What do I recommend for a travel journal? I like something small enough to fit in my pocket as I am not partial to carrying a bag. I prefer a bendable journal that I can cram into a stuffed pocket.
I like a writing pad with a spiral binding so I’m not dealing with an uneven surface as I come to the border. I most prefer a spiral binding at the top. I like to muse and draw so I make sure I’ll have enough pages. For two weeks, 80 pages (2×5″) are fine but for six weeks, I prefer close to 500 (3×5″). The extra pages are good to write directions and pulling out for notes to give to others. (I don’t need to concern myself about WiFi connections!)
IMPORTANT TIPS: I put an address sticker and add my phone number and email address in the notebook, should it get lost. Take lots of extra pens. They get lost; they run out of ink; they explode. You won’t regret the extra pens. I generally write in my journal when I’m in the mood so I carry the journal and a pen everywhere I go. On my flight home, I read through the journal and write a paragraph or two about the overall journey.
JOURNAL ACCESSORIES. I usually take a glue stick, a red pencil and a yellow highlighter too, but I don’t carry those extras everywhere I go. (The glue stick is for beer labels or pretty tickets or interesting artwork on local brochures. The manicure scissors I keep with the mole skin is helpful with that too.)
JOURNAL COVERS. I usually decorate the cover prior to going on the trip with some picture or map or flag and then label it with my destination. It is important to me that I am pleased with the look and feel of my journal. A cheap notebook can look depressing until you dress it up. Whenever I pull out the journal, the decorated cover helps to remind me, I’m in OZ or at least not in Kansas anymore. Sometimes, I forget to look at it that way and am glad of the reminder.
“Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.”—Lawrence Durrell
Buy it. Read it. (Or listen to it.) Let me know what you think. –TMLL