Expat Tips: Document the Journey
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
Although this might seem obvious, the easiest way to document your journey is through photos. Most phones nowadays have fairly decent cameras built into them, so you don’t have to fret about investing in anything expensive or lugging around a heavy piece of equipment. Just get out there and point and shoot at whatever sparks your interest!
Once you’ve captured some images that you’re proud of, don’t leave them to collect digital dust. Take the time to review your photos and consider getting them printed. If you have fond memories captured with friends, it might be a really thoughtful idea to get multiple copies printed and gift them as a keepsake.
Embrace the Digital Age
We very much live in the digital age of sharing. Whether it’s a funny thought we just had on Twitter, a life update on Facebook, or a cute day out on Instagram, millions of people across the globe are doing it. Utilize your social media platforms and use them as a tool which allows you to reflect on your adventure abroad. If you are concerned about your privacy or are just not one to share, most platforms have advanced settings, which allow you to decide who gets to see what.
Blogging is another great way to document your expat journey. It allows you to freely track what you’ve been up to and candidly share your experiences with friends and family. Even if you have not blogged before, you may find that you are more inspired to note down how you are feeling and all the moments you want to remember while you are abroad. It might even relieve some of the stress and homesickness that often comes with being away from home!
Keep a Journal
If blogging seems like too much of a commitment for you, another great way to keep track of your time abroad is to keep a journal. Whether you record your events daily, or only when something special occurs, is up to you. Even writing just a few sentences here and there on your most important moments will make a captivating read in months to come. If you are not a wordsmith, fear not! You can get creative and give scrapbooking a go. You could collect postcards, leaflets, museum tickets, or even try your hand at sketching!
Whatever method you chose, you might like to get yourself a diary/notebook that reflects where you are living. For instance, when I was living in Madrid, I bought myself a beautiful Spanish journal from a quaint local market. This way, I was always reminded of my time in Spain, even after I had moved on.
Turn Your Adventures into Film
Another fun way to track your adventure is by filming some of your best bits. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to get to grips with the many apps and software there is out there. For instance, the 1 Second Everyday app is really easy to use, and it prompts you (surprise surprise) to take a one-second long video every day. It then splices them together into an incredible video montage! Personally, I really like this app, as it really encourages you to get out and do something exciting each day.
Revive the Old Tradition of Postcards
There is something rather electrifying about sending postcards, and it has become somewhat of a tradition now that whenever I visit someplace new, I send one back home.
My personal preference is to find the cheesiest card within the shop, but if that’s not your humor then another thoughtful idea might be to use one of the many apps such as Postagram and Postsnap, which lets you turn your own travel photos into printed personalized postcards!
Create a Themed Playlist
Science has shown that listening to music can often evoke stronger memories than looking through old photos. You might want to consider creating a playlist packed with both power ballads and silver-lining tunes for times when you are feeling nostalgic. It might also be nice to include some local traditional songs, or music that you stumble across when you are out and about.
Regardless of which method you select to document your time abroad, just make sure you capture it in one way or another! Not only will your loved ones back home want to see what adventures you’re up to, but later on in life, you will be grateful for having a way to relive all those incredible memories.
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