On returning from a holiday, it’s easy to feel a bit down about returning to your normal routine. So here are ten of the things that I do to keep the memories of my holiday alive.
1. Photo albums
One of the first things I do on returning from a holiday is to start going through the photos I have taken. Seeing as this often numbers in the thousands, it’s a task that can take quite some time! Going through the photos like this, editing them for brightness or straightening the squint ones, in itself is a great way of reliving my memories. But the best part is actually creating a finished album.
Usually I order my albums online from Photobox. I tend to do a hardback one for each holiday, with photos of all the places I went, but I often do a smaller one focusing on a specific aspect that I enjoyed, for example the colours of Peru, or the patterns and textures of China. I love working out which photos to group together on a page, whether to keep photos of one place together, or to arrange photos of one thing, maybe doors or people, together on a page.
I’m usually very impatient about this part of the process, and want to get the album finished immediately! I have to force myself to take my time and produce an album I’ll be proud of and enjoy looking at time after time.
2. Travel journal
When I return I add any final touches to the travel journal I kept when I was away, whether decorating the cover, adding a few more arty details, or gluing in tickets, receipts and other mementos.
3. Art and crafts
Creating things is one of my favourite ways of remembering my holiday, and the creative inspiration that I get is one of the big reasons that I go on holiday. In the past I’ve done a whole month of crafts inspired by Peru, for example.
I’ve already blogged about the books I downloaded to read on holiday, and I continued to read them after I got back. I also ordered some more books as soon as I returned. A couple of these were guidebooks, which might seem a strange thing to read after you return, but I felt that they would give me some more background information on the places I’d been. I’m not worried about the fact I may read about places I wish I’d seen, as I’ve learned over the years not to regret the places I missed out on, but just to appreciate all the lovely things I did see. And I can always start making a list of what I want to see next time!
One of the first things I did on returning from Japan was to order the DVD of Lost in Translation. I’d seen it at the cinema, but watching it again shortly after being in Japan gave it so much more meaning to me, and it then became one of my top 5 films. I love re-watching it and feeling the memories flood back.
After visiting China I bought The Last Emperor on DVD, and I’ve just bought the DVD of A Room with a View (I had it on video) to remind me of Italy. I’m also planning to buy Palio, a documentary about the Siena horse race.
I love creating little vignettes or display areas around my home inspired by the areas I've travelled to, with souvenirs, books and other items. I have a whole living room that is full of Japanese and Chinese items, but in addition to this I have what I call "Peru corner", a bookcase that has a European theme with items from Austria and elsewhere, and I create ever-changing displays in other areas of the house, for example my Italy display.
As well as the souvenirs I use in my displays, I think it is lovely to bring back some items that you can use on an everyday basis, for example jewellery, perfume, purses or scarves. These help to remind you of your holiday on a regular basis. Smells and tastes are particularly evocative, which leads on to foods!
This ties in with the Books section as well, because I usually buy a cookbook of a country’s cuisine shortly after I return, so that I can enjoy cooking the foods that I ate when I was away.
I love to write blog posts that are inspired by memories of my travels. It's a good chance to read through my journals and look at my photos and art.
10. Holiday memories in the workplace
I like having items on my desk at work that remind me of my holidays in Japan. It reminds me what I'm working towards on the days I'm feeling a bit fed up!