My Travel Journals Over the Years

After many years of traveling I have countless travel journals to transcribe.

The cover of my first travel diary, sent to me by my aunt Denmark in honour of my first overseas trip to see her in 1965.
The cover of my first travel journalI see I was fascinated with the buttons on the jet – it was my first time flying. I also did a sketch of the coast of Holland – my first views of the world from the sky!
Travel journal from 1965 trip to Denmark A much later diary where I see I was still fascinated by buttons, these ones on a Japanese toilet. This was in 2003 before I had a digital camera. Back then you didn’t waste precious film on photos of toilets!Japan travel diary where I was fascinated with their terrific toilet technologyIn 2005, another aerial, this time flying over northern Mexico. By then I had switched to the lightweight kid’s exercise books that were half lined and half blank. I had also acquired a travel set of watercolours that I adore.Flying over northern Mexico from my 2005 tripBy 2006 I purchased my first digital camera with Airmile points. I never had so much fun with a camera but I found that I often just took photos and videos, as opposed to drawing or describing events in great detail. In 2008 the poor little camera was stolen in Buenos Aires and I went back to journalling and painting with a vengeance.Argentina diary with a drawing of the Castillos In 2012 I was still using the kid’s exercise books but by now they were so cheaply made that they fell apart during the trip. Of course, this particular journal had a ‘beer’ review section at the back – it got added when I was trying to keep track of all the fabulous Belgian beers we tasted. The entire journal got passed around a pub more than once as people applauded or booed our beer reviews – a great conversation starter but hard on the poor journal which is now held together by a lot of clear packing tape.
The beer section of our Belgian journalIn 2013 I retired, and we went on a two month journey through Myanmar and Vietnam. To keep up my blogging I bought an iPad mini with a plain black keyboard case. Worried that it might be stolen I added duct tape along the spine, painted ‘Diary’ in white paint on the front and added an elastic band to make it look like a paper journal. I also took along both a lined and unlined journal that were almost the same size and shape as the iPad. I still hadn’t learned my lesson about buying cheap books – these fell apart the first time I opened them. The elastic wasn’t there for looks but to keep them in one piece!
travel journal vs iPadLast year I finally went and spent some money on some decent journals, one with lines that I used for Ireland, and this one without lines that was used for Wales. I love the way I can freeform the text when there aren’t any lines to inhibit me. You certainly can’t do this on an iPad!Wales journal with wild flower drawing More of Jennifer Nichole Wells’ One Word Challenge: Diary.


11 responses to “My Travel Journals Over the Years

    • I hate moving – have been in our place for over 30 years – and thinking about moving now as there’s too many stairs for my poor old knees. In attempting to delete 30 years of clutter beforehand I have been going through everything and that’s when I found my oldest journal – It’s so much fun to find all these old things but I’m afraid I haven’t thrown out much, and when I do I feel like I’m throwing out my life! Very traumatizing to move – I don’t know how people do it!

      • it’s not easy and I don’t throw away my albums but earlier writings seem to have blown away in the winds of change! Good luck if you decide to move. Sometimes a change is a good thing though never easy!

  1. Great to hear about your journals! I have a whole box of old ones at home (also just cheap exercise books) but now that I travel with my husband I don’t take so many notes anymore. Sometimes I take notes on my phone. When I hear yours I feel like starting with the journals again!

    • My husband isn’t so keen about me journalling on the iPad – apparently I get so focused that nothing else exists. It’s easier to talk to him while doing a handwritten diary, plus people come up and say, “I hope you’re not writing about me!” or some such thing so it’s also a conversation starter. Nobody looks over your shoulder when you’re on an iPad.

  2. What a great journal journey. I especially like the last one. I wish I had one iota of skill to sketch. Not a chance. But I love the idea of the free form writing.

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