A Good Reason to Document Travel Before It Actually Happens

Nikki Kann
Nikki Kann

Today we are embracing our romantic, hopeful sides as we begin to explore this month’s theme of travel. Rather than discussing the facts of who, what, when, where, and why of past journeys, we are welcoming dreams of adventures yet to be had.

At the time of this writing, I’m (excitedly) living vicariously through my 20 year old daughter who is studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona is a place I first dreamed of visiting back in 1990. As a college freshman in art history class, I discovered the organic and ornamental architecture of Antonio Gaudi. I was speechless and in awe. There is nothing else like it on earth. At least, like nothing I had ever seen in America. That is for sure.

I am thrilled to say that my husband and I have decided to visit Barcelona during her time there. (Can you hear my excited squeal?) Getting to visit with our daughter AND experience Spanish architecture, sangria and tapas? Sounds like a win-win. We have airfare. We have accommodations. We are developing a plan…gradually. This is what is exciting me now. My current problem is: documenting travel generally happens AFTER (or sometimes during) the actual trip, doesn’t it?

Or does it?  My mind has a tendency to throw me curve balls when I am willing to listen (especially in this summery, relaxed state of mind). So, I am here to inspire you to document your travel BEFORE it happens. The pandemic has prevented or limited travel over the last two years. Whether you are finally traveling once more or are still hesitant, I invite you to record the special places you dream of, but haven’t experienced YET. (“Yet” is the key word to use when wishing to bring ideas to reality.)

Here’s how I began documenting my ideal future getaways. In a journal, I wrote the first five places on my mental bucket list as they popped in my mind. Then I made predictions about the order I will visit those places in the future and numbered them. This was the order I listed them on the layout (1-5). Next to each location, I noted my distinctive reason for selecting each. These notes helped me to formulate the stories I wanted to tell about each place and also which images to use. Since I haven’t visited any of these places, yet, I had no personal photos, but very much want to represent them visually. I found a website called: https://pixabay.com that offered beautiful, free photos for both commercial and personal use. Although payment was not required, donations (like money for a cup of coffee) can be made directly to the photographers, if desired. There were many inspirational images, especially of travel destinations. Below, in order to properly credit them, you’ll find a list of the photographers whose work I included on my layout.

pixabay.com photographers used on layout Tuscany: kasabubu, vineyard: alohamalakhov, Colorado: vladoZg, Colorado: Lukasbieri, redwoods: sierramurray and PublicDomainPictures, tulips: Ralphs_Fotos, Parc Guell: TRAVELKR, Gaudi building: pcsfish

As I have mentioned in previous posts, a crucial part of my creative process is using a sketch. Sketches help with focus, reduce the problem of too many choices and thereby help to get the page done more efficiently. I located a unique sketch (#483) at the SimpleScrapper membership that used an unusual design. Since I am using both landscape and scenic photos, they fit perfectly into the horizontal, rectangular shapes that extended diagonally across the page. It was at this point that I needed to decide whether to use paper, go hybrid or use an all digital format for the entire layout. Because I downloaded the images already, I decided to keep it all digital and modify the sketch in Photoshop. After I copied and pasted the images into their shapes, labeled the locations, typed out a short story for each, I also found some Ali Edwards digital embellishments, previously downloaded, called Start to Finish Travel 2 Digitals. I selected three faux chipboard circles with inspiring sentiments and made sure they had the same type of shadow as all the other elements. Then, I changed the color of the AE Start to Finish “faux vellum” file with travel phrases to a light gray for the subtle background. 

Lastly, I brainstormed about what title to use. Options included: Bucket List Travel, Dream Travel, Travel Goals and the final winner, Oh, the Places I’ll Go. That resonated with me because of the positive intention and action-oriented phrase. See what I did there? I used the title, as well as the visuals and stories to turn this scrapbook page into a vision board that manifests my intentions. In addition to travel dreams, this type of approach can be used for any type of goals or bucket lists. 


Go forth and dream of future adventures! Be sure to document them with your personal story and inspiring visuals to bring them to life in a vibrant way. Keep it nearby for inspiration. Frame it. Maybe use your digital layout or photo of your paper layout as the wallpaper on your computer or phone. Then come back to the blog next week for more inspirational ways to document your travel!

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