Travel Journal Problems

I got 99 problems, but a travel journal isn’t one of them!

Jay Z if he had a travel Journal (not saying he doesn’t but I have no idea if he has one or not)

I have a problem, and I didn’t realize it was a problem until my best friend pointed it out.

During a snowboarding trip in Whistler, BC, she finally decided to have an intervention with me.

The conversation went something like this. We were getting in the car after a long day of snowboarding and snowmobiling.

Travel Journal from Amazon

Me: Can you hand me the parking pass.

BF: Why?

Me: For my travel journal.

BF: You want to keep the parking pass for your travel journal?

Me: Yes!

BF:  Heather, you seriously have a problem.

Me: No, I don’t.

BF: Yes, you do. Hi, my name is Heather, and I am a traveling journal hoarder. I will save everything, including a sticker I found on the ground.

Me: In my defense, it was a cool free sticker.

BF: You have a problem.

Me: No, I don’t.

BF: Yes, you do.

This argument continued until we got back to the Inn.

Okay, I will admit it, I have a problem because I have spent some (a lot) money, time, and energy creating a rocking traveling journal. And you would think after all this time; my friends would have been use to my weird habit of sticking every business card, hand-drawn map, parking pass, tour sticker, and other things into my travel journal.

But I have, in my opinion, one of the coolest travel journals.

So how did this habit/problem come about? 

When I was sixteen, I went to Europe for the first time. My grandmother (who was taking my cousin and me) gave us a travel journal. I wrote in it any chance I got. When I got back, I made my first scrapbook based on that travel journal.

I would write everything down and then transfer everything I had collected along the way into a scrapbook. But the problem was it took too much time, and by the time I was getting started, I was on to the next adventure.

Plus, hauling everything home and trying to figure out what went where wasn’t working for me.

The next step came after a trip to Alaska when I discovered that I had somehow hauled about 10 pounds of stuff and only used half of it. Around that time, I discovered Pinterest and found a whole group of people just as addicted to travel journals as I was.  There were so many awesome travel journals.

Copyrighted to Chantae was Here. Please visit and support her.

I tried the Smash Book, and even though the concept was great. I would put too much stuff in it and the book would exploded (usually at the worst possible time).  Plus, as much as I love the Smash Book, they were on the way out when I discovered them. It became harder and harder to find new ones. Plus, after a couple of trips, I now have a collection of Smash Books and scrapbooks.

Composition Notebook

Next, was the use of the Composition Book. It was cheap, but it took a while to set up, and the papers had a tendency to wrinkle.  Plus, it didn’t look nice afterward, something that a fifth grader would do. On a trip to Colorado that I discovered, I didn’t like my planning part with my actual travel part.  Plans have a way of changing, so this book didn’t allow for the evolution of travel.

So it was back to the drawing boards for me.

In October 2014, I discovered Hobonichi Techno Planners and Tomoe River Paper – and it was like the heavens opened up, and the angels started to sing.

For the last couple of years, my planner has come from the Land of the Rising Sun (Japan). This is my planner, work diary, home life scrapbook, and everything in between. The paper is amazing and thin, and there are very few writing tools that bleed through, making this idea. Plus, the layout allows you to use it how you see fit.  And I thought I could use it for a travel journal as well.

Copyright to DeJapan, please give her some love

But there were two drawbacks. One, my entire work life is in that planner, and if it gets stolen or lost, I am screwed. Two, my whole work life is in that planner, which means I am dragging my work on vacation.

I tried to move to the moleskins, but it exploded in the middle of the plane. Nothing like having everything going all over the place as a way to introduce yourself to everyone who has the misfortune of sitting near you.

So, what to do? I want a rocking travel journal, but I need something that I can use and not explode.

My Rocking Travel Journal

It was one day while I was flipping through my Hobonichi that inspiration hit. I really like Tomoe River Paper, it’s lightweight, and in the two years of using my Hobonichi, it hasn’t exploded. I bet Hobonichi has a blank notebook.

I am glad I didn’t take that bet; it turns out they did not have a blank Hobonichi notebook at the time.  A little more digging on the internet, and I came across an Esty listening with blank Tomoe River Paper notebooks (in the same size as my Hobonichi). And to my amazement, it worked great. The only thing was I need something I could plan my trips in.

Another search on Pinterest and tons and tons of YouTube video led me to the Midori Traveler’s Notebook. If you are not familiar with it, this is a kind of thrown-together, everything is customizable, notebook/planner/diary, that is based on taking out and putting in different notebooks. There are tons of handmade ones out there. I chose a cool handmade one, mostly because I didn’t want to invest too much into it. The real one comes in leather; mine is made of cloth.

My Travel notebook

And the rest is history.

I travel with the Midori, a reusable folder, and a pair of scissors. I can write down everything I do, and at night clip away anything I want to keep from magazines, brochures and any other piece of paper I pick up. The Midori contains all my travel information, reservations, credit card, money, and a small notebook for jotting down things. It works as my planner and carry all. I put stuff that I pick up through the day in it, including an area where I can place all those stickers I get on tours.

And my travel journal, full of all my memories, stays back at the hotel or home, waiting for the end of the day/trip and a glass of wine, where I will tell it all about my journey.

I still have a problem, but I have a rocking travel journal that does not explode, and I am not lugging everything around. So, I think it is a win win!

Side Note: I tried to include links and Copyrights where I could. I do this for fun so please no hate. And please visit the sites I listed above and give them a little love too!

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