This is my mom’s fantastic idea for tracking experiences while traveling. How many times have you promised to keep a travel journal only to return home with most of the pages left blank? If you’re like me, that’s happened a few times. On top of that, how do you go about displaying your travel souvenirs when you get home? Developing photos is nice, but are you going to label them to remember everything?
My mom’s solution: Postcards to yourself.
You’ve just spent three hours at the Louvre. Find your favourite postcard in the gift shop and write down the inside joke you had with your friend, how good the chocolate croissant was (but so overpriced!), and about the cute audio guide guy. Slap a stamp on, address it to yourself back home, drop it off in the mail, and forget about it.
Do this whenever you go somewhere where you a) have a memorable or funny experience, and b) can find a cool post card. The key is to do it as you are experiencing that which you are writing about. It doesn’t take long.
You won’t believe some of the things you had forgotten until you read them on these cards. You know when you think, “that was the funniest/coolest/strangest experience, I’ll remember that forever!” Well, sometimes when you’re traveling, those experiences are so frequent that you can’t remember them all. That’s why it’s great to write them down as they happen and send them to your future self.
Not sure what to write? It doesn’t have to be long. This is just for yourself, after all; point form is fine.
Here are some prompts:
- What were you doing right before you started to write? Where?
- What’s the significance of the picture on the card?
- What’s it sound like, smell like, or taste like where you are? (i.e. sound of street performers, smell of spices, taste of gelato that you’re eating)
- Who are you with?
- What was your favourite thing about the place you just experienced?
When you get home, there may already be some cards waiting for you. You get to relive all the experiences you had while you were there. You remember the last time you held the card, where you were, what you were doing, who you were with. Cards keep arriving after you’ve been home for a while — like your trip never ended. It also lightens your load for souvenirs to bring back home — they’re already in the mail!
If you’re not into scrapbooking, but you like the idea of having a tangible collection of memories from your trip, arranging all of these postcards in a box or album is the easiest way to do this. Whenever you want you can read through them all in order and relive your trip from start to finish.