Updated: Aug 22
My love for travel started long ago. I was 14 years old, and as an only child, my father had a business trip to Germany. So, we packed up our little family of three and toured nine European countries. As an army private during the Vietnam War, my dad had been stationed in Bamberg, Germany, and visiting where my young parents had once made memories, coupled with the thrill of experiencing different countries, made quite the impression on me.
I enjoy documenting my travel memories, and my mom still has a paper envelope filled with European snapshots that my 14-year-old-self took with a 110 Kodak camera. Back then, you had to print things to see what they looked like, and I can still hold those images in my hand.
I’ll always attribute my love for travel to that first trip, and my dad in particular. Now my wanderings include experiences in philanthropy, pleasure, and travel freelance writing. To say I love to travel is a bit mild. I have a massive passion for soaking in other cultures and learning more about them – and myself – in the process. 2020 quickly filled up with trips I couldn’t wait to take, and I was also asked to lead a trip to Portugal.
AND THEN THE UNEXPECTED HAPPENED
No matter if you enjoy a quick jaunt to the beach for a week of a family vacation or have an insatiable worldwide wanderlust, it’s safe to say that 2020 caused it to come to a disappointing halt. Heading anywhere, that was deemed unnecessary, got crossed off of everyone’s list, not just mine. I began to scour websites and travel books for inspiration to fill the void left by canceled trips, and I soon turned to my stash of images.
With digital cameras and smartphones, we have the instant gratification of seeing our snaps immediately and retaking them if they aren’t quite right. My phone, camera, and computer are filled to the brim with images from my journeys. I don’t scroll through them often, and – honestly – I don’t do anything with my pictures. Instead of merely living on our iPhones, we should surround ourselves with the happy memories we made. So, I decided to do precisely that.
AND THEN I GOT INTRODUCED TO SIMPLEPRINTS.
I heard of SimplePrints and wanted to try their service. After all, downloading the photo prints app and creating tangible keepsakes of my trips seemed effortless enough. And it was. It was such a pleasant surprise that SimplePrints has the capability to connect to my Dropbox as my images weren’t stored on my phone. It was painless to transfer images to create both a canvas print and a custom photo book.
With a name like SimplePrints, I expected the process to be flawless (it was), but what I didn’t expect was how emotional it would be to go back through my photos. I decided to create a travel photo book based on a trip I took to Nevada. The process of going back through my pictures ignited a flow of travel memories that were beginning to fade, which caused a flood of feelings.
Back in June of 2019, I did something so out of the ordinary for me. As a writer, I went on the Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive, which involved riding a horse for five days straight. I don’t ride – actually, I had never ridden – so my emotions on that trip ranged from excited to wishing I had never boarded the plane. About halfway through that journey, I learned so much about myself that I became extremely grateful to be a part of that experience. You can read all about it here.
As I chose the photos to go in my travel photo album, I reminisced. I cried. I laughed, and I longed for the friends I had made. I even missed my horse, Guru. I relieved my journey in a new way, and with an appreciation of the personal transition I had while on the cattle drive.
Another destination came to mind – a place I love that is filled with decades of happy travel memories. I don’t know what it is about Niagara Falls. Maybe it’s the view or the height of the water. It could be the atmosphere surrounding the area, which is filled with energy as people stand in awe. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I get such a positive feeling every time I think about the falls.
In July of 2019, I was able to visit the area with my youngest daughter. It was just the two of us, and one of the highlights was a helicopter ride at Niagara Falls. I could not get over how beautiful and powerful they seemed from up above. I was thrilled with the aerial photos I took and having one to display could bring back all of those travel memories. So, I decided to order a personalized canvas print of a picture I took as I looked down on the falls. I wanted to be able to make that image a part of my daily life by displaying it while being reminded of precious family memories. AND THEN CAME FLOODS OF MEMORIES
When my shipment arrived – less than two weeks later – I couldn’t wait to open them! Everything arrived in perfect condition and was even more beautiful than I had expected. I adored the photos transformed into photo books, Canvas print. Holding them in my hands and reminiscing about the trip was something that brought back another wave of memories. I couldn't wait to display the photo prints in my home and share them with others who have asked about my travels.
Maybe you are mourning the postponement of a trip. If you are like me, you have a plethora of photo memories living on devices that deserve to be seen. You may even just have a bit of extra time on your hands and want to make a keepsake for yourself or a loved one. All of these are perfect reasons to create your own tangible memories through photo prints while we are waiting to get out and explore the globe once again.
So, I encourage you to scroll through your phone or download images from your camera and transform them whether your travel memories are stored on your tablet or on your DLSR’s memory card, let SimplePrints take care of you. Finally, you can print memories and cherish them for years to come. I’m grateful I took that step, and I hope you do, too.
GUEST BLOGGER: JENNIFER PRINCE
Jennifer Prince lives in VA with her husband, kids, and kitties. Beyond writing, she enjoys vintage things, exploring her hometown, and finding content for her travel blog.