Documenting my life, travels etc: Intro

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One of the things I said I wanted to do in 2017 was document my life better, and do something with the momentoes that I have already collected from places I have been.

I have previously blogged about some of the foreign places I have been, mainly on my inter-rail trip , but unfortunately not many other places. I will hopefully try to start that up again this year catching up on some of the other places I have gone, since I have so many photos and memories that I can write about. That will be a good thing for both my ‘blog more‘ and ‘document my life‘ resolutions!

But pretty much everywhere I have been I have collected postcards, stickers, stamps and a lot more other things such as ticket stubs. In addition to this I have taken a *lot* of photos. I think from my gap year trip to Aus/Nz I had over 5000 photos when I returned after a few months away. (I still haven’t properly sorted through them… and the trip was almost 8 years ago now)

One of my main sticking points with organising these memories (other than time…) is that I don’t really know what I want to do with them. I worry that if I do something permanent with them then I won’t like it, or a few years down the line it won’t work with new momentoes I gather. But I’m coming round to the thinking that I just need to do something with them!  At the moment they are just sitting in boxes on a shelf or buried in the depths of my hard drive, and I never get to look at them or enjoy them unless I am trying to tidy through things.


So… What am I going to with them?


Sort them – I have a lot of postcards… Easily in excess of 200 postcards. I’m going to sort through these and try and whittle it down a little bit. Some places I bought lots of postcards from, either with the intention of sending some, or I bought some and then later in the trip found ones I liked more… I’m getting better at buying less postcards but I can probably recycle a fair few from my collection.

a collection of postcardsDid someone say postcards…?

Write on them – There’s no point having them if I don’t remember when/why I got them. I have a couple of times sent myself a postcard which I write on the trip, it means it’s dated and I write a few memories on the card as well. But for those empty ones I will go through and write at least the date/trip on them. Maybe a memory or something as well, although that might come later.

Put them in an album – I have a few slip in albums. I’m planning on putting a postcard or two from each trip into that album. It’s not permanent, so they can be re-arranged if I have missed any and I can look for a proper album further down the line. But I can view them easily which is the important part. Any additional postcards I will keep in a box, but maybe I can get rid of them after I’ve sorted out the others, or use them in other displays.



This one might take me some time to do…

Sort them – firstly I need to just get all my photos somewhere that I know where they are. They are scattered across hard-drives, some on my phone, some stored on the cloud. I need to file them in a way that identifies what trip they are from and make sure I know where they are. I also really should probably delete photos which are blurry or the twenty identical shots of the sunset because you weren’t quite sure if you got it right… 

Print photos – I printed a few photos out last year which was really nice, and now some of them are in a collage frame on my wall. I would like to either print out the photos as normal photos or create a photobook for certain trips, or maybe for a year so it might include more things than just trips. I think my Gap year trip could definitely do at least a whole book by itself.

Display photos – We like the idea of artwork around our house and do have some photos, but we don’t really buy new stuff because we keep saying we should print some of our own stuff. I have taken at least a few shots which are really quite wonderful, and I know Pippa definitely has more great photos than me. Since many were taken on high quality cameras they should print out nicely at large sizes so that we hang them. Other photos can be printed at normal sizes and displayed in collage frames.



So again another one of my collection items. I have one badge for every country I have visited (with a couple of exceptions), and a badge from quite a few of the cities/areas I have visited. I’m just really not quite sure what I want to do with them…

In the past people would sew them onto their tents or rucksacks to show the different places they had visited, but I don’t have anything like that to attach them to. They could also be sewn onto a blanket, or some sort of wall hanging, but I don’t think I’d display it anywhere.

I think at the moment I might find some wallets for a ring binder, similar to those that are used to store slides or business cards and store them in there. At least that way I can flick through and look at them.

sew one badges


Other momentoes:

Now this is difficult because they are so varied. It ranges from ticket stubs, to a down filled jacket… I love the idea of scrapbooking, but I’ve never really had the time to get round to it. What I’d love to do is settle on a type of page to use in scrapbooking, something which can be inserted into a binder. Then I can start making individual pages, and put them in the binder when finished. I won’t have to worry about how many pages a section will take up, or only completing them in the order in which they will be in the book…

Some momentoes can go straight in the book such as printed photos, postcards, tickets, stickers, random notes etc. Other it might not be so easy, but if they can be added directly to the book then I could take a photo of them, add that to the book and then dispose of the actual item if it is no longer useful/needed. That way I reduce the clutter and improve the documentation.


Hmm well this all seems like quite a lot to do, but I’d definitely like to do it, so in a number of years I can look back (hopefully fondly) and remember the things I’ve done.

Have any of you done scrapbooking or documenting your life? How successful was it? Do you have other methods of organising things? I’d love to hear some other suggestions!




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