Why do you treasure your travel journals?
Memories of faraway places…
often never to be repeated
So, how do you capture your adventures?
Pages and pages of descriptive writing?
Whimsical lines and blobs of colour expressing an essence?
I love my travelling tales –
But over the years I’ve struggled how best to record them in a way that doesn’t feel like homework – either at the time OR later!
I don’t know about you, but the reality is…
I’m not an author.
In fact I generally find walls of solid text quite daunting and uninviting.
And when delving into my own unedited first drafts, I have to be honest, I find their wordy roughness hard going.
I’m not an artist.
I’d love to be able to emulate sketchbook journallers who with their evocative splodges convey a spontaneity.
But my efforts, to me – fall disappointingly flat.
I’m not a scrap-booker.
I admire craftspeople who pedantically collect, collate, arrange and stick, to create heirlooms for future generations –
But somehow that day to sit down and start sorting, mysteriously never happens.
I’m not a photo-album collator
I take 1,000’s of photos to capture the beauty I see but must confess that most of them still languish on their SD cards –
The size of the job required to cull through each of the 20 different angles I took of each subject as the light changed is too daunting and so they get left for ‘one day’.
But, I am a map-maker!
And I’m going to share with you how to travel journal like a map-maker and…
create story-map travel journal pages like below,
which are quick, easy and…fun 🙂
Maps are made up of:
- a variety of line types
- a few words (mainly names) and
- some symbols, which with their need to be easily recognizable are often a simple doodle.
In other words, they’re not complex realistic drawings that require time and observation –
They’re representations that are drawn from how your mind’s eye sees or perceives them.
If you look at the symbols I used in the above story-map, the square block houses are represented by the kind of house we as children in kindergarten would draw –
So if you held a pencil in kindergarten and drew symbolic renditions from memory of your family and home, you already possess the skill required to create a story-map too!
Have you ever created a mind-map?
Where you start with a central theme from which thoughts and ideas branch out across the page forming a map that links the concept together?
This is essentially the secret of a story map.
You’re laying out and linking the events of your day by positioning the words, the lines and the pictorial symbols so their spacial relationship on your journal page reveals the tale.
“Maps are our most primeval narrative instruments.
…some of the best stories I’ve ever read were maps.”
Frank Jacobs, Strange Maps.
As a cartographer I’m forever amazed how a single sheet map can convey so much information succinctly, comprehensibly and have such visual appeal.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words –
How ever many words is a story-map worth?
How To Guides
There are 100’s of How To Guides available on-line and at the library that will improve your travel writing, teach you how to draw, develop your skills to create beautiful scrapbook journals, and take better travel photographs.
But I’d like to share with you some tools, tips and tricks from my quirky cartographic viewpoint.
A Map-Maker’s Guide to Create Your Own Story Map Travel Journal
will introduce you to line type varieties (dots, dashes, squiggles), show you how to create the feeling of movement with arrows and how to make simple pictorial symbols to help you recall your travelling tales in a way that will put a smile on your face (not only at the time), but in years to come when that moment for nostalgia strikes.
To create story maps of your travels…
- you don’t have to be a writer
- you don’t have to be an artist
- nor a crafts-person
You just need to
like the idea of creating something a little bit different
and have enough of an adventurous spirit to give them a go 🙂
In the next post I’ll start at the beginning with some line types ~
Here are a few to get you thinking about the possibilities!
Now, what do you think these line types represent?
Can’t wait to find out?
Here’s the link to the next post in the series:
And if you don’t want to miss the answers, enter your email below and I’ll give you a cooeee when it’s published