journals -- as good as cameras

Dec 31st, 2005, 11:12 AM
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journals -- as good as cameras

Cybor's note asking about everyone's travel is great! It's wonderful to read about everyone's breadth of travel experience. Wow!

I firmly intend to to respond to that posting with my own list, but so far every time I've looked at my old travel journals to make up a response to post there, I've gotten caught up in reading and remembering. I'm so glad I started keeping travel journals! They, along with the pictures my husband takes, bring each trip back to me so vividly.

If you've never thought of doing a travel journal, may I suggest you try it? You'll have a never-to-be forgotten record of your thoughts and your reactions to your experiences, and who knows? Maybe someday your grandchildren will read them and be impressed!
Celia is offline  
Dec 31st, 2005, 12:08 PM
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I make my own journals. I use a small loose-leaf notebook, buy really good letterhead (cut to fit the notebook) and using my computer, I create a page for each day. Each page includes the date, location, the name of the hotel (if I know in advance, otherwise I create a line Hotel_____________) a line for weather, a few lines for "What made me smile", space for "activities" and then lots blank lines for general writing. I also create blank - lined pages in case it's a really full day and I need more room. (They're kept in the back of the journal to be moved into the daily record as needed). In addition, I make "pockets" from the letterhead to go into the journal to collect the small souvenier-type ticket stubs, maps, boarding passes etc. (I'm truly a packrat - but it's amazing what memories a ticket stub can bring back - and some - like at Italian attractions - are pieces of art!) I also make pages for my husband, although so far he has never managed to keep it up through an entire trip. For me, having the location details and dates done in advance helps me to write everyday. They are truly treasures - I've done the same with trips taken with my mother. She has them now, and when she passes on, I will have a wonderful keepsake of our trips together.

cynstalker is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 02:04 AM
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Celia - I couldn't agree more. journals are as good as cameras - I'd actually say better unless you can keep your camera habit under control. Safari scenario - lions or whatever spotted - up goes the camera to the eye and that's all these poor people see - a small picture through a viewfinder or on a monitor for digital folk. The technology makes no difference - what they are concentrating on is the camera/the photo and not what is happening in front of them, right there, right now.


I travel with the camera (of sorts) - don't we all? But I once met a girl who didn't - she painted watercolours. Not every day, just once in a while when the mood took her, or she was stationary for a while. And I thought - that's the way to do it.

Trouble is - I can't paint!
fuzzylogic is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 08:42 AM
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Before I uploaded my recent trip photos that were digital; previously scanning my 35mm and creating on-line albums - it was always Journals, and still is. But I still do a photo album for each and every trip wherever.

I wouldn't forego the Journals as these are the best to put you right back in the environment of that trip.

Most of the tickes, admittance fee receipts, restuarant bills, beer or wine labels, etc. go into the photo album. The journal details flights, the plane, restaurants, hotel accommodations, daily activities, people we meet, things we see, etc. etc. and I do include some of the extra photos throughout the journal. For those countries with lots f detailed history, such as Egypt or Turkey, I include a scanned copy/printed onto one of the journal pages.

However one chooses to do their Journals, they are wonderful to have and provide great reading of memories for years upon years.
Jan 1st, 2006, 10:12 AM
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Posts: 2,501

I think a journal-photo combination is ideal -- reading my journals and viewing my photos (either on my laptop or in the albums) at the same time takes me back to Africa when England's wet, cold weather seems a bit too oppressive! Like Sandi, I also keep ticket stubs, etc and scatter them amongst the photos in my albums.

jasher is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 01:35 PM
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Hi Julian -

See you made it home safely and are with us again. I enjoyed our tea.
Jan 1st, 2006, 01:53 PM
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Hi Sandi,

I enjoyed our tea as well! Hope you had fun ringing in the New Year.

jasher is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 02:08 PM
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hi, i tried doing the journal thing while in zimbabwe 1999 and kenya 2001. i have good intentions BUT! i end up giving up. can't deal with it.found it to be a real pain,too much work.never bothered again.
i have my small note book for the words i learn. most of them naughty hehe.
emails, addresses & of course phone numbers. i shoot regular film,so all the albums i have. have a note or some kind of text next to the pic. i am able to keep track because. i wrap a pc of tape on the outside of the film tube. as i finish that roll. i mark what number it is, date & place.the envelopes with the negs. i mark those i go also when i get the pics back.also put the number from envelope on the back of the pic. so i know which pic came from what envelope.
very fast/easy.
same with the video tapes. a pc of tape on the case & the tape itself. mark those the same as i go. i am finding the video is the best jounal. for me any way.
i met an older guy from the netherlands while in ruaha sept 2004. he has been going to africa 30yrs straight.he never took one pic! he told me it is all in his head. wish i had asked for his email. he was planning on going to GABON the following yr. even as i post this i have one of my uganda gorilla trekking days tape getting ready to burn to DVD.
can't wait to watch it on a good size screen.
thx, david
tuskerdave is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2006, 02:59 AM
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I've always kept diaries on trips since I was a kid and I do enjoy reading them again...

I prefer writing with pen into a paper journal rather than typing into a digital device so typing up parts of the diary to share is time consuming but I do try.

For someone as senile as I am having both photos and diaries to review is definitely worthwhile!

Kavey is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2006, 03:51 PM
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Writinmg travel journals for my trips has become a major part of the whole experience for me.
The very first one I did was almost on a lark. I had taken my first overseas trip, a marathon Europe tour. I was working at Microsoft at the time and was helping to test MS-Publisher. I created my journal just to test the program. Way back then, to have a file size bigger than 1.44MB (the size of those small disks) was unthinkable. I put a bunch of clipart in my journal.

Now 11 years later, I am finishing up my Africa Journal and in Publisher it is over 100MB, 40 pages filled with high quality pictures. I send the journals like a yearly magazine to my friends I reread my journals all the time.

Europe Marathon

Angkor Wat and the Killing Fields

Northern India

Chile and Pery

A Princess cruise

Kenya, Tanzania & Rwanda

I also wrote my most personal journal when my sister Elain passed away.

waynehazle is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 10:18 AM
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OK...I'm resurrecting this thread only because I must be one of the few out here who doesn't keep a journal of my travels.

Like TuskerDave, I've tried, only to lose interest early into the trips. I just can't seem to be bothered by it.

Nor do I keep a photo album of any sort. My photos are usually stacked by how I've had them printed or my slides are in sleeves and now with digital, I keep them on the cards or download them on the computer with the year, month and place of the trip.

Long and short of it it, my cameras are my only story tellers, whether the photos are good or bad. I just refer back to the shot when necessary.

Any tips on how I can keep a journal without getting bored? It may come in handy someday when I'm 85 and want to look back on all my trips. That is, if I make it until then! ;-)
divewop is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 11:46 AM
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Are you writing your trip report?

I too am incapable of keeping a travel journal. If I try to sit down in front of my tent after lunch, Iíll invariably fall asleep and the journal will fall to the ground. Anyway, I canít read my own handwriting.
Nyamera is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 03:17 PM
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If you receive an itinerary from an agent, you can add notes and comments in the margins. You don't need whole sentences.

What I enjoy more than writing during the trip is putting a report together once I return, thereby reliving the trip. I feel like I'm getting a 2-fer.

How nice there are places like this to post that report which can benefit others.

Also it might help motivate you knowing that there are hordes of people truly interested in your experiences. It is not only fun for me to read what others have done, but to learn from it for my own trip. In fact, Fodorites, you have an OBLIGATION to take notes in the field, create a trip report and post it!
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 03:22 AM
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My journal entries for my last trip started off well enough and slowly dwindled toward the end of my trip.

Writing my trip report on this forum fairly close to re-entry seems to help freshen my memory a bit and will give me somewhat of a keepsake.

B/C I am a better verbal rather than written presenter, I wondered how wierd/annoying it would be to bring a little recorder. Perhaps this nerdish memoir could be done when arriving back at camp - hiding in a corner somewhere .
cybor is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 05:13 AM
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Most of the time I actually see the time I spend writing my journal as a special time of the day when I get to reflect on what we've experienced that day and think about it a little before moving on to the next set of experiences.

I find that really enjoyable and it also helps me appreciate what I've seen even more as I go and also to remember it more clearly.

If I am feeling tired and don't feel like waxing lyrical I'll still note down the events in a scribbled, abbreviated form as I know from experience that if I get more than 2 days behind I'm lost - we experience too much each day for that to work.

Whilst it would be nice to keep the journal pristine, which suggests waiting until I've more time, I just know that if I try and do that the journal just won't get written and given how much joy I get from reading them later I do whatever I can to keep them up to date... even if that means a few entries that are short and sweet!

I do mean to glue in ticket stubs etc. but never seem to get around to actually doing that...
Kavey is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 04:24 PM
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A recording device would be a good idea if you can find room to pack it.
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 01:59 AM
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I tried that once - took one with me for the long trip to Africa - but never did bring myself to burble into it...

My intention had been to use it to record snippets of our guides as well as animal sounds but... somehow I didn't get around to it.

I do still like the idea though.
Kavey is offline  

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