Project Life: Afghanistan | Halfway


project life, scrapbooking, travel scrapbook, afghanistan scrapbookBack when I started my Project Life: Afghanistan scrapbook, we’d been at post a little over a month. We had learned our way around, bought a couple carpets, made some new friends. We had yet to travel on an R&R or RRB.project life, scrapbooking, travel scrapbook, afghanistan scrapbookSince then, Kail and I traveled to Nepal and the Maldives, and I also went to Egypt for work. We celebrated birthdays and holidays in Kabul, hosted and attended dinner parties and worked — a lot.project life, scrapbooking, travel scrapbook, afghanistan scrapbookHalfway into our tour, a lot has happened. And I’ve done my best to capture it not only through blogging, but scrapbooking.project life, scrapbooking, travel scrapbook, afghanistan scrapbookOne of my favorite Friday activities is scrapbooking. I’ve spent a lot of Fridays (our one day off) sitting on our living room floor, arranging photos and ticket stubs and note cards into my ever-growing 12×12 binder of Afghanistan (and travel) memories. A lot of Fridays I don’t even leave my apartment (except to get food, but sometimes I just make do with what we packed in our consumables shipment). Did I mention I’m an extreme introvert?project life, scrapbooking, travel scrapbook, afghanistan scrapbookI previously wrote about the concept of “mental vacations,” and how they’re important to getting through a tour here. (This sort of runs counter to one of my 2015 goals of being here now and appreciating my time in Afghanistan, but I say, Whatever gets you through the day.) With blogging and scrapbooking, I feel like I get multiple mental vacations from a single trip — in addition to the whole planning/looking-forward-to-traveling stage.project life, scrapbooking, travel scrapbook, afghanistan scrapbookMy MO is usually: Go on a trip. Take a million photos. Return from trip. Review photos. Edit select photos. Plan out blog posts. Write blog posts, scrolling through photos to include. I usually don’t start scrapbooking until after I’ve written all my blog posts about a trip. At this stage, I sort through all the leftover money, ticket stubs, maps, menus and other keepsakes I’ve hoarded saved from the trip and organize them into different scrapbook layouts.project life, scrapbooking, travel scrapbook, afghanistan scrapbookI then scroll through all my edited photos again and decide which ones I’d like to print to include in my scrapbook (we brought our photo printer with us to Kabul). I work on one page at a time, writing note cards with captions and details until I’ve covered all the highlights. Finally, Kail and I sit down together and flip through the finished product. At this point it’s anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months after the trip itself, so it’s nice way to relive the memories and experience a mental vacation from daily life.project life, scrapbooking, travel scrapbook, afghanistan scrapbookThe Project Life concept is part scrapbook, part photo album. I like that there are page layouts designed to fit specific photo sizes and orientations, but there are also more flexible layouts where you can stick in a map, coasters and other odd-shaped items I have a habit of collecting on my travels.What projects (crafting or otherwise) have you been working on in 2015?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

2 thoughts on “Project Life: Afghanistan | Halfway

  1. I’ve always wanted to do scrapbooking, but I’m entirely too lazy/otherwise occupied. It looks like you’ve done an amazing job with this one. I might follow your lead this summer, after my sci-fi/fantasy convention and our trip up north.


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