Welcome back, my fellow travel journalers! If this is your first time here with us for our Travel Journal class, you can go here and read the first lesson as well find links to all of the other weeks.
Today we start on our journey. This is the true “meat” of the journal project. For the next two weeks, I’ll be giving you prompts that you can print (or scrap) now and put into your journal. That’s all you need to do right now. Pack your journal with you when you go on your trip, and then at the end of the day (or whenever it works best for you), read the prompt and respond to it. That’s all you have to do. You can attach photos or memorabilia if the prompt makes you think of something you want to add. It’s your journal. You can do whatever you’d like to make it yours.
Day One’s prompt deals with the actual trip to get to your destination. Are you taking a road trip? Are you flying? If you’ve been to your destination previously, what makes this trip different? Are you leaving early in the morning, or do you leave mid-day?
A major factor in our vacation decision this year was the actual travel. My teenage son hates to fly. Last year we flew to California. Before we left, we went to the doctor and she prescribed a small dose of Xanax to help him relax on the plane. I gave him two before we got on the plane. They had absolutely no effect on him. He sat gripping me the entire ride. I couldn’t turn the pages in my book. I couldn’t take a drink of my Pepsi. Heaven forbid I need to get up to use the restroom. He was so close to a panic attack that it scared me.
This year, it’s a road trip for us. We actually tried a “shortcup” (as my kids used to call it) and were fairly lost for about an hour, until we finally got somewhere we recognized. I laughed so hard during that hour, and tweeted much of it. To remember that trip, I wrote down all of my tweets from the trip. I see that page now, and I smile, and remember.
Make sure you tell any fun stories, and capture the details. What movies did the kids watch on the way? What was your road music? How much did you pay for a bottle of water at the airport? Those details seem small now, but they can make a story much more colorful years from now.
Curiosity is the subject of Day Two. For my family, Day 2 is a day of discovery. Maybe you are at a theme park and see a ride you’d like to try but the line is too long. You put it on your list for later. Day 2’s prompt is all about things like that. Write down what you’ve seen that makes you curious. Maybe it’s a brochure, maybe it’s a billboard, maybe it’s something you passed and thought you’d like to explore. Writing those things down now will help you to remember them later in the trip.
When I first started creating this project, my focus was adding more than just visual to the story of our trip. Day Three will help you do that. Think about the sounds, the smells, the tastes. Steph and I have talked about food being a big part of our Disney trips, and how Disneyland’s food just doesn’t compare to that at Walt Disney World. Those kinds of things should be remembered.
I did my journal entry for Day 3 as a list. You can create a list or just write a journal entry. Describe in detail how that fried cheese at 50s Prime Time Cafe tasted and that even though you thought you’d hate it, you actually loved it. You could write about the smell of hot, wet creosote as you walk into the theme park for the day. Perhaps it’s the opening notes of “Seven Bridges Road” that made you feel you were truly on vacation.
If you’re taking more than an eight day trip, you can always reuse this prompt. The tastes, smell, and sounds of a trip change every day, and it’s worthy of visiting twice.
That’s it for this week. Download your choice of printable prompts or layered files, get them in your journals, and sit back and countdown the days until your trip!
P.S. Congratulations to Amy who was randomly selected from the comments yesterday to win $10 in product from Sausan Designs. Here’s what she said: “My favorites are Love Bird, A la Mode and Whimsical Autumn. Thanks for introducing me to a wonderful, unique designer!!!” Check your inbox Amy!