Buvette Masthead

Bringing holiday memories home

Tenele Conway

We live in a privileged time.

Travel is more affordable than it has ever been and if you need proof of that Qantas CEO Alan Joyce recently pointed out that a ticket to London in 1947 via the Kangaroo route used to cost the equivalent of 130 weeks average salary. A return ticket to London now costs less than the two weeks average salary. It is a luxury that is now affordable to almost everyone and Australians are taking advantage of that in droves.

All this opportunity comes with the quandary…when the holiday is over how do you preserve those memories so they can last you a lifetime?

With endless technology at our disposal, holiday memories seem to have become the victim the cyberculture we live in. Photos forever entombed in Facebook and Instagram and not in the real world. I have a few ideas to change that. These are all things I have done myself over the years. Some will require a crafty touch and others will suit those who haven’t held a pair of craft scissors since kindergarten.

But before you get all excited and pull out your dusty boxes of neglected craft supplies, I have a few tips to ensure you have some photos and items worth treasuring.

On the photo front, the number one rule is…make sure you are in the photo. And by that, I mean your face. Now I know it is Insta-cool to stare wistfully into the distance whilst someone takes a shot of you from behind but in 50 years time you are going to regret not being able to see the look on your face when you saw that sunset over the savannah or your grubby cheeks after devouring those street made tacos.

On the souvenirs front, keep them cheap and save your money for your next trip. I have a great tip for taking that $2 keyring or that $1 postcard and turning it into something that will spark memories that are so much more valuable than expensive souvenirs.

And lastly, hold on to those everyday items like ticket stubs, attraction leaflets and loose change. I can’t promise you what you can do with them will fit with the current trend of minimalism but I can promise you they will form a part of your travel history that is invaluable.

Okay, so now you have collected your photos (that include your face), your postcards, key rings, ticket stubs and foreign change you have a few directions you can go with it. You could do one of these or all of these. I have done all of them and every time I look at one of these items I am overwhelmed by the wonderful memories, points of time in my life that are now only as tangible as those items I retained.


Yes, this is so 2000 but it is still a great way to take your best photos, give them your creative touch, tell a story and to be able to enjoy them forever.

You can go two ways with scrapbooking: you can be a minimalist like I did with my photos from Egypt, black self-mount album, no colour or cardstock, just the photos, important information and a few bare essentials like the entrance tickets to the major sights. Or you can go full on Martha Stewart on those memories like I did with my 2004 Contiki tour of Europe. Neither way is right or wrong, it all depends on your personal taste.

Wall Art

Once your photos are in scrapbook albums they do tend to sit forgotten for years at a time. Not to say that when you crack them open you don’t get the most fabulous rush of memories but I would also recommend taking your most precious photos and displaying them in your home. You can print them on canvas, make an eclectic wall display with IKEA frames, print them on metallic paper and have them mounted and framed, hang them with gallery style lighting. Whatever way you choose you will love being reminded of fabulous memories.

Shadow Boxes

I only started creating shadow boxes very recently. I pulled out all of the shoe boxes of trinkets and postcards I had hidden away in the cupboard, went down to Typo and grabbed three shadow boxes on sale and basically started pinning the memorabilia to the removeable backings of the shadow boxes. There was very little layout or design in this process. I just wanted to display as much as I could in a small space.

Don’t be afraid to overlap, the layering effect is half the fun and be creative. I have pinned jewellery I no longer wear, cut out photos and used the base to display larger items that can’t be pinned. You will be surprised what you can fit these relatively small boxes and you can keep adding to them.

Treasure Trove

Ever since I started travelling I would toss loose change, bank notes and small trinkets from my travels in a Willy Wonka tin. Over the years the collection of foreign coins and odd items has grown and every now and then I like to tip it out and rummage through it.

Touching the objects is like a portal back to my travels. At the time I started this tin I just made use of a cute tin I had lying around but now I love the Willy Wonka reference. The decades of collected items brings a childlike sense of wonder.

Mapping your travels

I kind of have a thing for maps and globes. I have a large collection of both spanning time periods from the 30’s till now. I also have a few maps I have personalised. One maps out my travels. It is a simple laminated map on which I have marked out my trips.

The other is a large Costco map which I have pinned mini-photos of dishes I have both eaten around the world and cooked at home in an attempt to bring the world closer. This one is likely only for the rabid foodie like myself, you might have your own thing. Maybe you have a mascot who travels with you who you like to photograph in locations around the world. Why not print these up and pin them to a map so you have a visual reminder to fun times?


Tenele Conway

Tenele Conway is a veteran of the Canberra Travel industry having worked in retail travel stores around the city for well over decade. Taking full advantage of the perks of the job she has travelled the world primarily at the expense of others and when she isn’t zip lining in Guatemala or cruising the Nile she is bringing together her two passions of world cuisines and travel on her blog www.hungryplanetblog.com. With a cookbook collection worthy of an episode of 'Hoarders' she sees a future as a travelling cookbook author, look out Rick Stein. More about the Author