I want to think of myself as a traveler, not a tourist. While a typically organized girl like me would often opt for a well planned itinerary, a few spontaneous decisions here and there never hurts. Yes, it would require me to painstakingly adjust my timetable and some tasks, but it’s when you immerse yourself in the daily lifestyle of the locals that you really get to experience the authenticity of your trip.
It could mean taking the wrong bus and ending up quickly purchasing a cute top or two from Zara, or doing grocery shopping at M&S and piling chocolates in your basket until you realize you can’t carry it anymore, or trusting your GPS only at the last minute and running for dear life to catch a coach going to “Hogwarts.” It’s these little adventures and misadventures that make a traveler.
Luckily for me, I get to document my England shenanigans through a tangible, scented scrapbook I could hold (and even smell) whenever I want to as opposed to putting up a journal through social media. My sister at Kaeratana, who also enjoys scrapbooking, got me this vintage-inspired photo album last Christmas, fittingly a few weeks after I got my UK Visa!
Needless to say, each time I was out to capture a scene throughout my travel, I often find myself thinking, “This will definitely be in the album.” Aside from a camera phone and a point and shoot camera, I got me an Fuji Instax as I thought it would be clever to instantly have the photos in hard copy without goingthrough the hassle of having them printed. However, the weather in London didn’t seem to cooperate. The Instax was most likely to produce filmy images, the foggy climate must have damaged them within seconds.
That kind of thing would normally bother me as I always want things to go perfectly. However, I knew then that I would just have to figure out a way to get more things documented without feeling obliged to do it. It was easy. I have always been fond of collecting tickets, stubs, postcards, and even candy wrappers after all.
It wasn’t until about three weeks after returning home to Cebu that I finally got the time to work on scrapbooking. So with my rolls of washi tape, a bunch of stickers I got from my ever reliable sister, and some labels and stamps I bought throughout the trip, I locked myself in my room (like I often do) and began losing myself in my little world of glues, scissors, and cutouts.
scrap·book (skrăp′bo͝ok′) A book with blank pages used for the mounting and PRESERVING of pictures, clippings, or other mementos.
For added visuals, I decided to print selected photos using our home printer. I was more inclined to printing them right away rather than going to the mall to get them printed. I didn’t even wait for the photo papers my dad was initially planning to buy, because that’s just how I am: I don’t ever want to lose the momentum. I call it focus. They call it stubbornness.
From sketches me and my adorable niece made, to the room card key jacket at Double Tree Suites at Cambridge, to the wristbands that entitled me to sneakily dip my finger in the Roman Baths, the scrapbook highlighted the memories I know I’d always want to cherish from my three-week sojourn. It was the farthest I’ve been from home and it definitely was the best trip I’ve had in my life so far.
It was not just about prehistoric monuments or magical behind-the-scenes experience. It was not even about being wickedly awed by a witch hitting high notes or being astounded by an apple tree where the Law of Universal Gravitation was being conceived. It was simply about discovering things and getting lost on my own and not being scared about it, knowing that my family was just waiting for me… at Vauxhall Station.
It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. ― Ernest Hemingway
And for that, thank you, England! ♥