TRAVEL TALK: WHY I JOURNAL

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.

journalsThough 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.

TRAVEL TALK: WHY WE BACKPACK
A NEW PAGE: THAILAND

5 Comments

  1. Reply
    Jessica Hahn Kok 14 November, 2013

    SO worth the effort. We give our kids new journals when we go on trips. It’s neat to see what was important to them. My twenty something cousin has one from every trip she’s taken since she was able to write. They are SO cool. You should write over breakfast in the morning. Hope you’re having a wonderful trip!

    • Reply
      Bethany 14 November, 2013

      I love that you have your children journal; it’s the best souvenir. Thailand is amazing! I hope your trip is wonderful too!

  2. Reply
    knitwgrace 15 November, 2013

    VERY cool!!!!

  3. Reply
    knitwgrace 15 November, 2013

    PS Micah misses you. This morning he told me “Miss Befie still wasn’t there yesterday”.

    • Reply
      Bethany 15 November, 2013

      Aww… Too cute! I miss my Micah too :) Another mom messaged me that her daughter was under the impression that I’m away on a rocket ship. Rocket ships are now on my bucket list!

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