Spending time abroad whether it be travelling, working or studying. Many would go as far as to say that it is the best time of their life. No doubt you international Scriptoeris readers are having so many amazing experiences – I know some days I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m actually awake. You will leave the country with not only new friends, new and improved skills, but with memories to treasure from that spontaneous weekend in Florence to that lost in translation Russian conversation that has you in stitches just thinking about it.
Unless you’re lucky enough to have the memory of an elephant (they never forget you know!). You’re going to need some kind of record – something you can flick through proudly with the girls back home over a glass of vino or show the grandkids in 40 years time. Scriptoeris girls are defining the decade all over the world and here our ideas of how you can keepsake your journey (without facebook)!
We’re great fans of all things vintage here at the office and what could be more classic than writing? There is something quite romantic about walking in to Paperchase and selecting your journal from the hundreds of beautiful designs (or maybe that’s just my love affair with stationary revealing itself?!). Over the years and during the many stints abroad, I have tried and failed to keep up my daily date with my journal, it has been left on the shelf, broken hearted many a time. Sometimes it’s hard to find a moment in your day to write a five page account of all goings on. On one of my many amazon browsing sessions I came across the wonderful alternative: a line-a-day journal, which is a five year record of your daily happenings. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Line-Day-Five-Year-Memory/dp/0811870197/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384601763&sr=8-1&keywords=line+a+day+journal) It has definitely been added to my Christmas wish list!
In a technological age, keeping memories and sharing them with others is instantaneous! Blogging has been a fantastic way for me to not only have a record of what I have been up to but also share it with those back home. It also saves writing those impersonal send to all progress emails. With blogger, tumblr and wordpress at your fingertips, the world is your oyster! If you love the idea of an online chronicle but writing isn’t your forte then Blipfoto.com could be your answer. They challenge you to take and upload a photo a day and save your life. You can add captions and description if you choose to, allowing you to write as much or a little as you want. They also give you the option to purchase a printed set of your blipfoto uploads giving you an instant keepsake at the end of each stint away a god send, because , let’s face it, waiting for the instant photo machines to churn out the goods is no one’s favourite pastime.
I am the first person to admit that I have a bit of a hoarding problem, but while away it sometimes works to my advantage. I end up with a wonderful little collection of obscure keepsakes; ticket stubs, metro tickets, sweet wrappers, street maps, pictures from the kids I teach. My chosen hidey-hole is a memory box that lives under my bed, but I’m always looking for new ways to showcase them a bit more, memories are for sharing after all. A favourite idea at the moment is making photo boxes coupling my keepsakes with photo memories in box frames.Â They are a fab way to personalise rented apartments as well so a win win really. Another traditional option is scrapbooking if you fancy getting your crafty apron on, though it is a bit time consuming. A great alternative which some blogging colleagues introduced me to is Becky Higgins’ ProjectLife (http://www.beckyhiggins.com/), basically the lazy crafters scrapbook. All you need is the basic kit to get started (available widely in the US and via Amazon for the UK) – there are pockets for your photos and keepsakes and pre-printed spacer and journaling cards with cute designs to make your whole experience simple yet still personalised. You can also complete the project online and order a copy! I am hoping to jump on the bandwagon very soon!
Why not combine other passions? If you’re a keen artist why not visit your favourite places in your new town and start a sketchbook of drawings or paintings. It’s a great way to spend a relaxed, sun soaked afternoon and the end result is so much chic-er than a pile of Instagram prints. My guilty pleasure is jewellery (both buying and making!) so I’m going to invest in creating a year abroad charm bracelet. Not only is it a memory, but something you can wear everyday too.
Take only pictures, leave only footprints and make only happy memories! Document your story and define the decade, you won’t regret it!