Have you ever serendipitously found an old letter that made you smile or brought a tear to your eye?  It likely reminded you of something special that you otherwise had forgotten.

If you are reading this it is because you are my client and I’ve given you a bookmark for your upcoming trip.

Here is why…

I took a storytelling course a few years ago from Matthew Dicks, a 56-time Moth StorySLAM champion and author of StoryWorthy (great book – I highly recommend!). He practices a concept he calls Homework for Life. I’ve adapted it for vacations.


Because we typically take photos on vacation and those are what we use to remember our trips. But sometimes the most meaningful moments happen away from a camera. And in time they can get lost in our memories. Doing this small action every day on vacation helps you capture those moments.  Years later you can look back at what you wrote and remember special moments you otherwise would have forgotten.

What to do…

At the top of your bookmark, write the year and the destination of your trip.

Each day, you write the date and a few words or phrase summary of a 5-second moment from the day on your bookmark. You do not need to write a lot. It does not have to be a huge moment, just something that made you smile, laugh, tear up, reminisce, something that touched your heart, moments of connection or where you fell apart. Something that would be a good memory one day.

If you’d like to learn more, here is Matthew’s TedX talk on the topic.

A personal example:

On my latest trip to Peru with my daughter, we made our memory a topic of conversation at dinner each night – asking ourselves what was a moment from today we want to remember? And then sometimes during the day something would happen and I’d say “I’m writing that down today!”  Here are two examples from my bookmark:

  1. Allison in business and me in coach
  2. Ascensor por favor

You may be understand the first but likely not the second.  Context for the first… we flew there separately and this was a belated graduation trip for her, I bought her a business class seat, but did not buy one for myself.  Yes, nice mom.

The second is a moment from our 6+ mile hike up Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail. Midway through when we came to the terraces of Winay Wauna and I looked up at how many stairs we had to climb, my first thought was in Spanish – ascensor por favor.  Which means elevator please.  But what made me smile was that #1 I thought in Spanish first and #2 it rhymed.  I made myself laugh and then came up with a few other Spanish rhymes on the trip:

  • No te preocupes Brisa, no tenemos prisa  – don’t worry Brisa, we are not in a hurry
  • Le duele el “feeto,” donde está un carrito?  – my feet hurt, where is a cart? (to carry me)

I hope this small action helps you notice some of those wonderful moments from your trip that years from now would have been forgotten, but for this exercise.  One day you will pick up this bookmark, read through your moments and I hope they bring a smile to your face.

Extraordinary Experiences for
Adventurous Families

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