How to Document Your Travels with Intention (& Giveaway!)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago 
Our desire to share is innate, it seems. This is why when we experience something - whether it be a trip to your favorite city or the coffee shop that just opened down the street - we are quick to snap a photo (or a dozen if you are like me) and eager to show it off to friends. Traveling is one of those experiences that we cannot simply keep to ourselves - and, we shouldn't! Yet, if poorly executed or even over-done, capturing your experience can transition from a fun expression to an obligation or burden. While there are many stressors that contribute to our overall experience on a trip, documenting should not be one of them.

So, let's capture our travels the right way - here are five tips (along with some photos from my recent Chicago trip with some friends) to do just that with a little more intention and a little more fun.

*Also, stay tuned for an exciting announcement at the end of this post. Oh, the intrigue.  

Photo by Molly Sullivan

01 | Take Photos for the Sake of Remembering, Not Sharing

It is easy to find ourselves in the mindset of wanting to post this and share that when we take a photo or are thinking up an idea. Yet, it is vital to continually shift that mindset back to a more humble beginning. Yes, that latte you had at the super hip coffee shop is worth sharing. Heck, you probably paid six bucks for it; I think it is well worth a photo and share! Yet, the "picture-perfect" moments should not take precedent over the real and the raw moments of our lives. Capture the in-between moments, the stressful moments, and the just plain unexplainable moments.

Antique Taco, Wicker Park
02 | Forget the Rules

You should really only post once a day, someone once said to me. I quickly let out a snarky laugh and proceeded to post my third photo of the day to Instagram. Here is the deal, friends - there are no rules on what or when or how you should post. When it is all said and done, posting an image or caption is really just sharing an experience like we would in person, and therefore should be treated as such. When IRL with a friend, we naturally want to share multiple aspects of a trip or story while also being mindful to not over share.

Wicker Park
Chicago Art Institute
03 | Don't Worry About Getting it "Right"

We complicate the simple, travel being no exception. Often times, we think we have to take the "perfect" photo with the "perfect" angle or lighting to depict the moment. While, yes, those images may be more appealing and fit into the "aesthetically pleasing" category, it is not needed to communicate your experiences well. It is as easy as this: document what you like, what interests you, what sparks a reaction. (Example: I just about shrieked at that red door and could not stop gawking over the beautiful staircase at the Art Institute. See, interesting and simple and fun.)

Wicker Park
Wicker Park
04 | Write it Out

Documenting is not confined to just visuals, but should include some jargon here and there too. As the cliche goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Nevertheless, they tend to leave out the little moments that are easy to forget (we are human, after all). Take a few minutes at the end of each day to stop and reflect. Write down your favorite moments, quotes, feelings. By taking time to pause, it allows us to be mindful and thankful of what we are encountering, only furthering our overall experience.

Hotel Hangs
Harold Washington Library 
Millennium Park

05 | Make it Physical

An experience takes on a  whole new meaning when it is not confined to our IPhone screen. It allows your stories have a physical home and be remembered more than just for the instant gratification of feedback. This can look a variety of ways, some of my favorites include: printing off 10 photos, framing your favorite, making a scrapbook or Photo Book, or creating a document of key highlights from journals or notes throughout the trip. Let's go the extra mile and make the digital physical to  salvage memories near and dear to us.

Do you struggle with capturing a trip, holiday, or moment well? How do you document with intention while still staying present in an experience?


I have partnered with friend and fellow blogger, Kristin from RoundTrip, to giveaway a few of our current favorite items that make both travel and the current space around you just a little more joyful. We will be giving away the following items to one special person:

01 | Mini Lightbox 
02 | Three travel-inspired prints
03 | Six travel-inspired stickers

To enter, visit THIS LINK, as well as follow along with updates and instruction on our social media (@cate.marg@round.trip). Also, Kristin's post on her four biggest travel regrets is found HERE. Best of luck!



  1. Wow! Incredible post that's so real. I love that your tips are so easy yet can make a huge difference! I can get so caught up in getting the perfect picture that it's easy to miss the moment. At the end of the day, your pictures should be about your trip, not your trip about your pictures. Keep doing great things, Miss Cate! xx Kristin

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