Leadership: Document your travels by creating a ‘vlog’


Kathie Rotz PHOTO CREDIT: Christian Del Rosario Contributed

Vacations are a time for adventures, relaxation and capturing every moment so that you can relive the excitement after the trip is over.

I have captured holiday memories with pictures, videos and journals through the years. Not all of these memory souvenirs were created with today’s high-tech options. Homemade scrapbooks were created in vintage,

self-adhesive photo albums without colorful paper, embellishments and fancy scissors. Videos were taken on camcorders that needed a carry-on suitcase to travel safely. Journals were created in an old-fashioned notebook with a colorful pen.

Of all of my mementos, my journals are the creation that I review the least. It is a lot of work to re-read my stories and recollections. I prefer seeing the memory in pictures or videos. These tools allow me to also witness the surroundings, like what we looked like in years past, how we dressed and what vehicle we drove on each vacation.

Last August, when I traveled to Sweden for two weeks, I had every intention to journal about my foreign adventures. I quickly found that my hand grew tired while writing in my notebook. I am a fast typer; however, I was not in the mood to boot up my computer every night to recap my day. It was time to find a new solution using the pictures and videos I took every day. That is when I became a vacation vlogger. A vlog is a video log. Instead of writing the details of every day, I assembled various pictures, videos and music to create my daily vlog.

My 2022 vacation season is beginning, so it is time to review what it takes to be a successful vlogger. My definition of a “successful vlogger” does not mean that I am perfect with my newfound talents. I am not using state-of-the-art equipment with perfect transitions and lighting. It means that I can compile our daily memories into an entertaining movie shareable with other family members and friends. Good enough is better than perfect.

To create a new memory keeper, feel free to adopt these tips into your vacation schedule. Or, delegate them to a younger family member who enjoys being on their phone. Give them the important title of “family historian.”

• Download a video editor app on your smartphone. Select a free editor with good reviews.

Before leaving for vacation, test your new app with photos and videos that you have on your phone. In the end, you will create a new video by merging short snippets of multiple videos and pictures. (Get to know the “cut” feature.) You also will be able to add music and text to your new creation.

• Take lots of videos and pictures every day while on vacation. Get creative. Take panoramic photos, slow-motion videos and add unique filters. My favorite vlog in 2021 includes a time-lapse video of a starfish turning over. This three-minute process took only 20 seconds to show in my final video. www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di-oP3-WgTQ

• After creating a video log (vlog), upload it to your YouTube or Vimeo account. Then you can delete all of the larger files from your phone.

Share the link to your new video with your friends and family. Let everyone in on your fun.

This newfound hobby reminded me of a critical goal-setting lesson. I had a goal before I left for my Sweden vacation last year. I wanted to capture my adventures in my journal. Very quickly into my trip, the “how” of my goal changed. Does that mean that I failed to meet my goal?

Absolutely not. It is OK to change your plan or the “how,” but it is never OK to change your goal. My goal was to “capture my adventure,” not “journal for 14 days.” I successfully met my goal by adapting to my circumstances with a better solution.

What goal are you working toward? Give yourself permission to change your plan at the moment so that you reach your goal and maybe even like the result better.

Kathie Rotz is a leadership consultant and John Maxwell certified speaker, trainer and coach with Unity Consulting in Dubuque.

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