Before My Travel Blog

Long before I had a travel blog, I kept  journals. I have been doing that since high school. Looking back, I remember the person I was when I worried about passing an exam, gushed about a boy or a grumbled because of some new disagreement with my mother. (Yes, those teenage years, when I was trying to assert my independence, were tumultuous.)

A few of my journals (old and new) - Maynefoto

Sometimes, I was diligent and filled page after page with the most minute details of my life. At other times, days would pass before I felt like reducing my thoughts to words on a page. But I never stopped writing.

When I started traveling, it was natural that I wanted to make notes of my trips. I knew of no better way to do this than a travel journal. Sure, photos are great but they only capture moments in time. Each journal entry covers a day and fills in the moments between the photos.

My travel journals have ticket stubs, receipts, menus, post cards, anything that adds texture to my trip. When I visit a historic place, I take notes in my journal or draw. Now that I’m getting to know my camera better, I also make notes about the photos I take, the settings I use, etc.

Page from my latest travel journal - Maynefoto

The difference between a travel journal and a blog is that the journal is private. I write freely because the information is for my eyes only. While I use my journal as a source for my blog, because my blog is public, I am careful about what I share. I still believe some thoughts are well, private, and should remain that way.

Although I blog about my travel experiences and enjoy sharing them, I can’t abandon my journal. I love the way I have to slow down to translate my ideas to words and how carefully, or not, I choose those words. And when words fail, I supplement them with drawings or pictures.

Because I use a computer all the time, except when I have to sign my name, I love to see my handwriting and see how it changes throughout my journal, depending on my mood.

The journals I use must have pockets so that I can store stuff. I prefer ones that lay flat when I open them, have good quality paper and a sturdy cover. Although I like ruled journals, most times, I go for ones with plain pages as the lines can feel confining. For travel, I also prefer one that’s small enough, say a 6″ x 4″, so that it can fit easily into my purse.

Do you use a journal when you travel? What things do you write about?

If you like what you’ve read why not Share, Tweet, Digg, Like, etc. You never know who might be interested.

16 comments on “Before My Travel Blog

  1. Ever since my first trip abroad (much longer ago than I care to admit!), I’ve kept a travel journal. I save little things much like you do and along with those keepsakes I write very meticulous accounts of each day. Its usually a weird combination of what events transpired and the random thoughts that come to mind as I write. The outcome isn’t always pretty, but it always reflects my experiences which is the most important thing. When I read through old journals, the very best entries take me back to that day and allow me to relive it all over again. 🙂

  2. I agree. I just saw the journal that I had while I was in Barcelona and just picking it up and reading random pages brought back such wonderful memories!
    I kept the most unusual things — a business card-sized calendar from a pharmacy, the receipt I got from a restaurant — all kinds of little things that just brought it all back.
    Thanks for visiting and sharing,

  3. I keep another travel journal. Ever since the boys were babies I have tried to keep a journal. These days I only write something once per week. It’s a good thing that I have done it, as the sleep deprivation has affected my memory, and I’m amazed at all the things I have forgotten. I have kept a journal because my own mum could never remember any anecdotes from our childhood. I could never figure out why she couldn’t remember such important stuff, and now I know!

  4. I always worry that I might but I haven’t. You’re right, I’ve been lucky.
    Thanks, Elizabeth,

  5. Keeping a journal does take time. I go through periods when I don’t write and periods when I write everyday.
    I know what you mean about remembering. We’re now becoming our parents!

  6. Oh, when I was at Bible College, I kept a journal of ever day I was there. They were actually blog post, but I was putting them on private. Anyway, the best part, is that I wrote about everything that happened. And now, when I read it, it’s almost like I get sucked into that day, it’s SOOOO cool!

  7. You’re right, Mozes. When you re-read your entries, they take you right back. It is cool!

  8. Ah, not to worry, Mozes. People have similar experiences all the time.
    Thanks for letting me know.

  9. Dang, I just realized that somebody already posted something exactly like the thing I posted. Oh well.

  10. You’re welcome, Marge. So true. When we’re going through ‘stuff’ it seems all consuming.
    And then after time passes, we realize how unimportant it really was.
    I wish I can remember that when I start sweating the small stuff.
    Thanks for stopping by,

  11. I had a period of time when I wrote in my journals and am so glad I did. Rereading them helps me to appreciate all that I went through at the time, who I turned to for support and how much I’ve grown. Some of the stuff I thought was so important turned out to be folly after all! Great post – thanks so much!

  12. I started to write a journal when I was about 12 years old. I do not write all the time, sometimes I’m writing everyday, some others I do not write anything at all inside it for months but I never stop to keep it.
    I tried a lot of different kind of “blank journal” like normal notebook or an old fashioned one, but now I’ve find the one that I love, the Moleskine’s notebook. I like the quality of the paper when I’m writing on it with my cartridge pen or just a simple ballpoint pen and there is a pocket inside to fill in with photos, cards…. 🙂
    You just give me an idea for a post, thanks Marcia ! 🙂

  13. I have a moleskin as well and I really love it. I also use a cartridge pen — prefer using that instead of a ballpoint. I like the pocket to keep papers and odds and ends.
    I also tried the blank page journal — I tried all kinds of journals until I found the one I wanted. Great that I gave you an idea for a post. I can’t wait to read it, Isabelle!

  14. You know, Marcia, its funny I’ve also journaled since high school but there are chunks of my life that I haven’t written a word about. I went to Rome last year and though I loved my trip, I didn’t write a word about it. Maybe I’ll try writing about it now. I love your photos of your journals. But I love your photos period. I hope to start using more photos on my blog. FYI, I’ve changed my theme so don’t think you’re in the wrong place when you come to visit. 🙂

  15. Hey Cheryl, I can’t wait to hear about Rome. I’m sure it was fabulous.
    I find that journaling about anything makes the memories sharper and sometimes, the experience is so intense, so close to the senses that I don’t want the writing (paper, pen) to come between us. I’ll stop by shortly to see the new theme.

Comments are closed.