I am a sporadic journal keeper. My pages are filled with travel quotes or article ideas, photo shoots I want to do, and quotes that resonate with me. When we travel, though, I scribble a lot!
I am more interested in capturing my impressions of a new place we visit than I am in my feelings, aka, keeping a diary. Numerous times over the past few months, I referred back to travel journals to find the name of a favorite restaurant in Prague attached to our boatel, or that bird in Costa Rica with the weird teardrop nest, or the name of the farm in the Falkland Islands where we visited the King penguins.
How to Share Stories
No one else, not even your travel partner, will have the same impressions or feelings about the places you visit. (I wrote about that last week, here.) That means what YOU have to say AND the images you photograph are special, things you can share with your family and friends as a way of transporting them to where you traveled.
“But Yvonne, I’m not a very good storyteller.”
Oh YES YOU ARE! Here’s a simple way of finding the storyteller inside you.
What moved you about this place?
Consult your scribbles about a day in your travel life. Swipe through your photos. Put yourself back in the place and remember how you felt.
“There was this cute little boy chasing the doves in the square.” What made what he was doing so cute?
“People living there were so happy.” What made them seem happy, and why did you end up smiling too?
“I loved this food.” How did it taste, how did it look, what and where was your table, who was your waiter or waitress, and what was the scene around you?
Words or Images
Whether you share your travel story in words or images, you apply the same technique. It’s not just the what, but the why. WHY answers the question of what made that experience memorable from your perspective. your life, your path to being there throughout your life, and your journey to discover that experience inform that perspective.
We love food. In Prague, I snapped a photo of this exquisite carpaccio in an Italian restaurant. (Yes, Italian restaurants are big in Eastern Europe, as are Thai places. Go figure.) John and I literally ate first with our eyes, marveling at the time and craft that went into creating the concentric circles of paper-thin octopus. Can you imagine how long this took?
That’s a story, the memory grounded in a photo quickly snapped. Our foodie friends drool over it, particularly as we talk further about the barge the restaurant was on, the boatel we stayed in on the Vltava River, and the friendship we developed with this delightful young man. All over a plate of octopus…
What memorable experiences have you had traveling? What made it so and how do you tell that story? Please share in the comments below!