The Travel Bug, which led to…
When I graduated from University in 1994 I treated Seona and Mum to a trip to Europe as a Graduation present. It was fitting I think, since my graduation was definitely a team effort.
It was a fabulous trip, introducing us to Amsterdam, Paris, Venice, a return to Malta as well as an exploration of Southern England and Ireland. And guess what? I took photos!
However I hadn’t discovered scrapbooking yet so I just popped them into an album with photo pockets and kept it on the bookshelf. And even that was a major achievement for me.
But that trip really whetted my appetite for travel, especially European travel. I had traveled in South East Asia when I was married and had taken Seona to California and Florida (yes, we’re Disney groupies…including EuroDisney), which were great trips. But for me, Europe was where it was at. And I went back there every chance I could get. Hmm shame I’ve chosen to live on the opposite side of the planet.
A quick trip back to Ireland in 1997 was followed by an eight week Celtic Adventure in 2000 with Seona and our good friends Thatch and Jools, exploring the wilds of England, Scotland, the Orkneys, Ireland and a little bit of Wales.
Then in 2003 I went on a driving tour around regional France with a girlfriend who lived in London. It was a great trip and I really enjoyed seeing the ‘real’ France. When I came home I had a travel diary which I had written on my Palm PDA and printed out. I bought my first digital camera for the trip, so I had a CD of all the photos I had taken and I had a plastic bag containing all the ticket stubs, pamphlets etc I had gathered along the way.
…my Introduction to Scrapbooking
It really bugged me that I couldn’t see all three components of my holiday memories together and really get into the feeling of the trip again. A couple of years previously I had been to a Creative Memories class but I hadn’t found it at all that inspiring so I certainly did not consider scrapbooking as the way to revive my holiday mojo. But whilst at a friend’s house one day, I glanced at a scrapbook magazine that she had bought (mainly for the free DVD it came with). And I was amazed at how excited I felt looking at the layouts displayed.
This would really be a great way to pull together all my holiday memories into one place that I could browse through and relive those great times. But could I do it? I was convinced that I was not remotely creative so how could I produce layouts that would inspire me like the ones I was seeing in the magazine?
Well nothing venture, nothing gain. I bought some cardstock, a glue stick, and a paper cutter and started printing out my photos and putting together my first scrapbook album. I used my travel diary as the framework and copied chunks of it to provide the journaling for the photos. My embellishments were very simple and largely consisted of different arrangements of matts and cardstock strips behind the photos and a row of gold fleur de lys that I stamped on each page.
But I was so pleased with how the final album turned out! I couldn’t believe I had managed to produce something like that by myself. When I look at that album now (and I still do browse through it regularly) I still feel good about it, even though I have come a long way in my scrapbooking style since then.
I started a Life Chronicles album of Seona’s life. So much more interesting than just a bunch of photos in a photo album. That’s when I realised how photo poor I was. That’s when it hit me that all those years had slipped by and there was no record of the fun and the joy and the great times there had been. Both my parents have passed on and I mourn the lack of photos I have of them to evoke all those wonderful family memories. Memories slip away so very easily without those triggers to spark them and keep them alive.
Needless to say I photograph everything that stands still these days and several things that don’t. I try to scrap as much of life as I can because I know that when Seona looks back at life after I am gone she will hunger for the triggers for all those memories.
Part 3 of the story to be continued.