About this series: In 2007, I participated in a 6-week study abroad program in southern Africa with 10 other education majors from my university. We worked in the school of a refugee camp to model effective/appropriate teaching for the untrained women who served as teachers at the camp in exchange for a place to live. This trip was the event that sparked my interest in scrapbooking. I had returned home with 11+ cameras’ photographs we had all shared with each other, and knew I had to do something special to document this once-in-a-lifetime experience. This travel scrapbooking series will cover this trip.
In part one of this series, I shared my album cover, as well as an intro page, a layout about our flights, and a “who’s who” yearbook-style page of all the major people involved in this trip. For today’s post, I’m sharing a page that focuses on the first few details of the actual trip itself: the town we called “home” for 6 weeks.
We stayed in the town of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape of South Africa with 4 host families who were willing to take us into their homes for the duration of our stay. On our first full day there, we took a walking tour of the town, so I thought I’d start my documentation out with some of the town highlights. I made sure to include a few scenery shots to show how beautiful the area was, as well as a shot that shows the typical architecture in the town. Then I added in some photos of our favorite local spots, a coffee shop and a gelato shop, and a shot of our first dinner together as a group. (Faces blurred for privacy).
To make sure I’m creating my album chronologically, I’m referring back to the LiveJournal account I used as a travel journal while I was gone. This helps me fill in the blanks in my memory about place names, which order things happened in, and how I was feeling about events at the time. I also look through my photo albums from the trip on Shutterfly, which I had painstakingly sorted by topic/location after we returned from the trip, to make sure that I pick out all of my favorites for each page I complete.
Next up, I’ll be working on a page about our first time visiting the school we worked at. Stay tuned!
What was the last trip you scrapbooked about? Let’s chat about it in the comments!
In 2007, I participated in a 6-week study abroad program in southern Africa with 10 other education majors from my university. We worked in the school of a refugee camp to model effective/appropriate teaching for the untrained women who served as teachers at the camp in exchange for a place to live. This trip was the event that sparked my interest in scrapbooking. I had returned home with 11+ cameras’ photographs we had all shared with each other, and knew I had to do something special to document this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I purchased every Africa-related travel scrapbooking product I came across once I returned home, and set to work creating my first-ever scrapbook layout.
During the trip, we had the fortunate opportunity to take some time off from teaching in South Africa to go on a 2-week holiday in Namibia, during which we had encountered the magical scene of a field of giraffes all staring silently off in the same direction, like they knew something we didn’t know about what lurked behind the treeline. I knew I wanted this to be the first thing I documented about the trip. As it turns out, it ended up being the ONLY thing I documented! After spending literally days perfecting the 2-page spread, I had already completely burned myself out.
Fast-forward 8 years, and I’d since completed multiple pocket scrapbook pages about everyday life and a few traditional pages about miscellaneous topics, but still hadn’t returned to documenting this epic trip. So this year, I’m challenging myself to finally work on it! To make the overwhelming task as non-overwhelming as possible, I’m not setting any “rules” about this project. Some pages might be digital, others might be traditional, and I’m sure I’ll end up with a variety of page sizes as well, but I’m okay with that!
Thankfully, after returning home, I spent a lot of time organizing the photos into topic-based albums on my Shutterfly site dedicated to this trip, and I kept an online travel journal of the trip to help share my stories with people back home while I was gone, so as I work on the journaling, that will be a valuable resource to help fill in some of the memory gaps that have likely appeared over the past 8 years.
To get started, I took advantage of a sketch challenge for a previous month’s Awesome Ladies Project to create a cover page and a few intro pages. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far (faces/names blurred for privacy). I’ll be sharing updates regularly as I work to get all of the important stories documented throughout the rest of the year!
Do you remember what first sparked your interest in scrapbooking? Let’s chat about it in the comments!
When I first started scrapbooking, I was a mess, literally! Travel scrapbooking was the worst. Every time I traveled anywhere, even if it was just a day trip within my own state, I would “collect” every postcard, brochure, and spare scrap of anything that even remotely represented the trip, with the assumption that I would need it in order to document every detail! I don’t know about your scrapbooks, but can you guess the number of brochures that have ever actually made it onto any of my finished scrapbook pages? If you said zero, you’d be correct. Whenever I’d go to use one, I would decide that slapping a brochure down on the page ended up making it look sloppy and didn’t really match my aesthetic. So back into a box it would go, where I’d continue to hoard it for all the “just in case” memory-keeping scenarios I could come up with in my head.
Now that I’m doing pocket scrapbooking, it is easier for me to use little pieces of memorabilia in my pages without feeling like it ruins the layout, but I still don’t want an entire pocket page full of postcards, brochures, and cocktail napkins all from the same trip. If I did that, I wouldn’t have any room for the actual photos and stories from the trip. So when a friend of mine in a small habit-themed private group I’m in on Facebook proposed a daily paper collection challenge to work on our habit of creativity, I thought it would be a great thing to try on my recent trip to New Orleans for a work event. The concept for the challenge was simply to collect all the random papers you encounter throughout the day and photograph them in a collage format (you can see how Vanessa’s turned out here). Since I was working most of the trip, I didn’t have a lot of day-to-day papers worth photographing (some days would have been a single coffee receipt and nothing else!), but by the end of the week, I’d amassed a good amount of more photo-worthy paper pieces, so I decided to just do one big snapshot that captures the highlights of the trip ( or at least the non-working portions).
The next time you’re traveling and are tempted to collect ALL THE THINGS, consider keeping them only long enough to photograph them, and then tossing out the clutter when you’re done. You’ll still have captured the memories in a fun, succinct way, but your closet won’t be overrun with boxes of ticket stubs, boarding passes, and drink coasters!