“Get it now,” my husband insisted.
“No, I’ll get it later when we come back from our trip.”
“If you don’t get it now, you’ll never do it.”
We were outside the 100 yen store. My husband suggested making a scrapbook documenting our trip — my five-year old daughter and I will be going to Manila for my sister’s wedding.
I ran into the store and found exactly what I was looking for: a ring bound scrapbook with 12 thick sturdy sheets, perfect for a trip that’s less than a week long. There’s a woodblock print of a vintage camera on the cover and “Remember these moments” scribbled underneath. At 108 yen with tax, it was perfect. I tossed it into my handbag along with our passports.
As we plunged into our trip, my daughter and I collected free things we can put in our scrapbook — our boarding passes, clippings from the airplane magazine, paper placemats, calling cards and napkins from the restaurants we ate at. In lulls throughout the trip and whenever I had access to a pair of scissors, some glue, and a pen, we worked on the scrapbook. When we don’t have anything to glue, we drew and doodled what we wanted to remember. I wrote short entries. Little by little, day by day, our scrapbook pages filled up. Some places we went to had instant photo prints (i.e. the play area at a hotel my daughter went to gave away polaroid shots of the kids, and there was an instant photo booth at the wedding reception) — those were great additions to the scrapbook. It would otherwise have taken me weeks to get organized printing photos from our trip.
On the fourth day of our trip, I gave a writing workshop at the women’s college I used to work at. Chatting with the faculty who organized the workshop afterwards, I showed her the scrapbook that was still in progress. She paged through it and said, “What a great idea! It’s like a hardcopy Facebook!”
And it was. Whenever we met friends, we pulled out our scrapbook and shared a visual record of our adventures thus far. At the end of our trip, our scrapbook was also finished. We had a personalized souvenir documenting our trip ready to be shared with anyone who asks us about our holiday. Except for the 108 yen spent to buy the scrapbook, everything else that went in there was free.
The best time to make a scrapbook is during the trip. After the trip, the busyness of life takes over and mementos collected get buried under the pile of other things to do.