documenting your travel experiences.
As I mentioned above, the basic thing that you need to have are your printed photos, written journaling on some kind of paper and your ephemera. Everything else is just cherry on top.
I personally prefer adding a bit more to make the layouts reflect my personality and my love for crafts but if that’s not your cup of tea, then you don’t have to go for that route.
Here’s an example of a layout that I did that’s just photos + stories:
All I had to do was to print my photos in 3x4” sizes, write my story in an index card and insert all of it into the pockets. Easy peasy. The whole process probably took me about five minutes.
Quick commercial break // This has been in the works for about a year and a half already... I'm launching an e-course on analog travel memory-keeping! I am PASSIONATE about introducing a better way to relive your travel experiences (yes, I am throwin' some slight shade on social media...), a way where you can TANGIBLY flip through the stories of your past adventures.
This course - Craft Your Travel Story - isn't launching until May 2017 BUT I want to help you get started with travel memory-keeping while you wait excitedly ;) This is why I created this FREE comprehensive five-day e-mail course, The Travel-keeper Bootcamp!
In this bootcamp, I will be sharing very practical + actionable tips, intentional systems and methods to help you document the details your travel experiences, take photos that accurately tell your stories, and gather ephemera as your "hard evidence." This bootcamp will prepare you a lot when it comes to finally creating your analog travel album.
You can join this bootcamp - did I mention that it's completely free? - by clicking here and signing up on that page or just leaving your name + e-mail below:
03. It accommodates a wide range of memory-keeping preferences without having to have a special “talent” or skill for crafts.
Pocket page memory-keeping is extremely flexible. Like, yoga master flexible.
The method can accommodate memory-keepers who love arts and crafts, memory-keepers whose primary focus are taking stunning photos, memory-keepers who prefer to write a lot, memory-keepers who are minimalists at heart, memory-keepers who are busy… EVERYONE.
You can make your travel albums as simple or as extravagant as you want without having a special talent or skill for crafts. If you have a certain aesthetic that you like, you can easily incorporate that into your travel albums with the pocket page method.
Exhibit A: I was soooo crazy about embellishments and all the fun decorations when I first started documenting my daily life.
Exhibit B: My style now is more simple and focuses a lot on applying design principles to my layouts (repetition, symmetry, color palettes, etc.) since I’m into that kind of thing at the moment.
So, I want you to stop thinking “I’m not crafty enough to make travel albums,” because that’s just plain BS ;)
04. It’s basically an interactive souvenir from your travel adventures around the world.
Out of all the reasons that I’ve listed in this blogpost, this is my absolute favorite: a pocket page travel album is basically an interactive souvenir.
I am obsessed about how I can physically touch and hold all my travel experiences from my first Japan adventure in my hands. It’s like I’m flipping the pages of a travel storybook and I’m the lead character.
Guess what? That’s exactly what it is.
There’s something special about having your photos, your stories and your travel ephemera right at your fingertips. It makes my trips a lot more memorable and a lot more REAL because it feels like I have the evidence, y’know?
Using the pocket page method for documenting my travel experiences have positively changed my life. For real. I’m more intentional about how I document my travels as opposed to just stopping at a good Instagram post with a witty caption. I’ve become more grateful for my experiences since I’m able to regularly re-live those moments through my travel albums.
So, if there’s one thing that I want you to take action with, it’s this: try creating your own travel album using the pocket-page method. Let go of all the limiting thoughts and just give it a go!
If you’re still hesitating, let me know why in the comments. I want to help you get past your memory-keeping hurdles!
But if you’re ready to get started and you’re wondering what you need to have at your disposal, you can download my free checklist of my favorite tools + materials: