I like words. I have this blog, so obviously, I enjoy writing; people who know me will attest to my love of reading and office supplies. It only makes sense that I combine my love of words with my love of travel and always keep a travel journal.
I have kept a journal for every international trip we have taken: Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Japan, Cambodia, (and at the moment, Thailand). A travel journal actually inspired the name of my blog. In early 2010, my husband, Jared, and I were planning our trip to Spain, our first international vacation by ourselves. A few weeks before our journey, Jared gave me a beautiful leather travel journal with a card that included this quote by St. Augustine, “the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” With our move to Korea and our many trips planned for Asia, we are certainly reading more than a page.
Though I have kept a journal for every trip, I have a love/hate relationship with them. Obviously, my love for stationary means that I love picking out a new journal. I try to find slim, small journals that I can carry around in my purse. I usually keep the journal with me at all times with the thought that I could jot down notes or write a quick entry while we are relaxing somewhere. I prefer lined pages, and I have started only writing on the front side of each page. I write in pen, so using the front side only prevents bleed-through messiness and also leaves space for me to tape in ticket stubs or other souvenirs. I choose to journal because it makes me sit and reflect on the day, and it is the best way to remember a whirlwind trip. Where did I buy that souvenir? What was the name of that restaurant with amazing food? I love the idea that when I am too old to travel any more, I’ll be able to look back and relive these days.
However, it can be a real pain sometimes. When we travel, we are on the go all day long. I rarely have the chance to sit down and write during the day, so I generally end up writing at night. After a long, exhausting day of walking and sight-seeing, I usually have very little motivation to sit down and write for 45 minutes. And, yes, I will write for that long, because there’s no point in keeping a journal that doesn’t have details! There have been so many times when I feel like I do not have enough energy for writing, and I have to force myself to pick up my pen.
I always find that the journals are worth the effort. They are the perfect companion to photographs. Although pictures are wonderful, I still prefer words to tell my story. And, who knows, maybe my journals will help me win a Pulitzer one day.