Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Travel Journaling

I've always been a bit of a hoarder, and this side of me is never more apparent than when I'm on holiday. I collect every little piece of ephemeral I come across, from tickets, to leaflets, to business cards to coins. Rather than keeping all these little bits in a box or a forgotten folder, I like to collate them in a travel journal where I can also write about my experiences.

In order to travel journal, you're going to need a notebook. I'm lucky enough to have a beautiful Midori Travellers notebook, which I purchased from this website. There are a lot of different notebooks of similar designs for much cheaper often called 'travellers notebooks' The reason I like it for travel journaling so much is that you're able to add and take out different notebooks, folders and pockets in order to change it to suit your purposes. You absolutely don't need a fancy notebook like this to start travel journaling though. I would recommend one that is relatively strong, not only to survive your travels but also so the pages are strong enough to hold things being stuck to them.

The second thing you'll probably need is little bits and pieces from your travels. This summer I went to Prague and Berlin with one of my cousins, and from that trip I collated a lot of tickets, receipts, leaflets and the like. My rule is to stick to paper, or very flat things as they are easier to work with later on. Don't let this restrict you however- if you want to incorporate things like sand from a beach you've visited or a twig from that tree outside your hotel feel free, just bear in mind how you plan to stick everything down.

Of course you can journal as you go along, sticking everything in and writing about it at the evening of each day, but for me this never works. I go out with good intentions, and by the time I get around to filling it in I'm usually too tired. I find that making a couple of notes on my phone about what I've done that day, and attaching everything I've collected from that day together with a paperclip is enough to remind me of all the events. Another advantage of not journaling each day is that it's much easier to incorporate photos. I brought a film camera on my trip, so by waiting until I'd had the film developed meant that I could see which photos I had and could plan them in a little better.

So, once you've got your notebook and have been on your trip- prit stick (liquid glue like PVA tends to wrinkle the pages), double sided tape, staples and washi tape. washi tape it currently my personal favourite- it comes in so many different colours and patterns and it normally easily removable so it good if you're likely to be sticking in things you might want to take out at a later date like photos. I sometimes use staples for bigger things that need to be able to open, like leaflets. Cutting up leaflets to use specific pictures or maps can also be a good idea if you don't want your final journal to be too bulky.

What next? I like to sit down, spread everything out to see exactly what I've accumulated and start arranging it on the pages. This helps me work out how everything will fit together, and means I can get it looking nice before it's all stuck down. At this point you can also identify what you'll need to attach everything. Depending on what I have I like to use a mixture of

Journaling is also an important aspect, although it is totally up to you as to how much you want to include. some people only write headings, like where they were each day and others can write pages and pages about a single event. I go for a happy medium and try to balance out the amount of writing and ephemera on each page. I think in the case of what to, and what not to include on each page, less is more. Try not to over clutter or make each page too bulky. I think travel journals should be something you'd want to look over in a few years, and if they are well organised and laid out you're more likely to revisit.
I hope this inspires you to make a travel journal for your next trip or finally stick down those tickets you've been hoarding for years. Remember, a journal can be a very personal thing, so if you disagree with anything I've said completely disregard it! do exactly what you want in your travel journal- my advice is only here to give you a few pointers as to how to get started, and to give you a peek into my travel journal process!

E x


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