Barbara Hodgson on Trading in Memories

Author and designer Barbara Hodgson

Barbara Hodgson

Barbara Hodgson is a Vancouver-based book designer and writer. Her recent book, Trading in Memories, is a unique display of this consummate collector's passion for travel, design, illustration and writing.

Barbara Hodgson on Travel

An interview with Barbara Hodgson

Q: All of your books have an element of passion, in particular passion about travel, which is enthusiastically expressed in Trading in Memories. What’s your strongest conviction or belief about what travel should be?

A: Travel is a highly individual activity. Each person who travels has his or her own personal interests or goals. For me, travel is an important means for me to maintain an open mind and for reminding me of how much variety there is in the world.

Q: What is the one thing people should take away from reading your stories. What’s the behind-the-scenes story that may not be obvious?

A: Poignant, personal memories can be packed into the most insignificant objects.

Q: What’s the object or thing that matters most to you; the found object that has the most meaning and why?

A: It would be impossible for me to settle on one object as the most important of all those I have collected or wished to collect. Depending on mood, circumstances, recent events, any of a dozen factors, objects become more or less important. There are times when I would be happy not to own a thing; other times, buying a term paper is utterly satisfying and provokes plans for future hunts.

Q: Why do you have such a passion for travel?

A: What gets me most excited about travel is the opportunity to experience new sensations.

Q: How would you finish the sentence: “What frustrates me most about travel is ..."

A: What frustrates me most about travel is how uniform the world is becoming.

Q: What surprises people most when they look at your collections or collages, or hear your travel stories?

A: People are often surprised by the valuelessness of the things I bring back. Torn bits of paper, spools of thread, grimy paint boxes and so on, are not high up on the souvenir list of most people.