How to Document Your Trip Abroad
When traveling, you try to keep as much record of your trip as possible! You undoubtedly have several unforgettable experiences that you need to document. Either because you want to show these memories to your family and friends or you keep an archive for your blog or Instagram account. A camera, a smartphone, and a journal are the most common tools for recording your trip and re-living your experience later. In this article, I will share with you different ways you might want to consider when it comes to documenting your adventures abroad. Here are some creative and different ways to record your adventure:
This is the most common way to record your trips since taking a good camera is one of most travelers’ priorities when it comes to traveling. Even if your mobile phone has a brilliant camera, it cannot beat the quality of a great digital camera. Ιf you can invest the money and the time in buying a DSLR camera as well as on learning how to use it, I suggest that you do it. You will be amazed by the breathtaking photographs of the views and monuments that you will take. If you’re a professional photographer, you already know what to bring. If you’re not, consider buying a pocket size DSLR camera since it has become increasingly affordable. Size is important because the smaller it is, the easier it is to carry it with you. Bulky and heavy cameras require technical photography skills for every shot and can be hard to use if you are a beginner.
In case you choose to use your phone’s camera either because you cannot afford a DSLR camera or because it is easier and faster, you might want to consider getting a lens attachment set for it. Lens kits will help you take better photos and vary depending on the situations: wide-angle lens for landscapes, micro lens for close-up shots, and fisheye lens which distorts the photo in a spherical way. However, bad quality lens can easily break and images can be foggy or soft. If you decide to buy lens kits, make sure that they are good quality which means at the same time that they will be more expensive.
TIP: Do not forget to ask permission before taking a picture! For some cultures, it is inappropriate and intruding for their people if someone walks up and takes a picture of them. Be respectful of the fact that it’s real people, real lives.
Okay, you took the photographs. Now what? Here is a list of the things you can do with the pictures you take on your trip:
Create a photo series. Why not take it further and do something creative with these pictures? Create a photo series that could include a sequence of selfies or of the people you meet, the meals you eat, window views, everyday objects, or the locations that you like. You could also focus on a shape or pattern that can be found on walls, floors, etc. Choose a subject that is creative and totally inspires you!
Sell them online. This idea mostly applies to photographers or amateurs with some experience. If someone is browsing your gallery and sees a photo they like, why not give them the opportunity to buy that photograph right from your website? You can sell digital or physical prints of your images or sell licenses for more commercial images as stock photography and it can become a profitable business over time. It is wise that you take photographs that are likely to be profitable as stock photos. If you don’t have a website, sell your photos through a stock agency that will do all the marketing for you. iStock, getty images, flickr, and dreamstime are some of the websites that can sell your photographs.
Share them on Social Media. Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest are the best places to upload the pictures you take if you want to share them with the world. It is a good idea to decide on a hashtag (#) that will be related to your time overseas. This way, you and everyone else can easily find photos related to your trip whenever they want. To find out how social media has changed traveling read our article here.
Create a blog. If you are a blogger, you already know what to do with the pictures that you took. If not, maybe this is the time to create your own blog and incorporate the pictures that you take in it. Your blog should have a consistent style or theme in order to be successful. In order to build an audience, you have to focus on something specific, whether this is travel, cityscapes, nature, food, fashion etc. People will follow you because they find what you do interesting. If you lose your consistency, you lose them too. Do not forget to link your social media accounts to your blog so that your Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest followers support your blog as well.
Make a photo book. We all remember the photo books that our parents used to collect our childhood pictures and that we love to flip through. So why not do the same for your own – future, if you don’t have any – kids? No matter how much technology develops, you’ll never regret putting your memories in a thick, sturdy book that will be with you forever. Sites like blurb help you create your own photo book online and order it. Such sites help you customize your photo book with a variety of templates and tools in different sizes and papers.
Make a wall photo collage. You can also use your photographs to decorate your home! Print the images and stick them straight on the wall or put them into frames and then hang them. Printing the photographs in black and white colors and putting them in all white frames sounds like a good choice.
Hang them on a clothespin display. Just use a spool of string, clothespins and maybe some twinkle lights. Hang your pictures on it and decorate an empty wall in your bedroom or living room with your travel memories.
Apart from photographs, videos are also another popular way of documenting the memories of your trip. If you have a video camera or just a smartphone, you can record great videos that can be used in various ways:
Create a video montage. There is a variety of free apps that you can use to edit your videos into a film that you can show to your friends and family. In order to achieve this, record videos without moving the camera around in every direction like your eyes do. This will make editing much easier when you return home.
Become a travel vlogger. If you are passionate about travel and you want to share your experience with other, then vlogging might be for you. It’s all about the story you present; tell your story and find creative ways to do it, or else no one is going to be interested in it. Try to do interesting things and have fun with them. Camping in Iceland? Sailing the coast of Africa?
Sell your video to stock footage market. To be honest, you’ll need to have at least some experience in videography if you plan to earn money with this. The advertising agencies, small businesses or consumers are looking for footage that includes sports, food, travel, business, animals, leisure, lifestyle and healthcare.
Tip: Avoid shooting the scenery rather interview the people. The monuments will look exactly the same 20 years from now and many photographers have already shot it. What will make your videos special are your friends or family with whom you visited these places and how they feel that exact moment.
If you prefer sounds than photos, this is probably the best way for you to document your trip. You can easily save the sounds of a place by using your smartphone or a small digital recorder. You could record sound effects, such as trains, market squares, busy streets etc., or even interview people that you meet along the way. If you have a blog, adding these sounds could help your readers imagine the scene better.
Many travelers prefer keeping a journal to document the memories of their trips. Putting your thoughts and experiences on paper is a creative way to express yourself and remember the places, people, and stories from your trip. This method is also therapeutic, since it can keep you company when you’re alone and you can share your innermost thoughts that perhaps you don’t want to share with another person. Your journal could include:
Names of locations and people you met along your way
Interesting facts and stories about people or places
Tips from other travelers about where to go or what to do
Your experiences, emotions, and sensations
Your questions, thoughts, hopes, joys, urges and more.
Buying your journal when you arrive at your destination will make it even more interesting. You can also incorporate photographs, ticket stubs, maps, or anything that will remind you of your adventures abroad.
Create Blogs or Vlogs
If you would like to share your thoughts and experiences with the world, perhaps a travel blog sounds like a good idea. Setting up a travel blog isn’t difficult, nor does it require much technical knowledge. Here are some free sites that will help you start blogging:
Wordpress – huge range of designs and themes; can be easily customized.
Blogger – simplified & easy to get started.
Wix – plenty of features and apps.
Tumblr – best for blogs with images, GIFs, links, stories and more.
Have a look around and choose the site that you like better. Once you set it up, share it with your friends and family by uploading it on all your social media accounts. If you’re a frequent traveler, it can even make you famous! If not, don’t get disappointed; travel blogging is a big plus in your portfolio, if you’re interested in a career in writing or social media.
If you’re not so interested in writing and photography, starting a vlog is a great alternative. You can use simple programs, like iMovie or WindowsMovieMaker for basic editing of your videos. YouTube is the most popular platform for posting your vlogs and building your audience. Vimeo is also another video-sharing platform, much smaller and with less rubbish than YouTube.
A different way to document your memories is to send yourself postcards that will be waiting for you when you return from your trip (read: Adjusting to Home after Travel). You could also send a friend or a family member and relive together the trip all over again. Did you know that you can create your own postcards? It’s an interesting and fun way to share experiences with friends and family at home, following some simple steps. Apps like PostSnap helps you create personalized postcards and send them anywhere in the world. This way, you will surprise people at home by sending them something more personal and not just a simple message on Facebook.
Create a Collection
A clever way to document your time abroad is to create a collection of things that you gather during your trip. The collection could include small items such as concert, bus, plane or train tickets, beer labels, receipts or even coins. But what can you do with these items? Here are some ideas:
Create a memory jar. You can create a memory jar to fill with all of the items that you collect from your trips. Buy or find an empty glass jar and make sure it’s big enough to fit all the items and have some place for more. Find some craft paper to wrap the jar and add some lace, bows, or whatever you want to decorate it. Don’t forget to make a label for your memory jar!
Incorporate them into a scrapbook. A scrapbook could be a folder, or even just a zip lock bag to store all the information you pick up along the way. Select and glue cards, coins, tickets etc. on the scrapbook and also write small notes to each piece to make sure that you remember where and how you got it.
Create Drawings or Sketches
For the artists among you, this is the best way to document your memories. You don’t have to be Picasso to capture your experience abroad in a sketchbook. Buy or bring – if you already have – your watercolors, color pencils, sketching charcoal, or just a pencil. Your sketch could be anything: a brief impression of a landscape, a sign on the road, or simply any snapshot of your adventure that would remind you of the time, place and experience abroad. You can also incorporate your drawing or sketches on your travel blog, Pinterest or Instagram posts.
Create a Playlist
It is true that we almost always connect songs with our experiences. How many times has it happened to you that you listened to a song that reminded you of your time somewhere? Think about the songs that are connected to the memories of your trip and create a playlist with them. It can either be songs that you listen at this place or songs that you already knew and kept listening on your trip. You can also embed these songs into your blog to add a new dimension to it.
What are you waiting for? Choose the way that suits you best and document your experiences and adventures abroad!
Edited by Eleni Gkovedarou
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