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Creating Stronger Travel Memories

Most people know me as an adventurer, someone they perceive as living life to the fullest. But one of my tricks for doing that is to take mindful steps to appreciate the moments I am in so that I can remember them forever.

The hustle and bustle of travel sometimes leaves us returning home from our trips with blurred memories. We arrive home with a suitcase ready to be unpacked, souvenirs for our loved ones and lots of pictures. But did we make time to create and capture those beautiful moments in our minds?

We are often moving from point A to point B and focused on keeping up with our itineraries. When reflecting on our recent travels, we are left with a feeling of exhaustion trying to recall our highlights. So, how do we create memories that don’t fade that we can reflect on for years to come?

Try my tips for creating strong travel memories. Use these to help you appreciate your trips more, and share them with your travelers too.

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Stepping out of your comfort zone is a sure way to create an everlasting memory. Dance when you would usually stay seated. Try a new local food. Laugh with a stranger on the trip with you. Take that snorkeling tour the cruise line offers. Whatever it might be, try stepping out of your comfort zone at least once per trip. Those moments are always the most memorable. Even if you don’t like the food or you step on your dance partner’s feet, it will be a memory to reflect on and a story to laugh about.

Engage Your Senses

Find a moment once a day during your travels to pause and use your senses. Stop, listen to the noises around you, smell the air and touch something close to you. Take notice of your surroundings and taste something if you can. Pop into a favorite local bakery, stroll through the city park, take note of the busy sidewalk downtown. Wherever you are, pause and take full notice of all your senses. I promise this trick will help you to remember that moment for years to come.

Allow Giant Expressions of Emotions

Have you ever walked by a street performer and just really enjoyed their performance? Or tasted a dessert that made your mouth water for the next bite? When these things happen, don’t hold back your feelings of joy; instead, allow yourself to express the emotions of those moments. The more you indulge in the moments we enjoy, the more likely you will savor them and recall them fondly later.

Review or Journal the Day at Bedtime

When you get in bed at the end of the night, take time to walk through everything you did that day. A reminder of the day always helps for future recall. Many travelers choose to journal at the end of the day, which allows them to recall the day’s events as they are writing and save a hard copy for future reference. Replaying and or journaling will help you keep your memories in order and not mix up your days. We have all been on trips when we couldn’t remember when or where we did a specific activity. Keep your thoughts and memories straight with an end-of-the-day review.

Any one of these techniques will help you retain travel memories better. But employing all of them will help you immerse yourself in those memories.

Your memories can have sound, smell, depth and texture. You can feel the joy you felt when you laughed out loud. And you can arrive home from your next trip with vivid memories you’ll enjoy for the rest of your life.

Ashley Runyon

Ashley Taylor is a longtime bank and travel club planner. She lives in Ashland, Kentucky, with her family of six.