RELIVING YOUR LOVE FOR TRAVEL WHILE YOU STAY AT HOME
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 travels, 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 for philanthropy, pleasure, and 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. My 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 CAME THE UNEXPECTED
No matter if you enjoy a quick jaunt to the beach for a week of 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 CAME SIMPLEPRINTS.
I had heard of SimplePrints and wanted to try their service. After all, downloading an app and having tangible memories 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 memory 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 photo book based on a trip I took to Nevada.. The process of going back through my pictures, ignited a flow of 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 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 drive.
But another destination came to mind – a place I love that is filled with decades of happy 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 over the 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 memories. So, I decided to order a 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 and while being reminded of precious times with my family.
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 that I had taken, but holding them in my hands and reminiscing about the trip was something that brought back another wave of memories. I can’t wait to display them in my home and share them with others who have asked about my travels.
Maybe you are mourning the postponement of a trip. Possibly you are like me and have a plethora of images 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 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. Whether your memories are stored or your tablet or on your DLSR’s memory card, let SimplePrints take care of you. Finally, you can print your memories and have them to cherish for years to come. I’m grateful I took the 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.