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Recording Your Travels: Cameras, Journals...

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 12 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Gap Year Travel Abroad Recording Your

While you are busy making memories during your gap year, you'll probably also want some hard copy proof of your adventures that you can share with others and look back upon fondly. Cameras, video cameras, journals and scrapbooks are all fantastic methods of recording your travels for later entertainment.

Before you set off on your gap year, decide how you would like to document your journey and make sure you bring enough supplies to capture anything and everything you'll want to remember for life!


Cameras are a firm favourite for capturing holiday memories. Years ago bringing a camera on an overseas trip may have required a mountain of lenses and an avalanche of film, all contained nicely in protective coverings more expensive than the cost of your airfare, but today's digital cameras make taking tons of photos a snap.

Digital cameras may be more expensive than traditional cameras, however digital cameras do not require film, saving you valuable packing space. Instead, digital cameras capture images on a memory chip so that they can be uploaded to your computer as well as printed into hard copies.Digital cameras are powered by batteries, so investing in rechargeable batteries cuts down on extra luggage, the hassle of finding replacement batteries abroad, and the waste of discarded batteries.

Not only are digital cameras practical but they also offer extra functions that let you see your images and either save them or delete them to try again. They offer zoom features and flashes that mean you can capture images even if you are far away or in the dark.

Video Cameras

Though still generally referred to as "video" cameras, in this day and age personal recording devices have also gone digital with DVD camcorders as well. Camcorders, like digital cameras, run on batteries that are re-chargeable - thus cutting down on packing and also allowing you to recharge so you can capture also those exciting experiences.

Using your computer you can record your events chronologically and add your own narrative to record dates, locations and events. You can easily "burn" your movies to DVDs for all of your friends to watch or upload them onto the Internet.


If you prefer a non-technical option or have been advised to leave your electronics at home, another great way to record your travels is with an old-fashioned journal. The beauty of journaling is that regardless of if you are using a dedicated travel journal or a simple notepad, you can record:
  • Details of events, locations, sights, sounds and smells.
  • Thoughts and dreams.
  • Questions.
  • Notes to research or reflect upon later.
  • Sketches.
  • Creative writing - poems or stories inspired by your travels.
  • Character sketches of your fellow travellers.
  • Daily reviews.


You may need to wait until you return home to begin a scrapbook of your gap year, but this is a highly creative way to record your travel adventures. Scrapbooks themselves are simply interactive books in which you can keep anything that reminds you of your trip, including:
  • Postcards, letters or notes.
  • Photos.
  • Tickets.
  • Menus or napkins.
  • Hotel or hostel stationary.
  • Poems or short stories.
  • Sketches.
  • Stickers.
  • Beads.
  • Magazine collage.
  • Scraps of fabric.
  • Programmes.
Whether you're more point-and-click or creative collage, there is an option for recording your travels for any talent. Check with your gap year agency to see if it recommends any options, or if it recommends leaving any equipment at home, and don't forget to explore your insurance coverage in case of loss, theft or damage. Bring along a sturdy lock for storing your supplies in a hostel or shared room, and once you have all of these practicalities finished let loose your inner photographer, filmmaker, writer or artist. Have fun!

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Quite simply, most people are going to carry a laptop, digital camera and smartphone these days, and the chances are that the entire trip will be recorded for posterity on Facebook, with updates on Twitter. That's the way of it - pictures and impressions can always be printed up later, if need be. But this is the quickest way of sharing. If not in real time, then something pretty close to it. The world of social networking has changed everything, even gap years.
Darlene - 25-Jun-12 @ 11:44 AM
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