Travel Blogs

Before blogging was a ‘thing’….

Written by Lynsey Oxton: 11 August 2019


It’s funny the things you find when you’re clearing out the garage on a Sunday afternoon; gardening tools you’ll probably never use, a box full of old DVDs, a spider or two, a suitcase full of Joey Lawrence posters (don’t judge me) and a load of old photo albums and scrapbooks!

Before online photo albums!

Of course, once I found this little treasure chest of memories, the clearing of the garage was put on the back-burner for a little while (any excuse). Not only do I now feel really old, but more importantly, I realise that I had a thing about documenting my travels all those years ago too – and I’m now so glad that I was that little geek!

In the days before ‘Bitmoji’, you drew your own!

My favourite of the albums goes all the way back to 2000 (and the tender age of 20), when an ex-boyfriend and I spent the whole Summer out in Amsterdam. I suppose that was my equivalent of ‘backpacking around Europe’! Amsterdam was my ‘first love’ back in the day (yes, Joey Lawrence was too!).

I’ve always been a collector of little mementos and I think I must have picked up a hundred or so leaflets (I don’t change) from my venture to make this ‘collage’ for the scrapbook!

I think I must have had a lot of time on my hands!

I’m sure I’d have forgotten half of what I did back then if it wasn’t for little things like leaflets, ticket stubs and stickers; I’d almost forgotten there was a time when Dutch Guilders were around (and Euros a thing of the future), that it was the Euro 2000 football tournament dominating the news and the fact that we spent so many of our afternoons playing pool in the Bulldog Sports Bar (to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers on the jukebox)! Hard life.

So does that make The Bulldog now 44?

Of course the other thing you forget is that there was actually a time when you took your photos on a proper camera and had to wait to get them developed before you could see how they turned out! No second, third, forth chances to get that perfect picture, no filters to brighten and cropping options to frame – nope, you just pointed, pressed and hoped for the best…..

…..and there’s something nice, honest and refreshingly authentic about that.

I think I did ok for an amateur!

It made me smile at the nerd in my 20 year old self to see that I’d even taken the time to write a bit about each of the places we went and things we saw. I don’t know who I thought would ever read it? A bit like todays blogs really! Maybe I just had the foresight to realise that I’d enjoy it 19 years later!

There’s no escaping the owner of this scrapbook is most definitely me, with childish photos of shops called ‘Wee Wee’ and ‘Bogie’. I’ve never had the most sophisticated sense of humour! To think that took up two precious photos on a film of 24 as well!

And there we have it kids – travel memories captured quite adequately before the dawn of the internet and the birth of the blog!

Seeing this scrapbook again after so many years has taken me right back to all of the fun times in crazy Amsterdam – that’s the power of picture for you! I’ve been to Amsterdam maybe 8 times now – the last time being in 2012. Maybe I’m overdue a visit again soon?


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