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How do you capture your travel memories? - Women on the Road News, Issue #063
May 14, 2013

Women on the Road NEWS #63

Leyla here, just back from a week of exploring and eating in Istanbul!

As all travelers know, it’s the little things that make a trip special and unique.

Whether you’re going on a round-the-world journey or a quick weekend getaway, it can be difficult to remember those special experiences once you return home.

Hopefully, these tips - prepared this month by Amber Lamboo, whom you met in Issue #61 - will help you keep your important memories for years to come! Amber, by the way, also wrote the Frances Mayes review and the Cause of the Month for this issue.

If you're dreaming of traveling but you haven't yet left home yet, is it because you don't know what to do next? Is fear holding you back, or money or what others are saying? Whatever the reason, these two books can help.

If you're in your 20s or 30s, I recommend The Art of Solo Travel. It's snappy and vivid and fun and shows you the way if you're traveling solo for the first time.

If you're in your 40s and beyond, then my own Women on the Road: the essential guide to baby boomer travel will demystify travel for you. In this book I take you by the hand and help you decide where to go, how to save money, what to take and when to go, how to stay healthy and safe - and pretty much everything else you need to know to see the world. (If you've already read it I would love it if you could leave a review over on Amazon.)

baby boomer travel

Women on the Road NEWS: Contents for Issue #63

Capturing your travel memories

Send yourself a postcard
Take a few minutes to jot down impressions, or a funny and memorable event from your day. When you get home, your postcard will be waiting for you even though you may have forgotten the day by then.

Take pictures
Pictures are worth a thousand words and can be one of the best ways to preserve your memories. Keep your camera - or phone - at hand so you don't miss the opportunity. Go for the unusual. You’ll remember you visited the Louvre, but did you capture the way the crowds surrounded the works of art?

Tell stories with your photographs
Use Instagram or create an album in Facebook. You can put your pictures in order and use captions to tell your travel stories. It may not be possible on your travels every day, but try to edit and label your pictures as often as you can – you’ll be less likely to forget the details!

Record a conversation with someone
Use your phone or camera to record a conversation with your travel buddy or a local (with their permission, of course) or your own first impressions. If you’re asking someone for restaurant or sightseeing recommendations, a video can be a great reminder.

Shoot a short video
You can also use your phone or camera to shoot a short video of where you are. It will capture your memories of how a particular place looked and felt to you at that particular moment.

Make use of your Smartphone
In addition to photos and videos (and why not audio) use your phone to make lists of things you’ve seen that day, or things you want to remember for your journal or blog. You can also send yourself a quick email as a reminder of the details of your day. Or why not use Evernote? It’s a free software where you an type notes, add photos, video, and record sound all in the same document… go have a look and see if it inspires you!

Become a travel journal super user
Yes, a handwritten journal. Carry it with you and observe locals, listen to what they say. Take a minute at different times of the day to jot down a quick observation or feeling - or anything else. You can also ask others to write in your journal - they probably have a different take on a particular travel story and you'll see things through their eyes. And why not reserve a section for strangers' restaurant and sightseeing suggestions?

Sketch or storymap
If you’re at all artistic, or even if you’re not, consider drawing in your journal. A sketch or a storymap can be a great way to remember the details of a travel experiences. Click here for some examples. You could also draw a comic strip to tell your travel stories.

Make a scrapbook
Keep a glue stick handy and paste things into your journal. These could be business cards, menus, receipts, maps, or even bus tickets. Anything that triggers a memory for you is worth keeping. You could also print your pictures or take Polaroids while you’re on the road and paste them directly into your journal.

Make lists
Lists can be a great way to jog your memory once you’re home. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to jot down the 5 best and worst things to happen that day, or to write down 10 details from your day. (Here is an example).

Create a keepsake box
Keep bits and pieces from your travels and put them in a box when you return home. You can keep pictures, postcards, menus, receipts, pebbles, shells - anything at all. A keepsake box can make your memories tangible.

Copy yourself on emails
If you’ve been away from home for any length of time, chances are you’ve sent an email or two to update your family and friends on your travels. Even if you keep a journal, it’s unlikely that you’ll write about the same things twice. Just copy yourself on emails and you'll have a record of the stories you’ve told.

Blogging on the road
Like many other travelers you might want to blog about your travels to keep friends and family updated. You can set one up for free here or on many other services available online. When you return home you can print it out and put it in a binder with your photos and keepsakes - you'll have the ultimate trip album!

If you enjoyed this newsletter, then please tell a friend about it!

Can you name one great benefit of solo travel for women?

Here's one of my favorites: as a woman traveling alone you’ll meet more people.

"It sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it, but locals will rarely approach a couple or a group. A single woman is a different story.

If you look lost with your map out, there’s every chance someone will stop and chat with you. If you’re in a market or restaurant on your own, people will find you much more approachable, and will start conversations more easily than if you have company.

If nothing else, strangers will be curious about why you’re traveling alone – female solo travelers can be a relatively rare sight, especially in non-Western countries."

--(Excerpted from Women on the Road, my book on solo travel for women)

What's happening on the website and on the blog?

Reminder - please DO NOT FORGET to include your email address when you use the Contact form to write to me. And many thanks to those who wrote - and did include their emails! You know who you are, because you received a response :-)

And now, last month on Women on the Road was - active!

I wrote about...

Istanbul Tours for the Culturally Curious Foodie describes my day on two continents, with breakfast in Europe and lunch in Asia.

In Drome Traditions: Past, Present and... Future? I look at small traditional family businesses in southern France that are fighting off globalization, each in their own way.

A Taste of Old Madrid follows me around for a few hours to explore the San Miguel Market during a layover in this wonderful city. Churros, anyone?

Whalebones and Waistlines looks at the history of French lingerie in the Grenoble region, once the heartland of bras, corsets and petticoats.

And a wonderful piece by reader Janette Freeman ... Out of My Comfort Zone, about her first solo travel adventure.

Many of you are joining me on Facebook and Twitter - almost 5,000 so far - so if you haven't clicked LIKE yet please wander over to or Twitter at @womanontheroad and join me! I've also got a great Pinterest page if you love beautiful photos.

Women on the Road Recommends

A Year in the World by Frances Mayes

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next travel adventure, this is the book for you. Frances Mayes has compiled her travel stories into a cohesive, yearlong travel experience through most of Europe. Through her use of rich descriptions and focus on food and culture, Frances Mayes takes you along on her journey. -Amber Lamboo

How to Become a Housesitter and See the World by Pete and Dalene Heck

Fellow bloggers Pete and Dalene have put together the ultimate housesitting resource. They've been paying their way by housesitting for years and now they're sharing everything they know with you! So if you've ever wondered how you can travel and live in the lap of luxury while you do it, you'll have to read this.

And if you haven't yet picked up my own women's travel book maybe this is the month you'll decide to travel!

Travel News from across the Web

The World's 50 Best Travel Apps
10 Sites with the Best Airfare Deals
The Benefits of Ecotourism
Travel Accommodations 101
The Best Luxury Eco-Resorts Around the World
The World's Most Unusual Hotels
Piranha Do Not Eat People
Mindblowing 3D Sidewalk Art
Paris Now - and Then
The Best of Russia 2012 Photography


Circumnavigating Iceland
Cycling Around Siem Reap
Kathmandu City Travel Guide
After Winter, Poland's Spring
10 Beautiful Beaches in Galicia
Winter at the Wave
A Guide to Hitchhiking in Burma


14 Ways to Spend Your Nights as a Solo Traveler

Cause of the Month

Snapshots of Global Hunger

Approximately 870 million people in the world do not have enough to eat. According to the UN World Food Programme (WFP), hunger is the world’s number one health risk, killing more people each year than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

Somalia: A famine was declared in Somalia in July 2011, the result of a drought a year earlier. War has also contributed. Things have improved but some 2.7 million people still go hungry.

Syria: Syrians have been fleeing their country’s civil troubles in the past two years. As a result hundreds of thousands of refugees are in camps and cannot provide for themselves. About a million people are unable to access food aid.

Mali: Mali is experiencing a food and nutrition crisis caused by a severe drought in 2011 and conflict. Some 335,000 people have been forced from their homes and millet and rice prices have skyrocketed.

How can you help?

Free Rice

World Food Programme

Save the Children

Freedom from Hunger

Next Month in Women on the Road NEWS?

Kaleena Quarles will bring you... Chocolate Travel!


© Leyla Giray. All rights reserved. Women on the Road™ News is published monthly. Reproduction of any material from this newsletter without written permission is prohibited.

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