Weekend Assignment: Travel Memorabilia
Oh hey! You know all that summer holiday memorabilia? The tokens you collected excitedly whilst you were sojourning here and there? And then burrowed away in some inconspicuous suitcase pocket or other? You know; the ticket stubs, menus, hotel concierge maps with incoherently scribbled directions (inevitably to a place serving food most nearest the hotel), paper napkins, business cards, plastic hotel keys–you know the ones.
When you unpacked you shoved them somewhere and carried on with your life. That means (guess!) they’re still there–sitting, waiting for the day three years from now when you’ll discover them again, realize you don’t need a plastic, standard issue hotel key, a handout on zip-lining (which you never did do, by the way) and toss them away.
But you know what? Instead of that whole three years from now thing (optimistic, I am) better just do it now. This weekend or right now, while you’re thinking about it, and while you’ve had just enough time to determine what elements are truly memorable from your trip, which places you really want to remember, and which scraps can just be scrapped.
In the grand tradition of Confucius or Cher Horowitz and also definitely neither one of those people, I say unto you: “use it or lose it.”
Along those lines, there’s the favorite challenge around here that goes something like, “If you really love it that much, you’ll have no problem at all putting it in a frame and staring at it every day on your wall, will you?”
If you’re not quite that attached to the travel memorabilia, you might choose the most precious, memory-charged materials from the bunch and at least keep them together. A little binder ring will do, so says Martha, and for those craftier/more patient folk (My Wanderlist I’m looking at you) a travel binder.
At long last, my favorite recommendation care of Ciera Design. This savvy traveler proves that if you do steps 1. arrange all your various travel memorabilia into one scene, and 2. capture those many disparate elements in one photograph, you can then proceed to 3. (ding, ding, ding!) Relieve yourself of the need to physically keep all the pebbles, postcards, and sugar packets. Since they’re better all together, anyway.
The truth is that the best moments from your trips–the ones that will stay with you forever in memory because they were that exceptional, that moving, that unusual–will do so effortlessly, without the need of a matchbook or a brochure to prompt you to recall. The stronger you hold that moment in your mind, the less your need to hold onto the physical item associated with it.
Annie Traurig was born with the ability to see order through clutter. As a child, she spent playdates organizing friends’ closets and packing their duffle bags for summer camp.
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