If you happen to be anything like me you find yourself, on any “special” trip – first time to NYC or another major US city, certainly any overseas travel – saving little paper items like ticket stubs and concert programs. If you happen to be a lot like me, you return home and promptly – or worse, eventually – stuff your fond paper memories into a shoebox, dooming them to virtual oblivion. Yes, I know, someday you will unearth your little collection of subway passes and receipts and collage them into a special scrapbook along with all those wonderful photos you took. Hey, maybe you can even go ahead and include a photo of those nice pigs flying past the window. Anyway, the great thing about this little project is that it doesn’t preclude the eventual scrapbooking of your travel detritus – in fact, it will actually help you out with that scrapbooking – as will a space heater to warm up your frozen-over corner of scrapbooking hell.
The truth is, in this digital age, I’m not even sure I want to be making the conventional paper&photo-corners albums anymore. I’m much more interested in someday formatting and self-publishing my best pics into an actual book courtesy of lulu or somesuch – and rest assured, if I ever do undertake such a project I will be posting about it here. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have a way of keeping the memories associated with your paper travel debris – in particular to remember the names of places where you ate, or whom you saw perform and what they played.
For instance, on a truly wonderful trip to Barcelona last month, I collected two concert programs and several ticket stubs from various museums, etc.. But especially nice were the small business-size cards given out by nearly all the restaurants. These typically have the restaurant name on one side and a map showing its location on the other.
The rest, as you’ve probably guessed, is very straightforward. I sorted through my ticket stubs and restaurant cards, arranging them in approximate chronological order (greatly aided by my journal entries). Then, with double-sided tape, I stuck them into the book immediately following the final journal entry. A small sampling:
Ticket stubs and shopping labels...
For a Spanish guitar concert program, I trimmed excess paper from the edges, then folded the program accordion-style so it can be pulled out and read in its entirety:
And that’s it. Pretty simple. Of course there are various ways you could improve upon this – one problem is that the thickness of all the accumulated cards and ticket stubs keeps the notebook from closing properly. Because my Moleskin has the handy elastic strap to keep it closed, this isn't a real issue for me. However, an obvious solution (provided you’ve got the extra pages – I know I did) is to cut out several pages from the notebook to make room for the thicker paper. Another variation would be to stick in each day’s cards in between each day’s journal entry – although this I don’t like so much, as it turns into a project to keep up with during the trip – you’d have to bring along your tape and allow time to do it each day. And double-sided tape may not be the absolute best adhesive to use; I liked it, though, because there’s no mess as with an Elmers-type glue, you get better adherence than with a glue-stick, and the chances of being able to remove things in the future are improved. If you were a maniac, I suppose you could go for photo-corners, but if you’re that kind of person chances are you’d be putting together a full-blown scrapbook anyway.
And speaking of scrapbooks: how, you ask, will this “actually help you out with that scrapbooking,” as stated above? First of all, obviously, by keeping these items handily in one known place. Secondly, preserving the correct sequence of your various events. Each item should be able to be removed – carefully – from the notebook at a later date. Even if they don’t easily peel away from the tape, you can always cut out the notebook paper and trim to fit your ticket stub or what-have-you. But even if these things never make it into a scrapbook, you’re left with a nice, minimalist little travel book – a mini “story of your trip” – fun to show off to others or to reawaken your fond memories of far-flung places.
Lesson learned: Keeping a travel journal is not only surprisingly easy but incredibly gratifying.