Did you ever take a trip, perhaps one you planned for a long time and looked forward to with great anticipation, only to return and say, “Wow, that flew by and I’m not even sure what happened.”

“I have to look up where this was…”

You scan your photos, trying to remember why you took this one, or wishing you’d listened better to that band because what they sang should have been memorable – but now you can’t remember.  The location of the museum where you spent a delightful morning evades you, and the names of all the churches (there were at least two each day) run together.  How many of those were St. Stephen’s, and where was this one?

Tricks to remembering your trip include keeping a notebook of your daily adventures, listing the date and image numbers on the photos you shot, and scribbling on your itinerary to help you with recall.  The trick I like the most, though, is using my six senses.

Yes, I said six.  You remember the standard five – sight, sound, scent, touch and taste.  But did you ever think about FEEL as the sixth one?  That’s the key to being in the moment, present and creating a memory.  What you FEEL sets the experience apart from what everyone else experiences.   

The next time you want to make a memorable travel memory, take the camera away from your eye, tuck away the smartphone, and stop talking.  Listen hard.  Sniff.  Lick the air as it fills your lungs.  Let your eyes wander softly across your surroundings and see where you naturally pause.  Press your fingertips to the railing and feel the vibrations of traffic or caress the rough bark of the tree.

What are you FEELING in that moment? 

Taking that step back from being busy to absorb it all creates a deeper memory than any picture.  From those FEELINGS come the stories you’ll be telling when you get home.

How do you create memorable travel memories?  I’d love to hear your tricks in the comments!

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