I’ve put off a big trip to Europe for a couple of years now. After having learned that one of my best friends is planning a trip himself this November, I wasted no time and immediately booked a three-week jaunt through a continent I last visited when I was only 13. Needless to say, I’m excited about this trip. Not only will it be a chance to spend some time with my buddy whom I’ve not seen in a while but, it’ll be my first time going as an adult. I suspect the experience will be much different — in fact, a co-worker has already said, “get your lips ready for a lot of action.”

While that is certainly something to look forward to, I’m most keen on making sure this trip is well-documented. I’ve been asking friends and scouring the internet for unconventional ways to document my adventure. As much as possible, I’d like to avoid having to create photo albums with meh pictures of me posing in front of famous places and landmarks. Here’s what I have so far:

  • By now, you’ve probably seen Matt groove his way around the world or this guy move through 11 countries in 44 days. While these require a bit of effort and some skill, they seem to me very doable.
  • A friend documents his travels by creating photo albums he calls “Alphabet City.” Essentially, he takes a picture of an object or a sign or a landmark that looks like each letter of the alphabet until he completes the set.
  • I’m hoping two other friends can join us on this trip. If they aren’t able to, I’m thinking of bringing cardboard cutouts and having my picture taken with it, a la George Clooney in Up in the Air.
  • Before leaving for Europe, I’m considering asking friends and family to contribute to a checklist of ermahgerd moments. These come to mind: tripping a mime in France, upstaging a singing gondolier in Italy, or grooming some stranger’s mustache in Spain. Ermahgerd, I know.

All too often, people travel the way they think they’re supposed to, rushing past here-and-there. They take pictures the same way, without taking a moment to consider and to consume. While I have nothing against regular photo albums and personal travel scrapbooks, I’m opposed to humdrum depictions and descriptions when you are given a fleeting opportunity to animate the way you document your travel.

I’m still on the lookout for ideas so, if you have any, I’d love to hear from you. Leave your suggestion in a comment here or on our Facebook page!