It looks like clutter, but it can tell a story or two – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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It looks like clutter, but it can tell a story or two

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“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” Jack KerouacThe Royal Gazette, but now that I'm home, I've also delved into the adventures of blogging. Intimidating? yes! But it shouldn't be.

Battered? Yes. Worn-out? Yes. Faded? Yes. Am I talking about me after my trip around the world? No.

Don't laugh. Come on, be nice! Yes, I was tired, (OK, worn out) I needed a haircut (OK, faded) and my arm injured from a hike (don't ask) was swollen (ok, battered), but I'm not talking about me. Nope. I'm talking about my tattered, but trusty, travel sidekick.

“Robyn, that's no way to talk about your travel buddies!”

Yet, again I am not. Nope. I am talking about a little, leather passport case that travelled with me around the world. Well, actually it has been with me since I was 19.

Our relationship started after a summer cooped up in an air-conditioned office as I attempted to work in human resources. Not sure exactly what I was thinking. The next summer I served drinks on the beach (far more appropriate).

While the office wasn't entirely up my alley, it did have one perk a goodbye gift. While I might not have known what I was doing in the human resources' department, the HR president did (sort of). I was given a backpack for school; I traded it for my scrapbook (well, my way of scrapbooking!) a leather passport holder.

Which is what I stumbled upon this weekend as I set to finally clean my apartment (and ended up finding a column topic). Fortunately the mammoth task of cleaning the tiles became sidetracked with my discovery.

Discovery, Robyn? Yes and that's part of the beauty of travels......remembering them. And that brings me to my blog this week: how do you record your travels?

Me? Well as I wandered around the world I was lucky enough to print them in this paper which my parents could collect for me. But on a personal level, I also had papers, business cards, flight stubs, etc building up in my passport holder. And not just from my year abroad.

Heck, no. Hiding in the back is my I-20 Visa so that I could attain my Master's in International Relations in New York. Folded on top? The Italian visa that allowed me to work in Rome in 2001 (I taught at an American boarding school).

But it's not just the exotic. I've kept boarding passes from a trip to Boston, a trip to New York; luggage tags from a trip to London and even a Best Western Hotel agreement to a free stay after they left me at the airport (another column all together).

It's also filled with cash. Before you try to nab it from my bag next time you see me at LF Wade International Airport, I warn you.....all together it probably only amounts to $2. I'm afraid while Egypt might be in turmoil this week their pharaoh-lined currency is worth even less than when I was there in 2009.

The beauty of my passport holder is not that it just manages to zip with my paper bulging its seams, it is also handy. holds my passport!

And it holds more. Every Bermudian and Island resident knows those pesky, yellow, Customs' papers that will save you a small fortune in fees. But where do you keep them? Your wallet? Sure so they can go flying when you take it out to pay for a taxi or stolen when your wallet goes walking. What about a passport holder? Perfect.

Under your yellow no-IOUs? Now you can keep your frequent flier cards sorted.

Sure I could actually create a scrapbook, but who has time? And it's not just time. Creating them, relegates them to the shelf. I mean how many photo albums do I have sitting on the shelves and I never look at them? Lots.

But the passport holder? Well that comes with me wherever I go! (well off the Island anyway). My old passport is there. My tickets to Machu Picchu? There. My tickets to the pyramids? There.

And for Bermudians? Get tired of having to answer the triangle question? You know what I'm talking about. Well you can also harbour your travel cheat sheet from my travel column two weeks ago (check my website for your copy)!

“But Robyn, that's all so old school.”

Not selling you on this? You looking for a way to regale others with your travels? As I travelled the world I printed my stories in

There are so many sites out there right now offering free and easy blogs. But maybe I should explain what a blog is, just in case.

Essentially? A diary online. It's a space where you get to voice your opinions, experiences, photos and even abilities (I have one site that is just my portfolio! Even better is that anyone with the internet can look at it!

Need to know where to go? Well I use It's an easy site that will take you five minutes to create your own blog. Of course your site's address will have wordpress in its name, unless you upgrade your account, which is what I did to have or Those can be purchased on a site such as But that's not necessary for your private blog, so let's get back.

Choose your background (and they give you plenty to choose from) and then it's your time to play (or write)! Others have also used To each to create their own, but I didn't find their offerings gave me as many options for tailoring my site or ability to be creative.

If you're interested (and the blog doesn't have to be about travel, obviously) spend ten minutes snooping between the two and see which works better for you.

Then you can make sure you family and friends can follow YOU around the world! No, it's not Facebook; it's better. A blog gives you the space to explain to people what you're doing. It's taking the pain out of those ancient slideshows.

And it can immediately update to your Facebook page! Blog-on (or like me keep your old-school passport holder for your own walk down memory lane).

Visit my blog/website: for more travel information and of course you're coming back next week for a walk through the green world. (Yeah I mean going environmental when you travel!)

Remembering travels through clutter
Using to capture your travels. Photo supplied by Robyn Skinner
Battered and bruised, but the passport holder is still here!

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Published March 02, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated March 02, 2011 at 8:58 am)

It looks like clutter, but it can tell a story or two

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