Get the most of your travel experience

For those who like travel just like me, how will you get the most out of each unique travel journey experience?

As from me, along the time, I make use of few methods to record and get the insight for each of the destination we visited, from history and cultural perspective, foods and drinks, key attractions etc from the following mean and methods:

Before deciding and going for each trip, I need to decide where to go and when. For me, along the years make use of various guide books and some internet resources. Below share some of the guidebook I mostly use and widely available:

Lonely Planet (LP) guide series - for me it is still the best for the travel route planning, map, and section on what kind of book, movie can further reading to expand the insight into those travel countries, regions or locations. Only drawback is most of the LP is on black and white print, no enough picture or photo to provide the overview of the destinations or places we want to visit. (Note: 2020-Apr-23, after 8 years, travel guide book industry is undergoing challenge, as modern people is prefer for more up to date content from online, peer review etc, most of travel guide books publishers is undergoing transition, some is start doing new business like provide personalized tailor made tour, while other is develop mobile application for people document their trip and make use of them enrich their own travel guides platform).

A DK page in India guide book (I snapshot) from my book library, as you can see this illustration approach makes it so visually effective to cover the content that photo or video alone can not be done in a single page.

DK published eyewitnesses series travel guide. Compared with the rest of the travel guide book, it is most visual in approach to the travel, a lot of photo, diagram and painting. I personally especially like its bird view illustration diagram and painting, it makes the destination overview in a very comprehensive manner. It can serve as the travel gift or reference, since it is printed in full color.

Insight Guides I bought before Trip 2019.12 Cyprus and Malta

Insight Guide, or some place published as Discovery Channel Insight Guide. For the cultural and history background, this is the one that has the full coverage and others can not compete with. Inside have some very professional and unique photo shoots by professionals that are useful for providing travel destinations insight, something a good photo tells a whole story. I mainly use it for travel background insight, history or cultural understanding. Their culture and history essay so far is the one I will read as well.

Japan Travel around the world series (in Chinese/Japanese 走遍全球/地球の歩き方). Recently I started to collect based on Japan travel book series, it covers certain topics very well. For example, I am preparing for the coming March Indo-China Vietnam and Cambodia trip. It provides the full section of color photo for all the local foods to taste and understand. This type of information is important for people like me, as more you travel, you will start understanding that besides seeing those landmarks, buildings, people and foods is where we build up our travel exposure during the travel journey, local foods and speciality we should not miss. If just on the text mentioned for the foods or drinks without the photo and local text, you will have a hard time when you travel to the destination using language you do not understand.

This few years keep traveling Japan, the trip becomes longer and longer and slower. And where we want to go is mainly based on Japan travel guides that keep updating every year to decide where to visit and what to see and experience.

Taiwan Mook. A special hybrid that combines easy to read magazine format plus book-like depth content called Mook is one of my preference sources for information too. Like the photo is Mook published by Taiwan, most is out of print already, still the best travel guide since full of photos plus special theme topics covered in depth.

Different countries, regions or places during travel, something we will come across as a local travel guide, for me it is also a good means to gather the local travel book. Like the photo, travel books collected during the Greece country in depth travel, bought along the travel.

Something we will come across is a special book and print book, like below a special print based on old book format and painting based on an old drawing method. Egyptian old fashion way for painting. Or China traditional brush painting.

Egyptian old fashion style drawing in the papyrus.

Ancient China, Shung Dynasty style brush painting of dragon.

Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci.

Travel literature in full color or pure black text printing like below is also a useful source, since the author provides insight from his or her own perspective and experience. I like to make the reading to make an impact, before taking the trip, in this way, it makes all scenes and context culturally relevant and I have the exposure to know what I really seen physically.

My favorite Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami, travels literature, this one is based on his trip to Turkey, in particular Turkey East region. Photo book is by a photographer who accompanied him for the trip.

British Museum during the time I visited was a special exhibition of the China Terracotta Army, and special published the book for that theme. Few years later, I and family visit the actual site for see the scene at Xi'an in China.

From place to place, especially in museums and art exhibition centers, they will publish special event collections. When you travel there and they are in the special event exhibitions, you can purchase the special event book or museum collection book, since some museums do not allow photo taking, and those books will give additional insight you will miss due to the large collection of items in the museum.

For a certain theme or subject, certain publishers will print out a full set of book in series cover travel subject, if they come across it they should buy it as well. Those items usually will be printed in a limited full set, for me if not bought the whole set loses the meaning since the content is not complete.

Another good source of information I acquired is through the mega poster size book. Each photo is poster size, it will leave you the impact since it will show you the best destination across the region you travel. Like the photo is a book about world heritage across the world.

For recording the travel memory and event, beside video and camera photoshoot. I make use of the following:

Physical Travel sketch during 2008 - 2009

Travel sketch
, I sketch and make notes from time to time, like below is the travel sketch cum clip book, note and travel diary for Europe and Egypt. It helps you to preserve travel memories permanently in your unique sketch, one and only in the world.

Digital travel journaling, replaced my physical travel journal and in 2019 onwards, write here and there.

I am also making use of the travel journal or notebook during the recent trips, it basically serves the multiple purpose, to serve as the diary, travel information keeping, clip book, sketch in single book form.

Snapshot from my past physical travel journal, for one of the trips in Japan, serves well as a clip book to put all the print material I come across.
Another snapshot of a past travel journal, this from one of the Korea Trip. Basically, clip writes here and there for what I want to remember at that time.

Own travel photo book. As technology keeps advancing, I also make use of the Travel Photo book as the means to organize and print out the travel experience in the book format. And published as a photo album over social media like Facebook, Picasa and Google+ and published over youtube as the video.

Another good way for me to tangibilize the travel experience is buy a certain travel gift for myself that can be deco, so it will be easy for you to associate those travel events. Like the photo is Japanese castle. It takes some of my time to paint it.

Overall, photo camera and video recording along the travel (this is still the best way for preserve the memory, especially if you are travel a wide region, some of the place if you without record the location or GPS, later on it is very hard to recall the exact location, since some will on the language you do not know. Later on you can organize and publish them on the various digital formats you want, whether photo album or youtube.

Travel photo took while in India, at Jaipur a moment before took elephant ride uphill to Amber Fort.
Travel photo took just after sunset during Laso trip, at Luang Prabang.

Another travel photography I took, this one in Kashmir autumn season, in the garden park.
Travel photo took during Turkey trip, at Istanbul, the Blue Mosque. After visit and come out, saw a people setup tripod to take photo, and I frame the scene behind him.

Travel photo taken while in Morocco, the old town market at Marrakesh. A person dresses in traditional dress.

Travel photo taken while in Hokkaido mid Summer, the place called Furano, a lavender flower season. I took this photo while I was down hill, and saw the uphill tourist take the photo and I frame this shot.

Hope the article serves the purpose for those who are looking for this kind of information and let's share the best practice.

Original 1st version of content was published in 2012-Feb-4. During recent view back and saw all the picture is missing link (due to change host along the year and only text kept).

So I decided to rewrite the post, and make the update in 2020-Apr-23. Some sentences correct the grammar and replace those missing photos with the original, while others are subtitled based on the time. Some of the content is based on what I thought.

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