Thursday, September 1, 2016

10 Pros and Cons of Travel Journaling

Happy September everyone. I can't believe August is already over. I think for me August is always the fastest month of the year, but  I guess every month flies by.
Our weather has cooled off a bit and it feels like September. They say even cooler tomorrow. I am loving it. :) And I've really noticed how the light is changing too. Fall will be coming! These cool nights are the best for sleeping, which is good since I am back to having the alarm wake me up before 5 AM.
So today I have some more pics from my Iceland journal. I didn't quite finish it before school started (like I had hoped I would) but almost.
Usually I take a journal and a few pens, markers, along  pencils with me on a trip. I throw in a small pair of scissors, a glue stick and a small roll of double sided tape. I work on my travel journal while en route and then finish up when I get home. On my trip to Iceland however, I didn't take anything. Since I was travelling with friends, I thought it might not have time to work on it. I just collected bits and pieces, and then have been working on my journal when I got home. Here's what I see as pros and cons of both methods. 
1) pro-When I get home I can organize the book more by theme than by date. Since the trip is all over, I can combines days together, rather than journaling day by day. This might make the book more interesting.

2) pro- Because I don't carry paints and other supplies with me, I can make more complex pages when I get home. Like making a pocket right where I want it. In the pocket below are tickets, a postcard and a brochure of a cool embroidery project that was being worked on (and will take 5 years to finish). All of these were from different days of the trip. I also painted the Viking ship and punched and painted the decorative shields on its edge.

3) con-I've forgotten lots of the little things-i.e. jokes, sayings, funny signs or images-that I like to record in my journal. Instead my pages are more big impressions. Here on the right I did  more of a synopsis rather than anything with details.

4) pro-Even when bringing journal materials, I don't always find time to do it.  So instead of lugging supplies along and adding that weight to my suitcase, I can just make a little "paper" and supply collection while traveling. This made my suitcase lighter  on the way over  and means I have a little more space for things to bring home.

5) Con- The longer it takes me to finish, the more I want to be done, so I start to rush. I'm not saying the pages are  bad, but they do get more simple so I can get through them. The longer it takes to finish, the less "fresh" my thoughts are on the trip are too. As we all know when you get home and get back to life other things take front and center in your mind, as they should.

6) Pro- I didn't feel like I "should" be journaling while on the trip. I had  few moments I missed having my play things, but mostly I was so busy I didn't have time or a desire to journal.

(And flip open the postcard- the words are stamps in Swedish, not Icelandic, but they are roughly similar, or at least more similar than French or Spanish or Chinese would be.)

7)      Con- I bring home paper and other kinds of ephemera that I didn't end up needing for my journal, but I carried it because I might want it. Since I wasn't certain exactly what I was going to do on my pages. These are papers I might have not brought home if I started the pages while traveling. I also got home and said 'I wish I had that brochure or post card." No second chances once I am home

8) Pro- I really had plenty of materials to work with once home. Even when I journal while traveling I still seem to bring home enough bits and pieces anyhow.  I now how supplies I can use in other art, not just for my Iceland journal.

9- Pro- My overall journal isn't a "rushed" project. I can take time and think about what I want to show and how I want to show it.  My pages end up with more depth, even if they are simplistic because I can make the "right" background and use the "right" layout. Its not like I throw a page together in the hotel room at night when I am tired. I had purchased a few postage stamps while traveling and then decided to order some other off of eBay because they had images I liked or could use or reminded me of Iceland.

10-Con- Although I will admit, sometimes those rushed pages are great because they give you the "real" feel for the trip. Now that I am home and all the moments start to meld together journal the pages aren't quite so spontaneous.

I am ready to be done with my journal, and I am almost there. :)
 (I better hurry up before I put it aside and never finish it.)

 Whether I journal at home or away, travel journaling is always a lot of fun for me.
How about you?
Hope you enjoyed your views today!


Sadie´sGedankenfülle said...

Hello Erika

What a collection of magnificent pages
I admire your inexhaustible creativity.
Mixed style journal I try simple;-)
A beautiful autumn for you
lg Sadie

Valerie-Jael said...

Love your journal, and it will be great for you to look back many years from now and see what you were up to. I usually just travel with a couple of A5 file folders, in which I collect all my bits and bobs, and then work at home. Have a happy day at school, hugs, Valerie

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I bought postcards and wrote a message to myself each day I traveled. Since I was always in the states, I had no trouble mailing the postcard to myself. I could write whatever quirky, thoughtful, or interesting events happened that I would not forget because I captured that memory in a postcard. That may help with your loss of the little details. I really enjoyed your synopsis, though.

~*~Patty S said...

Your Pros and Cons are all interesting Erika
AND it is such fun seeing more of your Iceland journal pages too!!!
For me I get really immersed in traveling and taking photos and collecting ephemera along the way.
I like coming home and focusing and reliving the trip.
The point you made about losing small details made me think of how my pages spark the smaller memories when I look at them.
I'm with you HOW can it be September already!!!
It's true what my Mom always told me...the older you get the faster time goes.

Jeanie said...

This is a terrific post, Erika. You nail all the right things here -- things I've muddled about.

This is how I've settled that with me. I always take a small (read that as purse-sized) notebook for jotting down notes, etc. Or maybe a slightly larger but still light travel diary. I also take a few plastic ziplocks in various sizes to hold memorabilia and some pens that I can use to sketch in the notebook. I rarely do that, actually, but on my recent trip I did take a sketch pad and pens because I knew I would have time. As for the rest, I wait till I'm home and can really organize things. I never regret the bits of paper I bring home -- I can always use it for something and it's lighter than carrying the whole art kit!

Linda said...

Beautiful and creative! Hello from Montreal, Canada. :)

Gibby Frogett said...

Great post with more of your amazing pages Erika :)
The pros and cons were interesting too.. re no:3 and forgotten things, sometimes when I am doing family history and trying to recall stories etc to write down I'll go somewhere quiet, close my eyes and imagine myself in the surroundings or whatever, and that will often help recall the thing.
I don't travel far but if I did I think I'd collect as many things as possible that would fit in my luggage, take lots of photos for reference and maybe take a Dictaphone (to use in private).
Gill x

Gibby Frogett said...

oh and I meant to say I love your Penguin page especially. I know you noticed the Puffin I put on yesterdays pages, I wasn't sure if I put in the correct place though, it was meant to be Iceland.
G x

Anonymous said...

This is a great list. I often think I will travel journal but I never manage to get around to it. I like the idea of having a collection of things to journal with when I get home. Maybe writing down the funny sayings, jokes, etc in a small notebook would be worth it. xox

Meggymay said...

Its a fantastic post to read and all your pages are filled with your personal memories. Your Pro's and Con's were also good to read. Its good that we all work differently and that makes it special to ourselves.
Yvonne xx

froebelsternchen Susi said...

What a fantastic post Erika! Wow!