Travel writing

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Do you keep a travel journal? I ask because we’ve noticed some travel stores carrying Clairefontaine for the purpose, and we’re curious about people’s habits.

Do you keep a separate notebook just for travel? If so, what do you look for in the notebooks that you use?

7 thoughts on “Travel writing

  1. I take my large Webbie that serves as my morning pages and usually an A5 size notebook Webbie, Habana, or Clothbound for all the daily jottings, directions, mileage driven, stops made, notes about what we’ve seen. Sometimes I take a third journal (a Crane refillable loong out of production for which I stocked up on refills before they were all gone) I use once in the tent or motel/hotel to write other impressions of the day or whatever is on my mind. A rant or vent before going to sleep so that it is forgotten before morning and won’t appear in my morning book.

    In the days of Polaroids I would paste them into the books to remind me and/or another reader of what it was like that day. The view from a tower overlooking the Grand Canyon or the tunnel entry into Yosemite. Now when we travel by car I take along the Epson PictureMate and print when an outlet is available. Such wonderful memories pasted in those books. Memories that would be long forgotten if I hadn’t journaled as I went along. Just thinking about it makes me crave the open road. -1 degree windchill does not make me want to run right out and go today. A ticket to Pago Pago would be nice, except the airlines won’t let me take my swiss army knife! Maybe a cruise ship! and warmth!

  2. Small enough to fit in a (large) pocket. Good paper, lined/graph. For me, the brown, Clairefontaine A5 graph (pale blue lines) is ideal. Great paper, robust (spine still good when notebook full) and big enough to hold more than 4 words on a line!

  3. The smaller Habanas are perfect. Pockets for those tickets/receipts, small enough to slide into pocket or purse, band around keeps things from falling out that get tucked between the pages, FP friendly, and covers stiff enough to not crease if I have to sit on ’em.

    I’m heading on Pilgrimage this year and already have a stash of Habanas read to go. A Carene + a box of Waterman cartridges will pair with.

    For writing conferences I take the larger Habanas. Fold handouts in half, tuck in front. Band keeps them in. Business cards and receipts in the back pocket. Paper is sturdy enough I can use a glue stick to paste pitches next to the agents’ bios.

  4. Years ago, while working for the government in Zaire (Africa) and Haiti, I kept written diaries of my adventures in cheap notebooks and/or loose leaf paper, alongside photos and other memorabilia. It was a loose form of scrap booking I used mainly as fodder for the many letters I would send back, but they have since proven invaluable to me now as I look back with nostalgia at the great adventures I experienced. During my more recent work trips, I keep electronic notes/diaries on my laptop.

    For my vacations, the last few of which have been to Cuba, I leave the laptop behind and go with a few low tech pens and a plain, sturdy, hardcover journal. My journal is protected from most of my abuse by a leather Renaissance Art cover that sports a convenient pen loop for storing said low tech pens.

    A few of the people in the group I traveled with last year found it a bit odd for me to be writing in a journal while we were wandering around Cuba (particularly since I teach in the IT field…), but I just smiled and kept writing. I have since received numerous requests from those same people asking for information from the “lists of things to remember” I recorded while we were wandering around or just sitting around and enjoying the rum. 🙂

  5. My wife and I went on an Antarctic cruise for our honeymoon and we both wrote in the travel journal for that trip. Then a couple years later we did a river cruise in Europe and again had a travel journal along that both of us wrote in. Great way to save memories from such a trip.

  6. Nice leather bound / small / gilt-edged. Fine qualtiy paper, but not necessarily fountain pen friendly. Wish I had a need for same, right now!

  7. The only time I journal regularly is while travelling (my most recent trip to NYC notwithstanding). I typically use whatever pocket-sized sketchbook I’m using at the time for both journalling and drawing while in transit.

    When not travelling, I remember to journal about once every two months.

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