No trip (for me) is complete without a travel journal. And I can finally say that this one is completed!! Not many of them get that stamp unfortunately. I get very close on most . . . or close enough.
So how much ‘stuff’ do I carry with me to do this? Well I have found that I ALWAYS carry too much stuff and most of it never gets used, at least while traveling. The basics that I really need to take include the journal, a mechanical pencil, an eraser, and two black permanent pens (I use Faber Castell Pitt Pens in S and F). I also use my Koi small watercolor set a little bit. But all the other little stamps, one stamp pad, markers, pens, extra papers, envelops and add ins . . . . . nope . . . . not one thing got used! All of that stuff . . . if used . . . . was back home when I was completing the journal.
I would love to say, lesson learned, but no doubt I will take extra stuff with me next time as well. It’s the ‘you never know’ lurking on the sidelines!
Someone asked me, “when do you have time to do this while traveling?” Well, one of my secret weapons, is a stack of gridded cards from Project Life (you could use any 3×5-inch type cards). I then punch a whole in the corner of each card and put them all on a ring. I use at least one for each day I am traveling. Each night before I go to sleep, I make notes about what happened that day. Not just where we went and what we did, but the people involved, the funny things that happened (or not funny but interesting), the things learned . . . . you get the idea. If I don’t write it down . . . . . that evening . . . . . it is often forgotten. Since these notes are not in my formal journal, just kept in a pocket of the journal, I don’t obsess over their neatness, spelling or order of events for the day. Often as I write I realize, ‘oh yeah, before that we did this’. So it is added with an arrow or asterisk pointing to the right order. This gives my mind permission to free-flow in a relaxed manner . . . . . after all . . . . it is bedtime!
After a trip, I gather all my collected paraphernalia, my journal and my travel note cards. I flip through my notes and journal looking for any major things I missed and where they can fit. I then put my collected items in chronological order to see what should be kept and used in the journal and what can be disposed of. Often it is only a small piece of a map, the graphics from a store bag or a coaster from a bar that is kept and used in the journal. I even printed out a couple of photos to include in the journal from my HP Sprocket. This is a sampling from the Wale journal pages!
I love my travel journals. I make them for myself . . . they remind me how lucky I am to do and see all the things that I have done and seen. I share them with the hope that it inspires someone else to capture their moments and have fun doing it!