I do one thing that is quintessentially, quirky-me everywhere I travel; it’s the one thing I do every trip I take whether it’s a city minutes away or a further flung region of the world. Whether it is a photo-strip app, or same pose in different regions, ordering gelato in the local language, or taking photos with your plush friend on vacations here’s some ideas to start doing your own thing anywhere you go. So I present to you, “One Thing Everywhere You Travel.”
Unbeknownst to me, it started years ago. In 2010 when Verizon finally started to carry the iPhone I happily traded in my LG Chocolate (whoa, flashback!) in favor of a phone that could do much more. I excitedly downloaded dozens of photography apps, including two photo-strip ones. You know, a nod to photos of yesteryear or what’s considered a novelty picture booth at a trendy, posh NYC restaurant these days. (The Standard Grill, right underneath The High Line in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan comes to mind). On a high tech phone, it’s a kind of juxtaposition to modern technology. The kickback to a strip of four photos, with four different poses, in a matter of seconds is a one-two punch I enjoy. I’m a goofball and the photo-strip concept brings my goofiness out WHILE capturing the silliness that ensues.
Though the appeal to those two apps was instantaneous, I didn’t realize it would become such a staple of travels until I saw a trend begin to form with each trip I took. The apps are Pocketbooth and Incredibooth (by Hipstamatic). For whatever reason, perhaps because I favor the app design, I still have both on my phone though always use Pocketbooth.
Sometimes I want to capture something as simple as a night out in my local neighborhood, or doing a puzzle at home or something a bit more unique and as memorable as Niagara Falls or time at a jungle lodge in Belize. Sure, I do it in my phone’s normal camera and on my pro Nikon as well. But the photo-strip has become a novelty common denominator of my travels. I can look at the same confines of a long rectangular photo crop, divided into a handful of photos, and see the giggles and sites I’ve experienced over time. If I take a two week trip, maybe I partake in 5-7 Pocketbooth sessions the whole trip; it’s worth it.
Here are some examples:
I love being able to look back at them. You can even print them through the app and have them mailed to you. Or, do what I do and add them into the general photo folders from your trip on your computer. When I create a vacation photo book I include them.
An added bonus for me is they’re no fuss from an editing standpoint. I never edit them. Ever. No post-processing lighting adjusts, no re-cropping. Nada. They forever remain AS SNAPPED.
Whatever your version, try to begin doing one thing every trip that you’ll continue to do each time you go out or getaway if you don’t already have a tradition.
Here’s some ideas I’ve brainstormed from seeing other travels partake or simply dreamed up myself:
- photograph a portable stuffed animal on every trip
- take pictures of your tattoo wherever you go, background included for context
- take a mini Polaroid camera with you and snap physical prints you collect – Fuji’s Instax camera is a popular option
- do the same pose, everywhere – for a lot of people it’s the ever popular JUMPING! pose.
Kerri and Chris of Passport Penguin wrote:
When we first started dating ten years ago we watched E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and have been affectionately touching index fingers ever since. This gesture is our way of connecting and showing affection and we now incorporate this into our travel memoirs by taking an “ET finger” photo at each landmark we visit. After completing a one-year trip around the world we put together a video of over one hundred such photos. This tied together our travels in a way special and unique to our relationship and without any bad hair or shut eyes to contend with! Check out the video below or here.
I just love some of the cheeky “ET finger” pictures they have in there. Did you catch the one with the elephant trunk?
Chantal of Translating Traveler does one thing locally in the native language:
Wherever I go, I always try to have at least one small conversation in the local language. Order ice cream in Italy, haggle over the price for a souvenir in Egypt or ask for directions in Mexico. It’s my little challenge for each destination.
I’ve already dreamed of speaking every language. If ordering gelato in Italian could get me to the sweet treat faster I would definitely do it! Sign me up!
Ana of Travels of Plushy added:
When I started going out more often, whether it was for the weekend or for a whole holiday, I felt bad leaving Plushy alone at home (a childhood toy of my boyfriend). Thus I decided to make room for Plushy in my backpack (he has the main pocket, so he can see the world)…though he has aches to pay on long-hauls when I use him as neck support!
Having Plushy makes it easier to break the ice, as people find him interesting/cute/adorable/bizarre and they come to talk to me about him. We started a debate with a little girl and her family in France, if Plushy is a dog or a bear. Several (very old) ladies in Japan wanted to keep Plushy. Our trekking friends in Myanmar asked if he was enjoying the view from my backpack. We had a cup of coffee in Venice, were warned by Tea Shop guys that the beverage was hot in Warsaw. And in Martinique the scuba dive coach asked if Plushy could keep her cat company while we were diving. And many other cute experiences. Plushy’s my travel buddy; I take him everywhere and take photos with him around the world.
You won’t regret doing one thing everywhere you travel, especially years from now – it’ll be amazing to look back and see where you did in your lifetime and be able to have this self-determined “common denominator.”
Do you have “one thing” you do? Let us know in the comments!