I’ve just unearthed some of my old travel journals during one of those sorting-clearing spring-cleaning sessions.
A travel journal from one of my earliest trips through south-east Asia, and another from a more recent visit to France have re-surfaced, which between them span many miles of travel over many years. Viewing them side by side the development of my journalling journey is clearly evident. That passing of time allowing for the exploration and discovery into how best to express and convey what I was experiencing then, for the fun of future reminiscing.
We’d taken a bus up to Thaton on the Burmese/Laos borders and boarded a long low boat to take us down the Mae Kok River. Along the way we had got into a charade type conversation with a young male Thai who it developed was a teacher of the Thai language to the hill tribes in the region. He offered to take us to the village he had just been assigned to teach, and as it turned out we spent the night in what was to be his first night too in a new house they had constructed for him from bamboo.
I asked him to write the name of the village in my journal (as you can see above). While I obviously asked him to write it for me as I had no idea how to spell what he was saying, it’s a great trick getting other people to fill in the details of your trip as today, when I hold the journal in my hands, its an amazing feeling still having this connection with him through his handwriting!
The extract below is from a travel journal I kept when visiting France in more recent times.
A few doodle type sketches can help convey any scene so much better than words alone.
They don’t have to be picture perfect, as they’re not for public scrutiny, they’re memory joggers for your personal recollecting pleasure – Those few squiggles of ‘vineyards’ in the sketch above, which would be unrecognisable to most, to me immediately bring back the image of that vista in full technicolor detail 😉
It’s the little things that count and make the difference. It’s noticing how another culture goes about life that reveals and reflects the true country you’re visiting.
The way they traditionally roof their houses. The colours selected to decorate their homes. The handmade lace decorating shelf fascias in the pantry. It’s all in the detail.
Such as a wafer wrapper as shown above, or a lowly leaf picked up on a woodland walk, below.
My first travel journal consisted entirely of just words, which over time I’ve learnt to supplement with images and artefacts.
By nature we all tend to have our own preference of expression –
Are you an…
- aural person…
- visual person…
- or kinaesthetic person?
Do share in the comments below –
And if you’re not sure what you are, in the next blog post I’ll define these terms to help you better understand how you can get the most out of your journals in years to come with my post: Are you and Aural, Visual or Kinaesthetic Person? 🙂