The ever changing Travel Journal

Everywhere you go now you see people typing on their laptops, tablets, or smartphones.  Visiting a coffee shop now, when you actually want a cup of coffee, is like finding a parking place among all those clicking away on their devices.  While I admire all of these folk’s work ethic it reminds me of my old hand written travel journals. ( It also reminded me of a post on my friend Indah’s gorgeous travel blog Indah’s Monochrome Travel Journal Post who was herself inspired by the following post from PhoTrablogger. )

When I first started traveling I kept hand written notes and used the journals as a place to store my paper memories like receipts, pamphlets, tickets, etc.  In fact, one amusing entry I read went like this…”Damn, I left my glue stick at home!”  That made me laugh.  I used these journals to remember what order I visited places, what the names of all the places were after I forgot them likely 24 hours later, it allowed me to write down what I was thinking, make notes on things to do when I returned, and mostly just to write or track anything I wanted.

Well, previously my journals were all hand written.  On my most recent big trip I used my iPhone instead.  While it was terribly convenient it wasn’t terribly inspired.  After reviewing entries in my old journals it made me realize I never want to use the phone or an app again.  It just isn’t the same as my silly rants, my terrible but amusing drawings, and my glue stick sorry excuse for a scrapbook.

I am now officially on the search for a new glue stick and my next interesting and blank travel journal.  How do you like to track your travels?  Do you still hand write your thoughts?  Do you use a laptop or tablet or even a voice recorder?  I always admire those that write and blog and post while on their vacation but prefer to ruminate over my travels after I return home.

An example of a few of my travel journals one from Costa Rica in 2006 and one from Scotland and Germany in 2000.

Apparently, I felt compelled to illustrate my journey towards Panama. (I missed my calling as a cartoonist.)  πŸ˜‰

I watched the great Leather back Turtles lay their eggs on a sandy beach in the middle of the night and must have been in the mood to draw another little cartoon.  Those little baby turtles are likely now nine years old!

I felt the need to document a tasty candy bar while in Scotland.  (Note: I wrote “Yummy” with an arrow if it wasn’t obvious enough.)  πŸ™‚

I always like to keep tickets from anywhere I go as a fun memento.

21st Century & functional yet uninspired travel journal.  ;(

What travel journals or method of tracking your journals do you use? What has worked or not worked? Anyone have a favorite type of journal?

49 thoughts on “The ever changing Travel Journal

  1. Some fellow travelers on my last tour were teasing me for my “old fashioned” notebook! Glad I’m not the only one who prefers it πŸ™‚ I also have many candy bar wrappers, ticket stubs, and receipts clipped to the pages.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was using those Moleskines for a while. Now I just use the pocket-sized Moleskines for addresses and phone numbers or other logistics when I anticipate there being no internet access, and I need to get from point A to point B.

    Otherwise I have always used an online blog. In the beginning it was peace of mind for my family whenever I traveled solo, which was the majority of the time.

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  3. When on the road, hand written for sure! I used to also keep all the “papers” I collected when travelling – receipt, brochures, cards, tickets, etc. I made a collage and put it under the glass of a glass-topped table I have. it certainly enlivens the table!

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  4. Thank you for the linking! I am so sorry to reply so late – it’s been crazy busy week..I love your turtle drawing..hand-written journal never tires me. I keep using it until now and yes, also to put all boarding pass, tickets and weird momentos πŸ˜€

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  5. I love a handwritten, momento-filled journal. My favourites are when everyone contributes: I love the differences in perspective.
    After my laptop crashed (pre-Facebook days) the only photos I had of a big family holiday were the ones I printed out for my journal. Having something tangible will always be more precious.

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  6. My wife, children, and grand kids oft times gave me the blank-paged books to used when I did mission work. The books they provided grew thicker and thicker. I sometimes struggled to fill them completely with my thoughts. Who knows, the thoughts of Coca Lights, roadside snacks of juice and/or cassava, or bananas might be fameous one day. I always refer back to the notes for names, places and food for my “stories.”

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    • Wonderful! It’s amazing how much artistic inspiration there is while traveling and how much is forgotten once you get home. The travel journal helps me remember!

      Thanks for stopping by the blog. I would love for you to follow me if you haven’t already.

      Happy blogging Tom!


  7. I’m very late to this commenting party!

    When I actually do keep a travel journal, it’s definitely the old fashioned kind – usually a spiral notebook (generally recycled from my school ones, school pages torn out). I am a fan of tape over the glue stick, though! I like to be able to see the other side of things, which tape makes easier.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I always use my phone, but I save my tickets and other mementos still, which subsequently end up being tossed in some unorganized bag or box somewhere, never to see the light of day again. A journal would be a much better idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for sharing your experience with the new techonology, I’ll know to avoid thinking I can use my phone or my iPad as a replacement in the future. There is something about writing it that makes the place and the memories come alive. I typically write in a journal, then collect a huge pile of things like coins, entrance tickets, paper napkins or coasters with the place name on it… then come home and scrapbook. Only now, I’ve been photobooking – and it’s the same thing as scrapbook only just not 3-D and maybe not as personal, but smaller and smoother and easier to store. I scan the coins and tickets, and add those images and the drawings and all my writing, as though it is a scrapbook.

    Just last week I was skimming an old scrapbook, and found a lovely entry. I was working with a volunteer group and after breakfast I sat nearby to write in my journal. Henri Gignoux, the founder of the organization, spotted me and asked for the book. I handed it to him and he drew a picture in it for me! Now that would never happen on a phone. And I have a little part of Gignoux to carry with me forever.

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  10. I’m inspired by you journalers. It’s something I can do with those nice leather-bound and still-blank notebooks I bought in Italy. It’s always been just photos for me. I have 20-30 binders full of prints from 4 years working in England and traveling the Continent pre-digital age and I have several dozen small-format Berlitz guides and other guidebooks I used during those travels. Nowadays it’s digital photos and mapping apps. On my recent biking trip in the Netherlands (blogging in progress) one of our group was a graphics artist and spent time during daily stops making very good drawings in a notebook. Impressive IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great! For me it is part so I don’t forget the names and places and order of things. And part of it is to collect my little tickets and maps and postcards and stuff. It’s fun and helpful when I get home and start blogging. Thanks for the comment!


    • Welcome to my blog! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for following.

      It’s hard to deny the ease of tablets and smart phones for sure. There is still something tactile and fun about a journal. It’s line of like the difference between an e-birthday card and a physical card mailed to you with a stamp. πŸ™‚


  11. Pingback: One Year Blogiversary – Thank you for reading! | Bulldog Travels

  12. Love this πŸ™‚ I always splash out on a Moleskine diary with the weekdays on the left and a blank page on the right, and I fill it with pics, tickets and memories as I go along. Definitely the best way to keep track of people, places and journeys!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The old fashioned way is definitely better! I record my thoughts on paper at the end of every day. It feels more personal than tapping away on a keyboard. I’m not quite as organised as you though. I have a lifetime’s worth of tickets and postcards etc. which I need to organise into scrapbooks – one of many jobs planned for this year!

    Liked by 1 person

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