Stories Of Summer : Travel Layouts By Kathy Passmore

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I have a goal of traveling to all of the National Parks in the United States. So far, I've been to 20.

Each time I return home I create a two-page spread, all of them done exactly the same way to keep it simple and focus on telling the story.

I am single, without children, so I thought these pages may represent another group of memory keepers. Also it's a great example that the memories and opportunities to document our lives don’t stop when the kids are grown.

For my National Park project pages, I take a lot of information about
the park itself from the pamphlet that the Park Service provides as well
as a book by National Geographic entitled Guide to the National
Parks of the United States
. I mention it at the bottom of the
journaling panel as the source the factual information about the park
was taken from.

Sequoia_Kings Canyon NPLR

I also include anything of interest that happened while I was there, or something that really stood out to me. For example, I'm convinced that the cabin I stayed in at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was haunted. I got locked out of my cabin in the middle of the night when I went to the bathhouse to use the bathroom, and had to climb in through the window. There was no way that lock should have locked. The next morning I took photos of the lock to tell a whole story about that experience on another layout (which I have yet to complete).

While on the road I use a little travel journal book I picked up at a stationery store called Vacation: The Travelers Journal which is purse/pocket size and measures 3”x5.” If I have a lot to say, then I’ll get out my laptop and create a word document. Other times I’ll use a piece of random scrap paper from my purse to write down something of interest.

Sometimes I don’t journal at all because there just isn’t time or I am too tired at the end of the day to write. In that case, I rely on the photos I take to help me remember the details, and I try to document my trip as soon as possible after I get back home while the memories are still fresh. I don’t beat myself up about it, I just do the best I can and move on.

In addition, I always carry a gallon size Ziplock bag on my travels to hold all of those ticket stubs, receipts, travel guides and other memorabilia I collect. I write on the bag in permanent magic marker the trip information and everything is in one place when I get ready to scrapbook.

Yosemite National ParkLR2

The National Park pages get done almost immediately after arriving at
home because I already have a template in place for scrapbooking these
pages, and all of the photos are 4x6. No agonizing decisions to make. I
feel such a sense of accomplishment with a system in place to document
these memories.

Another element to my travels is that I often go alone, which was REALLY hard to do initially, but I was determined not to let opportunities to travel pass me by, even if I had to go alone. Now I really cherish these times, when I can do exactly as I please, take as many photos as I want and be on my own timetable without worrying if I’m holding up anyone else. I try to remember to give the camera to a total stranger so that at least I am in some of the photos.

When someone else can go with me on these adventures, I am so happy for the company. My Mom and I just got back from an 11 day trip where we flew to Arizona and drove a car back here to Maryland with lots of stops on the way.

Dry TortugasLR

Also, I tend not to travel in the summer when the kids are out of school
because places get really crowded, and it’s invariably more expensive. I
am fortunate to have the opportunity to travel in off-peak times and
the shoulder seasons when it’s less crowded, and usually less expensive.

I had an “AHA!” moment while typing this — my National Park pages get done almost immediately because I already have a template in place to scrapbook these memories. I have so many photos, journaling and memorabilia from so many trips that haven’t been documented yet and the problem is lack of a template to get them scrapped and the overwhelming amount of photos and stuff that I tend to collect while traveling, and oh, all of that perfection stuff too... ;-)


29 thoughts

  1. Carrie H.

    2010-07-05 11:50:37 -0400

    I hope you are stamping the national parks passport as you go on your adventures ;o) Our kids LOVE to fill these out... and I must admit I love it too. I always stamp the stamp on a blank piece of paper in addition to the passports, so I can include it in our vacation scrapbook. Happy Summer!!!*Passport-To-Your-National-Parks*/

  2. dawn

    2010-07-05 12:02:14 -0400

    I really enjoyed your pictures especially since I don't travel. It is a good idea to make a quick template to use each time and will look great in your album that way. I went to your blog and saw all the cute stuff you have there also. your photos are amazing and you have a cute craft corner. I just recently got rid of 4 years worth of magazines that were piled up in my closet and love my new clean closet. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kate

    2010-07-05 12:02:44 -0400

    what a great goal! i have been to yosemite (from the UK) and if the rest are this fab then i might have to pinch your goal!!!
    i love that you keep the layout the same for each just so that you can get your story scrapped. I think I might have to do this for our summer holidays, 4 pages dedicated to the holiday. I never scrap holidays as there are too many photos and I always feel overwhelmed, this is a great Story ofSummer, thanks!

  4. Jackie Bremer

    2010-07-05 13:24:18 -0400

    Great job. We have passports going back to the date they started them - just started on our 6th book. Love the National Parks! Camped in them when we were young and when the kids were small. Now we are passing the adventure on to our grandchildren. Great way to scrap with the template and then go back to do the entire trip later!

  5. Koren

    2010-07-05 17:04:37 -0400

    yes!!!!! that's our goal too. just starting out though. 20 sounds great!
    I think I will use your template as well if you don't mind. Know I'm super pumped to start that traveling and that album. :)
    thanks for sharing

  6. Mel Kirk

    2010-07-05 18:49:37 -0400

    I have a template for a lot of repeated things - my kids birthdays, Christmas, travel pages.. I use the same one every time with different papers etc. Takes the thinking out of it, gets it done faster, and as I do my titles and journalling digitally lets me get the story down in the computer even if its months before I print it and scrap the photos. I like the uniformity in my albums and I am amazed when non-scrappers honestly do not notice that each spread is the same layout!

  7. slmnontec

    2010-07-06 02:39:20 -0400

    I love to travel! Last year I made pages of lists about my life, one of which was national parks I've visited. I've been to 30 but didn't document them. My research showed NEW parks in areas I had visited already. Good luck on visiting Alaska--too many parks to ever see in my lifetime! Great job setting goals and going for them. Great inspiration to travel alone!

  8. Sarah

    2010-07-06 02:45:05 -0400

    I, too, hope to someday visit all of the National Parks. (I always say that if I win the lottery, that is one of the things that is on my Bucket List.) Great scrapbook!

  9. Stacy Milford

    2010-07-06 03:09:18 -0400

    Awesome pages Kathy! LOVE your "get it done" attitude! & what a gift to travel, to document, to organize & to have an album to treasure! Well done!

  10. Amy W

    2010-07-06 03:59:14 -0400

    As a park ranger family, we also have this goal to get out and experience "America's Best Idea"-our national parks. Thanks Kathy, for sharing your pages! Your Dry Tortugas page brought back a lot of memories, and those arches at Fort Jefferson still amaze me! Keep visiting YOUR National Parks, Monuments, Historic Sites, Seashores, Scenic Riverways, Lakeshores, and Trails.

  11. Celina

    2010-07-06 04:18:38 -0400

    This is a great idea for an album! I would love to see more of America's national parks. Also, I don't have kids either, so it was refreshing to read about someone who shares my opinion that memories don't always revolve around children. You go, girl, with your traveling!!!

  12. tracee

    2010-07-06 06:37:49 -0400

    We are expats living in the US and we are big fans of the National Parks System. We have one of their passports to collect stamps on our visits, and our children very much enjoy completing Junior Ranger programs and collecting their badges, as well as blanket patches from the places we visit. One of these days I really must get on to the scrapbooking too! Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. Nina

    2010-07-06 07:04:00 -0400

    Love the layouts and ideas! I like the simple layout and the fact that you get it done right away; I have tons of photos on my hard drive of various National Parks/Monuments that I've visited, and your layouts have inspired to print them and get them scrapbooked! Plus, I am also a single gal without kids, and it's great to see layouts that aren't so kid-focused and better reflect my lifestyle :)

  14. kimberly

    2010-07-06 07:19:57 -0400

    Really love the ziplock/sharpie idea and that you document as you go. I have many of my great-grandmother's travel journals (little spiral Memo books she would buy at Woolworths) and I treasure the memories she recorded from the weather, what she ate and what it cost, to all the sights she was taking in. Thanks for sharing your pages and journeys!

  15. ~M~

    2010-07-06 07:21:27 -0400

    When I was in college I spent a summer working for the National Park Service at a park in Wash State so I am always interested in National Parks projects! These are LOVELY pages, lots of great photos and journaling, not mucked up with a bunch of "stuff" thrown on there.
    Ali, thanks for featuring some scrappers who are single and no kids. That's me too and a frequently feel like a ghost in this hobby and there is very little inspiration out there for people like me. I am so glad to investigate some bloggers who are in my same life situation and also love to scrapbook!

  16. Kathy Passmore

    2010-07-06 07:52:39 -0400

    Thanks to everyone for all of your inspiring comments.

  17. Kathy Passmore

    2010-07-06 07:53:45 -0400

    Yes, I cut a 12x12 page protector into 8 6" squares and stitched a pocket right onto my page.

  18. Donna C

    2010-07-06 11:03:04 -0400

    I have the same goal/dream - to visit all of the National Parks - so far I am at about 10 and hoping to add 2 more to the list this summer. My only regret is that I didn't get a passport earlier so I could get them stamped, but I'm going to fix that this summer too.
    Your post has really inspired me to scrapbook these travels! Thanks so much.

  19. Amanda

    2010-07-06 13:29:22 -0400

    Thanks Kathy for representing those of us who don't fit in the stereotype of Scrapbookers (Mum's and Grandma's). I am also single, without kids and love traveling. A lot of my layouts are about my travels but of course there are many pages dedicated to the kids I am "Aunty" to (by blood or friendship). Great Layouts.

  20. Lisa W.

    2010-07-06 17:34:23 -0400

    Wow Kathy...good for you! I actually am way jealous. How fun to travel and exactly "do" what you want to do and when you want to. I am so impressed with your layouts. I love simplicity. How wonderful you see the "beauty" in all your travels, with not just pictures but with journaling too. I love to scrap and hardly have time. I think I will make more time. Truly enjoyed your post.

  21. Jakki

    2010-07-07 03:46:04 -0400

    Can I say I so love the idea of traveling to the National Parks? It just makes sense to have that added to my Wish List of things to do! I love going to parks period so this would be fun to do...

  22. Amanda A

    2010-07-07 04:54:29 -0400

    I have the same goal to visit the National parks! What a fabulous idea!

  23. Carrie Woosley

    2010-07-07 08:28:15 -0400

    I just love to travel! I have tons of travel pictures and DUH! A template would have been a wonderful idea a long time ago! Thanks for the Aha!

  24. Anita

    2010-07-10 04:29:28 -0400

    LOVE this article! Love the simple template and way of documenting your travel adventures because it is simple and focuses on getting the information down while it is fresh and new and exciting.
    My husband and I enjoy visiting the national parks - they are a treasure!! Creating layouts is a way to reflect on the experience and remember the special moments. Looking at the pictures just makes me happy :-)
    Thank you SO much for sharing your process!

  25. Chatty Scrapper - MN

    2010-07-10 07:05:18 -0400

    Love your layouts. Great idea, I think that template thing & not being a perfectionist are key.
    I too have tons of travel stuff. Sadly not much of it actually documented. Using a template would be a great way for me to try to get though at least one layout per trip. I seem to have a hard time knowing where to start. That way at least some of it is documented. I have a bunch of digital templates, many made for 4x6 pics after taking a few classes at BPS. That would be a great way to use those templates & make it though my huge stash of travel stuff. I can always add other pages later if I ever get around to it. Or I can just purge most of the stuff I've been keeping, just in case, and move on once I have preserved some of the memories from my travels. I do have one trip I did get several pages done from & it felt so great, and they are so fun to look at. It was a case of getting it done soon after arrivng home, I think that was another key to my success in that project.

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