Starting a Travel Journal

Posted by Viola Sutanto on

"A TRAVEL JOURNAL IS THE ULTIMATE SOUVENIR."

 

travel journals

There is no right way to start a travel journal. Some people like to write; some draw, doodle, collage, take photographs...etc. I say all of the above is great, as long as it's something you find to be enjoyable. While I carry my laptop with me everywhere, I've always been a pen and paper kind of gal, so today's post is about journaling in a book.

Ever since I was a little girl, I would carry a notebook with me whenever we traveled as a family. If we were traveling to a non English-speaking country, I would fill my book with phrases in the native tongue, just in case, you know, we needed to use the loo pronto, or such travel emergencies. I kept train tickets, leaves we picked up during walks, and journaled with a carefree sense of wonder about everything I saw, smelt and touched. It was wonderful.

These days, journaling on family vacations has become a bit more challenging as we're wrangling 2 littles, but I still keep a journal with me whenever we're on the road. I rarely have the luxury of long stretches of time where I can gather my thoughts.

 

Instead I turn to doodling and quick sketching, often incorporating short phrases to remind me of the moment. As you can see, I like to draw my suppers.

Sometimes the conditions are less than ideal for journaling a.k.a. I have a snoozing baby strapped to me on a train ride. This is not the time to think pretty, people! Just get out that journal and let your pen fly. These are patterns I saw as the train whizzed past the Paris countryside. (Very loosely translated.)

 

map of my heart doodle

 

What's been fun is my 6-year-old daughter has taken up journaling too! It's been so inspiring to see our trips through her eyes. Disneyland, the hospital, a birthday and long road trip to Southern California. It was an exciting summer.

So... what do you need to start a travel journal? Not much.

 

Maika's Journals

TIP #1
Get a journal that's not too big or heavy. It should be easily portable, and you can always get more on the road. I like to switch it up between this one and this Moleskine.

TIP #2
Don't write as if someone is going to read it (and judge you). This journal is for you. Repeat after me: this journal is for you.

washi tape in journal

TIP #3
I bring washi tape so I can stick little 
mementos onto my journal, like train tickets, receipts and other bits and bobs.

journaling supplies in Maika pouch

TIP #4
#4: KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. This is what I pack on my trips. A sketchbook, a pencil, a brush pen, a fine point micron pena water brush pen and travel-sized watercolors that all fit nicely in a pouch. (waterproof lining a plus.)

TIP #5
Record your travels not just through your eyes. Engage with your senses: the smells, the textures, the colors, the sounds... all of these make for a much richer experience.

    Remember: a travel journal is the ultimate souvenir.
    So make it happen! Make it fun!

     

    Disneyland drawing leaves pouch memories moleskine patterns pouch sketching tombow pens travel journal trips washi tape writing

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