Sojourner by Retrowtures Travels Europe

hello everyone I am so excited because today I’m going to do a different kind of video I’m going to interview and do a show-and-tell with my special guest Jamie who I met over a year ago I’ll let her tell you how we met in a second but jamie is a high school teacher who recently went on a nine-day European trip with a couple of her students and their parents a couple of days before she left for her trip she came in to pick up a sojourner so that she can document life as it happens after she got back she shared with me how she used her Sojourner and so I thought you might want to see it too so here we are how are you doing Jeannie I’m doing well Rowena how are you I’m doing quite well um so why don’t you tell our audience how we met rowana and i met back in april of 2014 so just over a year ago when my husband and I were looking for a wedding photographer rowana did our wedding photos as well as our engagement photos just over a year ago and actually our anniversary is coming up on July 19th so we’re really excited and it’s great to be able to look at our photos again and rowenta just such a great job so okay I especially love this photo of the three of us my husband Dustin and I were very pleased with with our photographs our memories that we got captured and we especially loved working with Rowena so it was a lot of fun and a great memorable experience that is really neat that you say that actually my tagline even as a photographer was that documenting life as it happens and I just carried that along as I make produce the sojourners but anyway that’s kind of what I’m all about and the very first time I met you and Gaston I was really thrilled to meet such a happy couple that just seemed to be so full of life and I meet I knew immediately that I wanted to book your wedding I probably didn’t act like that but I truly was very excited that you guys came in and I was hoping to book the wedding because again i knew that i could we had a connection and I could document the very special moment the way I would want to document it and how I envisioned things because just your attitudes from the get-go we’re just really very lively and just excitable and it makes me excited so anyway you’re you really truly are one of my best brides although you all my brides are special but you guys definitely as a couple really um just it’ll you know just I just love you guys oh we loved you to ruin so anyway we still do yes um so what made you decide to take a log a sojourner on your trip and did you have a goal in mind when you purchase one or what were you hoping to do with it I definitely had a goal in mind and my goal was to keep everything that I picked up from the trip whether i bought it or whether it was given to me to keep it all in one place and and be able to remember all those special moments because it’s so easy to forget where you went with that train ticket where you went with that metro ticket where you ate or had had a coffee at that cafe um every time I travel I always like to collect these things and I’ve been to 15 different countries and it’s so easy to forget it’s so easy to forget especially if all of the scraps end up in a box in a pile and never make it to a scrapbook so I wanted to be able to scrapbook along the way without having to worry about photographs or cropping or keeping everything perfect and and digital even I wanted everything to be nice and raw the whole documenting of the trip very raw and and candid very cool so tell us which countries did you go and visit on this trip and if you had a favorite country you share that with us and maybe where you would like to go back to right we flew from LAX to France to Paris and we see therefore for two days and we took a train to Italy and visited Florence san gimignano and sienna which are two smaller cities in Tuscany and in Rome and we got to see vatican city and the

surrounding surrounding area of rome and we loved Italy as a group we loved Italy them better than than France and I think that’s simply due to the amount of time we spent in each place we were in Paris for such a short time and we wish we had more time there but we loved the food and the people the history the architecture the beauty of Italy especially and definitely definitely have to go back there with my husband I wish you could have come on this trip with us but I have a way to take him back to those places that that I enjoyed so much on this nine-day trip and hopefully we’ll have more time next time very cool so how many books did you end up taking along with you and did you categorize them in a certain way I took four books with me but I ended up putting one away because I want I didn’t want it to get too too bulky so here are the first two books one of them is this yellow and green one here is graph paper and on in this from book it’s blank paper and I kept everything chronological from start to finish of the trip as far as journaling went and laying down any of the scraps with the washi tape I put the washi tape here on the back of one of the center Center books so that I could keep it all in a central spot and it worked out perfectly having this washi tape here simply wrapped around a flat card whether it’s a business card or or gift certificate gift certificate yeah yeah or gift card gift cards and all of paper not the plastic kinds because it made it made it more more secure and and less bulky the third book I used for this is lined paper I use it as a balance a check register for my purchases in cash in euros and I also like to make lists when I’m on vacation different tips and I even did a self-reflection making a list of all the different hats I wear as a person so very cool so why don’t we go to the first book and see a little bit of the pages of what you did there by the way I really like your writing oh thank you that’s right thanks it wasn’t so pretty on trains or buses but it works it you know I try I try my best so yes I journaled a lot as much as I could I like to keep things like luggage tags um check checked in luggage tags claim tickets I like to lay down some of the washi tape to offset the writing and the simple you know single color pen that i’m using there to make it more colorful now again did you do this right when you’re traveling or did you do most of it when you got into the hotel what was your what was your system good question anytime i had a chance to sit down for more than 30 minutes i would document so we would be on the bus for for a couple hours at times a couple hours at a time and i’ll pull down the the seat Trey the seat in front of you Trey and I just laid this out and started started writing I would as you can see this here is the menu from the plane ride going out to Paris and it’s neat because I have it’s in French and in English so I’ve got some language there to that are documented but I did this on the plane and it was it worked out really well here this part these are the the tickets I used for the metro we went on and off the metro many times on our first day in Paris and I laid this down at the hotel before going to sleep so this is my journaling before sleeping I’m not going to bed something I just thought of and that you forgot to document are the tickets for the bathrooms oh because it is early yes every time you have to go to the bathroom you have to purchase an entrance fee right all right yeah at the the Paris delay on the one of the trains we I did use the loo and I have a culture of that I used it said Lou on the go and I have the ticket here somewhere and a pretty funny the funny

thing is is I also went to Europe back in december through january just as past Christmas time and the funny thing is is I actually documented some of the bathrooms the stall because yeah different from our Sunday us uh-huh I mean the different flushing systems that was reality but anyway I digress those are things that you want to even maybe talk about and yeah when you’re documenting things life as it happens because those are things that happens on a trip yeah anyway just an idea for you guys pardon my french but I remember the name of the of the train station it was guard ileal and yeah there was oh it was a very nice very nice bathroom I have to say but yeah oh gosh I love keeping the ticket stubs of the places you visit the museum so this one’s the Louvre this one was dinner it’s always great for me to remember what kind of food we we had campus the kind of food that we ate and this was specifically a menu for our group education first tours it was awesome and I got to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower for the first time and in and yeah got to there it is Paris Garlin this was the the train that we took so on the train that was a seven hour train ride through the Swiss Alps to to Tuscany and yeah it was it was just great to be able to to to journal on that train train ride even if it’s a simple yep you know simple poem leaving Paris and um and so I miss my husband a lot so I i did a little prayer of thanks from my husband being home holding down the fort yeah so it was it was an amazing amazing trip and we did spend a lot of time on the road and even if I was in a coffee shop just having sparkling water I’ll I’ll sit and document no may take it’s so fast it’s so fast and it doesn’t have to take a whole lot of time but it a lot of gelato there and so yeah this is this is the world champion of gelato places in um in San Gimignano actually my daughter’s made it a point of gelato in every city it’s near like yeah it’s so addicting it is anyway it’s it’s really fun it’s it’s memories you’ve been going to a gelato shop I mean even the napkins that’s really great yeah how do you have on your other book here this is continued I realize I like the blank pages and the line paper better than the graph paper the graph paper it seemed like the the spaces were so so small I couldn’t write too much but i right on the lines anyways I’m not one to just stay within the lines but I like that the blank pages were were more free for that I made lists of souvenirs that I wanted to get for people that I wanted to get souvenirs for and just any little thing that was given to me I just kept in more gelato hmm yeah this was a lot of fun once we got to Rome there was so much to do there I wrote down all the different phrases in Italian that I that I remembered and and it’s great because I I still say this now like it’s we’ve been back for a week and almost and and I like to I like to just be free with my writing I don’t have to fill up the page with with words over and over again but you know here’s a business card a little oh you know what I ate on the back of it and a decoration of nom nom nom nom nom and so yeah I loved I loved it by our last night there i was still journaling and on the plane back i was really reflecting we had another 11 hour flight back to LAX and i even went as far as to keep a box for one of the airline meals that I that I had that use all natural ingredients it’s a reminder that you know I’m I want to I want to eat healthy I don’t want to eat whole and so I thought hey look this washi tape matches it really well I’m just going to go ahead and stick it in here and I love the fact that even though it’s super-thick you didn’t stop yourself

from documenting this because really when you look back years from now it’s going to remind you you’ll be able to reflect on that precise moment most likely of what you were doing the sights the smells that you are seeing and that’s what’s great about these little field notes is that it’s very compact it’s easy to use and with with gift card expired gift card of washes you can just you know basically tape anything down and again I just really love the fact that you didn’t stop yourself from from putting this really thick box in here because it’s it’s a memory right and along the lines of of keeping things that are bulky I folded all of these maps as memorabilia to fit in here and this is the the central binding of of the Sojourner so I’ve got a map of Rome and this is from st Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican Pope John Paul and this is a map of the different cities in Tuscany we visited two cities San Gimignano and sienna and it was great to have the map there this is a Florence we went all around we had a lot of free time in Florence for us to just explore and this is the back side of the metro map from Paris that I got from the hotel and you know this right here is you know this could be the size of a field notes books so that’s why I took the one out I still had a lot of room to I still have a lot of room to journal more if I find other things like put photos especially once I print out some photos I can put those in the blank pages but all of this I have every intention of using them as memories to look back on for the next time I go back to Italy in Paris and and as well as to share with my children one day so I can inspire them to to be world travelers as well like like myself and my husband and I was going to mention one of the things I notices that you kept your receipts yeah I tend to do that too and sometimes it fades after a time but you can photocopy it and stick them in here that’s right that might be preferable yeah but either way I think it’s a good documentation of how much things cost because even five years from now it’s going to cost a lot different or maybe a little but I know for sure when your kids grow up and they go to the same country they’re going to find that pizza is no longer seven or eight dollars it’s a hundred dollars right and so or euros and so that would be a neat again documentation of oh my goodness how much things cost nowadays and things like that so that’s really cool that you kept that as well yeah I’m not just for financial purposes but also as a memory and again a good way to do it is by photocopying it which will probably last a lot longer because I notice your papers some of the ink just fades after a couple of months right and so but that’s a really great idea yeah so is there anything that you would do differently the next time and would you take a sojourner again with you on your next trip well I would definitely take a sojourner with me that’s that’s a given I have a couple trips planned out for the rest of this month um even if it’s a short trip to San Francisco for my cousin’s wedding I’d like to to be able to journal there and my husband and I are going on a road trip to Mexico at the end of this month and so I’d love to to do this very thing probably not as much as many books because we’ll be it’ll be a short shorter trip but both of them will be much shorter trips but yeah I’m definitely going to bring this along with me everywhere I even like to carry it around with me now and so it’s it’ll be it’ll be great to to to continue to take this this journal with me and be able to personalize it even more so any tips I I just say be creative use your own your own creativity with it this was just one way to document it’s not the only way and yeah it’s it’s neat how it unfolds and how it develops itself I didn’t have a real system when I went on to the trip but it kind of developed as

the days went by as hours went by and yeah I’m very happy with how I documented it this time it might just organically meld into something different on this trip at the end of this month to Mexico so we’ll see yeah and again I just want to emphasize to is that you know this is just one way of documenting your trips basically the most important thing is documenting life as it happens and however you’re going to do it whatever you’re going to insert in there make it your own make it personalized yes glean from others I do and then I just make it my own and I think with that that’s a wrap and so thank you so much Jamie for coming by and sharing with us I hope that you all have found this interview helpful if you have any tips at all of your own and you’d like to share it with us please do so in the comments section below thank you for watching and as always document life as it happens thank you very much to thank you bye bye bye