Let’s face it: Other people’s travel stories are boring. You don’t want to sit through an endless slide show, or read overly detailed blog posts from somewhere you wish you were. Now that technology can help us record our experiences more easily, and in more detail than ever before, it’s time to find a way to share our travel stories without putting our friends to sleep. Design students from Switzerland’s École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL) experimented with a new kind of travel log on a recent week-long trip to Beijing. Beijing Connection, as they call it, captures the visceral moments of a trip that so often elude conventional travel logs.
The trick? Obsessive documentation. The students recorded nearly every aspect of their travels, from the places they visited to the meals they ate, often using video.
In the project Huge Selfie, students created a video montage of themselves standing in the same formation in different locations throughout the city, sometimes joined by people they’d just met. The uniformity of the setup forces you to notice what’s different in each one–and what’s really important. The airport in the background. The Bird’s Nest stadium. The couple on their wedding day.
Another project, Eat Me, unmistakably places viewers at the scene of the action: Students attached a GoPro to a pair of chopsticks to show exactly what they ate–every last piece of dim sum and beef stir fry lovingly captured for all the world to see. TMI? Maybe. But it sure beats the stiffly posed photos most of us snap at restaurants.
I might not put this level of effort into my own travel log anytime soon. With only a week in the country, it’s hard to imagine the students had much time to do anything besides work on their project. But taking even just one of these ideas and applying it to your next trip could produce something your friends actually want to see when you get back.