For as long as I can remember, I’ve always kept journals. Whether they’ve been to organize my life, unscramble my mind or document my memories, it’s just a part of who I am. I’ve always kept a written record of my travels, and over time, this process has evolved. I truly treasure my travel journals. There are so many tiny details that are easily forgotten if not documented.
I’m sharing my system of travel documentation with you. Firstly, I use two places to store my memories. I have a journal that I usually carry with me on travels and fill in daily (more on that later). Then, I also have a scrapbook album with photos that I print out after the trip. This album doesn’t travel with me and is usually completed (way) after I get home.
This little book stays in my backpack when I travel. What I usually do is write in it in pencil and collect all my memorabilia in a pouch in the back. When I get home, I re-write things in pen, add things in, and use my stamps, washi tapes and stickers to make it all pretty. I also stick in all my memorabilia and arrange everything nicely. My last few trips have been super jam-packed, so I haven’t had time to journal every day. What I’ve been doing is writing quick notes on my phone every night before bed and then writing them into my journal when I have some time to do so, or on the plane home. I’ve really been enjoying this system.
I haven’t been very good with doing this, mainly because my previous scrapbook was a huge 12×12 inch book that took up a load of space and wasn’t very fun to work in. It required too much stuff to fill the pages. So, I recycled the left over paper and rings and made a smaller, cuter, more fun album. I’ve finally gotten around to scrapbooking my Europe photos and will move onto my Mauritius photos after that. I’m a very visual person, so I really enjoy haveing physical photographs to look through. Also, found things (shells/coins/rocks/etc.) are my favourite kind of souvenir. They are my treasures.
I hope this has given you some insight into my documenting process and that you’ve got some ideas for your next trip.
I recently visited the beautiful island of Mauritius with my family and it was a welcome break from the extreme cold we’ve been experiencing here in South Africa. We spent our time at a resort on the north-west side of the island, and although it was a bit chilly and wet sometimes (it’s winter there too), it was bliss. I thoroughly enjoyed some timeout to just read on the beach, swim and relax. Anyhow, here is my photo diary of the trip. Enjoy!
I never thought I’d end up in Poland. Am I glad I did? You bet. The city of Kraków stole my heart. What a charming, unassuming place. Its not a place that is really hyped up about in magazines and on travel blogs – I’d consider it underrated in the least. It has a vibe like no other, holds so much historical importance and the architecture is so very beautiful. We did a walking tour of Kraków, explored in the little tourist shops and all in all had a ball. Its safe to saw that Kraków was one of my favourite places that we visited (although I did love them all)!
Prague is such a beautiful place with the loveliest buildings. It is home to the largest castle complex in all of Europe, Prague Castle. Some of the prettiest views can be seen from there! Although my time in Prague was brief, it was oh so lovely. What a charming place.
Ah, Salzburg. I’ve watched the Sound of Music a few times too many when I was little (every week for a few months), so you can imagine my excitement to be in the very place it was made! The beautiful gardens with rolling lawns was a treat to visit (especially since a scene from The Sound of Music was shot there). As I’ve played the piano for most of my life, I thoroughly enjoyed the Mozart Geburtshaus, (Mozart’s birth house) which is now a wonderful museum. We only spent a few hours in Salzburg, but I enjoyed every second!
Munich is incredible. Its such a beautiful city with the loveliest buildings. We explored by bike, as one does in Germany. Its incredible how many cyclists there are! As a lover of riding my bike, I had such a blast! Anyhow, here are my snaps! (I don’t have too many snaps as my phone wasn’t on me for most of the tour. Again, I tried to absorb things through my eyes and not only my lens).
I’ve always dreamed of going to Venice. I’ve seen people riding gondolas in the canals in movies and photos, and never thought I’d be lucky enough to visit this beautiful place.
Venice is made up of 120 small islands, and there are around 400 bridges going over the canals! The buildings are exceptionally beautiful, and the little restaurants and cafes on the water have such a lovely charm. Venice is just as beautiful as the photos. Its one of those places where you have to control yourself or else you’ll just take photos of everything.
A water taxi or gondola is a must. You can’t go to Venice and not go on the water! We also explored quite a bit on foot, then crossed the Rialto Bridge and explored the other side. Its such a beautiful place. It definitely stole a chunk of my heart too! I dream of going back some day.
Florence has a sort of slow, laid-back atmosphere, that contrasts the business that is Rome. Florence is simply lovely. We only spent one day there, so I don’t have too many photos, but this lovely place left its mark on my heart. The little market square selling every delightful leather product you could think of and the warming atmosphere are incredible. The streets have such a calm, quiet feel in the evenings and its the kind of place that you can’t help but fall in love with…
The Duomo in Florence blew me away. The intricacy of the marble detailing is just mind-boggling, and as a person who dapples in the arts, I felt a deep appreciation of the craftsmanship and time that was required to create something quite so exquisite. None of the detail on the facade is painted – it is all inset in marble.
Throughout my trip, I tried to not let taking photos dictate my every move. I took quick snaps of things I saw that inspired me, but I wanted to see and embed my travels into my memory, rather than my memory card…
When in Rome, gelato is abundant and traffic rules are non-existent. You feel as if you’ve stepped into a parallel dimension where laid-back life, and hustle and bustle harmoniously co-exist . Romans are charismatic and love their city. I have never been to a city that values aesthetic appeal so much. The old buildings all painted in a cohesive colour palette make for a visual paradise. It feels like walking on a rather massive, exceptionally beautiful movie set. To say that Rome is beautiful would be an understatement.
The weather was really hot when we were in Rome, and it was such a pleasure to escape what has been a rather harsh winter in Cape Town.
Italian gelato is amazing. On just about every corner, you will find a gelateria – some are high-end, and others are little family shops – each with their own unique charm. I thoroughly enjoyed every spoonful!
I think its safe to say that Rome is a cultural and historical masterpiece.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a little life update, but I wanted to fill you in, so that you can watch out for the fun stuff that’s to come!
I’m going to be doing some travelling during the winter holidays. I’ll be going around Europe, mostly eastern. I’m so excited to travel, and I am ready to be inspired and to soak up everything! I’m leaving on my birthday – best present ever, right?
I’ll be posting some visual travel diaries here, and you can find some travel snaps over on the ‘gram too, so follow along there too if you like.
I am looking forward to a journey of personal growth, cultural experience, and of course, a bit of a tan! (CT winter has been pretty harsh).
I hope to return being a little more travel savvy, with lots of pretty pictures, a head full of inspiration, and memories to be cherished always.