In this information age riddled with vlogs, filters and apps-for-everything, choosing how to document your trip can feel like a journey in itself. Fear not, we’ve collected some insider tips from seasoned travellers so you can stop worrying about documenting your memories, and start making them.
1. Plan Ahead
While this seemingly flies in the face of creative spontaneity, committing to taking 5 pictures a day will keep your images consistent and varied, forcing you to focus on details you might otherwise miss. When you’re back home it’ll be the faces of local people, collections of unusual vegetables in market stalls and rural villages that will make for a collection of thought-provoking images. Make sure you keep them safe too; saving batches of photos to the cloud during your trip means no disappointments lest your phone or camera meet an unfortunate end or your temple selfies are deleted by monkeys.
2. Do it for You
Your followers might be dying to see that plate of delicious food from multiple angles, but remember to take photos for yourself. While it’s easy to slip into Insta-mode, be sure to ditch the filters for at least some snaps and keep a handful of memories personal. You’ll thank yourself later.
3. Pick up the pen
Although you might feel more comfortable with a pressure cuff in your hands, picking up a pen and writing a few short sentences each day will make for captivating reading in months ahead when it’s time to re-discover your time abroad. You could keep it fresh by writing in themes; list new dishes you’ve tried, phrases you’ve learnt or the weirdest things you’ve seen. If you fancy yourself a wordsmith, we also publish Case Studies which are always received with relish.
4. File Away
When you’re abroad it’s just a crumpled bus ticket, but at home transforms into an evocative memento. Whether you’ve a penchant for pamphlets or postcards, slip a few into the back of a notebook (or small accordion folder if you’re prepared) for safekeeping.
It’s also worth asking for recipes. While a raw fish dish probably won’t taste the same from your student kitchen in Leeds, it’ll rekindle fond memories of the people you shared it with in sunny Iloilo. Jokes aside, you might discover a new way to use a spice or stumble upon your next culinary speciality.
5. Get Techy
You don’t need to be a tech genius to get to grips with one of the many video apps on offer. ‘1 Second Every Day’ prompts you to film – wait for it – one second every day, which is then compiled into a chronological collage at the end of your trip. For the more ambitious vlogger, try 8mm, the movie app used by Oscar nominated director Malik Bendjelloul after funding ran dry for his documentary ‘Searching for Sugar Man.’
Be sure to send your cinematic endeavours to us and we’ll share them. Here’s one a student made last year, armed with only his iPhone and evident affection for viral content.
Travelling with us means living in a shared house with students from all over the world, so you’ll probably create some shared memories. At the end of your trip, try writing a list of favourite moments with your new buddies. No doubt they’ll dig up some old chestnut you had totally forgotten before you’ve even made for the airport.
As always, we love hearing your stories and adventures from all over the world. Whether it’s a personal blog, photo essay or filmic feat, be sure to send them in to us and use #worktheworld on social media.