Experiencing Observation: Making Memories / by Mary Jennings

My new trend in travel is to not bring anything home except a clear memory of my experience.  In that case, I better pay attention.

When packing for a holiday in an exciting destination, I briefly entertained the thought of leaving room in my suitcase to accommodate all the great purchases from my travels I will need to bring home.  Then I remember that I am on personal campaign not to bring another thing into my house.  Being a person who creates thing from things and nothing, I am on battle with clutter and stuff.  I don’t want to make my battle any harder than it already is by bringing anything else to manage.  So that leaves me with the question. How do I remember my travels.  What will I show people?

Cover of travel journal, sketchbook for Jennings trip to Europe 2012

I’ve come up with the perfect solution.  I am able to capture every minute with full color, sound and vivid memory by mentally taking in every detail I can about the whole experience through careful observation.  Talking, laughter, smells, stories, frustrations, images, history and bits and pieces that will fit into a small, almost pocket sized sketchbook is how I preserve the memory and experience of my travels.

I’m in the process of creating this now for a trip I enjoyed with my family this past Winter Break.  We went to Europe.  We visited Brussels, Belgium; London, England and Paris, France in a period from December 24, to December 30.  It was an extremely face paced trip and I am so glad I didn’t feel torn about spending my time in souvenir shops.  We all took tons of photos and thinks like tickets, labels and tags will become future art and will contribute to the finished book of observations from the entire travel experience.  It will reflect the voice and show the hand of the people who experienced it first hand.

I have done these types of sketchbooks before.  I have a video on youtube expressing how the book was created and the mindset behind it.  Since I am still in the process of creating my lovely travel journal sketchbook from Europe, I will share with you the Sketchbook Project 2012.  This documents the release of my childhood home and the transformational struggles that went with it.  At the time this blog was posted, this YouTube video has over a thousand views.

In closing, I would like to encourage the act of experiencing observation to collect information or data that will serve you in some capacity in the future.  It is certainly better than a shot glass with the British flag on it.  I’m just saying.  One (the shot glass) can be broken or lost and might be a headache (or the cause of one) to have around, the other (journal sketchbook) can be enjoyed and shared with a broad audience through generations and will inspire and encourage growth of the head and heart.

 

Note: This is part two of a six part series.  You can find part one of six here.