There are three stages of enjoyment to every holiday. The first is the planning, and the anticipation of a trip in the months and weeks leading up to the day you jet off to foreign shores. The second is the experience itself of course, whether you’re scuba diving with whale sharks in the Philippines or taking cooking lessons in Morocco. Finally, the last stage is reliving those memories once you return home, because really, the holiday is never truly over. You can dine out on tales of your travel adventures for years to come, and reminisce about the epic experiences you had with your trip companions.
For most of us, our holidays are over far to soon, so it’s super important that we do everything we can to keep those memories alive. Here are some fun ways you can do just that.
Immortalise your photos
One of the best ways to remember your favourite holiday moments is to put together a photo album or book, so you can flick through and chat about all those incredible experiences with your family and friends. It always makes a great talking point, and in years to come when the memories fade, having a collection of images like this will remind you of all the fun tours and luxury hotels that you’d long forgotten about.
Another good idea is to have your top pics proudly on display around your home. This doesn’t have to be a framed image or poster (although they work well too!), it could also be something a bit more whacky like a cushion cover, a mug, or even a t-shirt. There are plenty of online photo printing places that offer these sort of services, so have a think about what you fancy and go place your order.
Don’t forget the skills you learnt on holiday
We often enjoy a creative skills class when we’re away, with everything from cooking and pottery to dance and painting making an appearance. Of course, it’s exciting when we’re in the moment, and we always vow to practice our new-found expertise when we get back home. But 99% of the time those lessons are all but forgotten, and the plans to recreate what we’d had such fun making are put aside as the daily grind gets underway once more.
The trick is to make time in your schedule for recreating those memories at home. Put aside an afternoon at the weekend, and don’t let anything get in your way. Buy those ingredients for that tagine you loved in Marrakech but have never bothered to cook, and get whipping up a storm in the kitchen. Dig out those ancient watercolours and spend a happy evening trying to paint the rolling vineyards and medieval citadels of Tuscany. Or invite your friends over and teach them how to line dance like you did on your riding adventure in Colorado. Cowboy hats are optional. The things you learn when you’re exploring new destinations never really leave you, they just sometimes need waking from their hibernation!
Take home some souvenirs
There’s a fine line between clutter and decoration, so don’t go mad on this, but buying souvenirs on your travels is a fun and easy way to remember your holidays. You’ll spend time browsing the markets before perfecting the art of haggling over the pieces that catch your eyes. Whether it’s wooden drums from Africa, bamboo wind chimes from Indonesia, or Peruvian ponchos made from llama wool, these souvenirs all tell their own story.
Our house ended up looking a bit like a museum after we went a bit crazy on the souvenir-buying front in our earlier years of travel, so now we limit it to one (or maybe two) items per country. As it is, we can’t walk into a room and not be reminded of one of our trips. Even the crockery we eat off comes from abroad, as well as our tissue boxes and flower vases. Just make sure you keep a note of where everything came from, in case you forget as the years pass!
Keep a travel journal
Something I’ve done since I was a kid at school is keeping a journal. I used to write in it every day and would probably cringe if I read it back now. As an adult, I now only write in my diary when I travel, because that’s simply the most interesting period of my annual life. It’s fun recounting the adventures of the day when you’re scribbling furiously into a notebook with a backdrop of tropical beach or buzzing city. Yet journals really come into their own several months, or even years, after they’ve been written.
There’s nothing quite like delving back into those pages and reliving the experiences that brought so much joy. It’s good to remember the not-so-fun stuff too, which over time often becomes a good anecdote or party tale rather than a traumatic episode on an otherwise amazing trip. Hubbie and I sometimes read each other an except from one of our journals to see if the other person can guess which trip it comes from. There are hours of entertainment to be had from this game, especially once you’ve got a few good holidays under your belt.
Put up a wall pin map
Another great way to stop those travel memories from fading is to have a giant wall map somewhere prominent in your house. This could be a push pin map, a poster, or even a magnetic white board which can be annotated with your favourite quotes if you wish. You can have great fun pinning all the destinations you’ve visited, adding dates where appropriate.
For a bit of extra spice, choose a different colour and mark all those places you want to visit in the future. There’s something rather satisfying about swapping the colours over once you’ve been!