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A list of how you can make use of your travel ephemera and keepsakes.

I’m a hoarder of memories.

As I eat up experiences, I take a big chunk, too, as a takeaway. Why not? It’s free. Apart from the ephemera I collect along the way, I take photos (and a bit of video clips) like crazzzy. Afraid to miss out on a detail, in a desire to keep all memories intact. For me to have something to go back to, to relive the moment.

“We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone…”

While there are so many ways to collect travel memories, as I’ve mentioned earlier, our main ones remain to be the photos and clips we took. I, myself, is a guilty hoarder and a pro-archiver. By pro-archiver, I have thousands of photos living on my phone and hard drive, gathering tech dust. All being used as a “throwback” photo. For each and every trip, I would always make a promise to journal it properly, but somehow, that promise would often go forgotten. Shame, I know.

With a will to give my travel takeaways a home, I decided to do some travel journaling and organizing research. What works, what doesn’t. I’ve read a number of articles, browsed through so many Instagram photos, pinned pegs on Pinterest, and whatnot. I’ve scoured through the web, all the possible resources— everything. But of course, what works for others, might not work for me. Or what works for me, might not work for you. So the real deal here is doing the work, aka, testing out the options and see what works for you best.

But here’s a run-down of how you can possibly organize your keepsakes. Mind you, this is basically just a list of what you can do. Things I’ve found on the web. And a bit of tips from my end. No step-by-step. No specific details. Treat this as a keepsake menu, and not a cookbook. If you want the specifics of my travel journaling, let me know, and I might do just that!


When traveling, I use my phone and camera to take photos and clips. I also bring film ones with me, for moments I consider ~extra-special~.

Below are the cameras I take with me. It might seem a lot, but all of it have different uses. But on busy tour days, I would just bring one camera and my phone; Nikon D7100 with 35mm lens.

  • iPhone 6+ – 128gb
  • Nikon D7100 (with 35mm and 18-105mm lenses) – (4) memory cards = (2) 16gb and (2) 8gb
  • Fujifilm X-A2 (w/ 27mm and 16-50mm lenses)
  • Lomography Instant + 20 instax films
  • Kodak Disposable Camera


At the end of the trip, most of the time, I would’ve used up my phone’s memory and ALL the memory cards I bring with me. Yes! So just imagine how many photos I took. For convenience and filing productivity, I would bring my laptop and hard drive with me. Sometimes, the whole trip isn’t over yet and my space are all  used up, so I would have to transfer files and reformat cards.

I figured, I have to have a strategy and filing system. I would collect all photos in one folder. Organize it by date. Then transfer it to folders, label it with the date. Then inside the folder, I would transfer all the video clips into another folder. In this way, it would be easier for me to go back to that day, rather than looking for a certain trip on a pile of photos!


  • Instagram: On my last trip, I managed to do digital journaling, by posting a photo every day via my Instagram. I would pick a photo, edit it, then post it with a little story as a caption. By doing so, my engagement online hiked up. I was even featured on a recognized local account! Also, this type of real-time journaling made me feel good after the trip, in a sense that it instantly gives me a run-down of what happened.

A list of how you can make use of your travel ephemera and keepsakes. A list of how you can make use of your travel ephemera and keepsakes. A list of how you can make use of your travel ephemera and keepsakes.

If you want to know my favorite photography mobile apps, let me know and I can share with you my top picks!

  • Project Life: this is the modern scrapbook. A digital one, so you can do it anytime, anywhere. This app gives you free spreads, journaling cards and writing fonts.

A list of how you can make use of your travel ephemera and keepsakes.

  • iMovie: You can just drop in your footage here, put music, and voila, a no-fuss travel video. You can see some of my videos here.
    A list of how you can make use of your travel ephemera and keepsakes.
  • Evernote: You can take note of your travel and write some short & random memoirs if you please, and save it conveniently on your phone. So when you need to work on  a blog post or you are in need of a photo caption, your evernotes can easily be your reference. You can even insert photos! I like to use mine on a day-to-day basis. I like to create a new notebook, label it as the name of my trip and then I will log on it every day, with the date as a note title.
    A list of how you can make use of your travel ephemera and keepsakes.
  • Calendar: To make future journaling easier, you can log the happenings on your calendar, like the places you visited, so when the journaling and memory sorting out day comes, you won’t get confused remembering what happened. This one’s connected to your Google account, too.
    A list of how you can make use of your travel ephemera and keepsakes.
  • Tumblr: If you don’t fancy blogging,but would like to keep an online journal, you can create a Tumblr account. This one works with your phone, too. You can do digital journaling here. No pressure of hosting, nor memory limit, just simply documenting your travels. You can be as raw as you want to be, since you can set-up  password! So no one can access it, but you and the people you give your access to.
    A list of how you can make use of your travel ephemera and keepsakes. A list of how you can make use of your travel ephemera and keepsakes.

As of writing, I am honestly way behind my journaling. My daily journal and Happy Planner, has been empty since 3 months back. Even my daily logging on Filofax and Evernote has been left behind. While there are a LOT OF FREE WAYS TO DOCUMENT LIFE, it all boils down to your commitment. Commitment to make documenting a habit. Commitment to really do it.

Now, I am accountable to YOU. I have to work on my travel journals, and I promise to share it with you here! Do you want to hear my travel stories? Let me know here!

What about you? Do you like hoarding memories and ephemera from your travels? How do you make use of them? Feel free to share your travel journals with me, as I would love to have a look at them… and also TIPS as to how I can effectively work on my journal. You can leave a comment below or you can email me. I’d love to talk to you!


  • Serica


    This is so useful, Jean! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jean

      Hey, Serica! No worries. Glad to be of help.

  • Hannah


    Yay! Gonna download evernote. Thanks for sharing, Jean Therese! 🙂

    • Jean

      Yay, Hannahbanana! It’s free and can be accessed offline, unless you require additional storage, then there’s a small fee. But it would be a big help. So worth it!

  • Jae


    When I first moved here in the US last year, I had the dream of traveling to neighboring cities, something I didn’t do often back in Manila. A year and a half later, I never would’ve thought that I’d be able to go to more places than all my in-laws have combined.

    • Jae

      Somehow, my blog transitioned to cover most of our travels, hence I blog about my “travel diaries,” which are exactly recaps of what transpired from our trips. I find it rewarding to inspire people through my travel experiences, albeit only within the US.

      P.S. For whatever reason, I couldn’t write my reply in one comment box. Sorry for the comment break!

      • Jean

        Hi, Jae! I wouldn’t mind the comment breaks! Anyways, we share the same – would you believe, I have’t even gone out of Luzon. Batangas was the farthest I’ve been! But when I moved abroad, I’ve been to so many places and I couldn’t be any happier. Traveling has opened my eyes. But now, with all these travels, gotta deal with archives. Hahaha

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