Trip Journal

Reply

Aug 11th, 2005, 10:00 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 37
Trip Journal

I was wondering if anyone has a good method of keeping a travel Journal while they are on the move & what is the most convenient way. Carry a clipboard & write notes & than transfer them at night to the Journal or do it at the exact time you are experiencing the events. Is a clipboard in the vehicle okay or is this something that would be just in the way. Any suggestions would be welcomed. Also what kind of Journal would be the best. (as far as layout)
regg11 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 11th, 2005, 10:32 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hello Jim,

I use an A5 size hardback journal (I think it's about 6 x 8 inches). It's small enough to fit into the shoulder bag I keep my camera kit in, or (barely) in the pocket of the light jacket I bring in safari, but large enough that writing isn't a pain (I find smaller journals very difficult to write in since it feels as if your hand is always about to slide off the edge).

A hardback journal is much easier to write in without a table -- I've done some writing in the backs of various safari vehicles, in airports, etc. On my last trip to Botswana and South Africa, my hardback journal ran out so I bought a softcovered one from Londolozi -- it has a beautiful buttery leather cover, but it was really hard to write in without a table (at least if I wanted my notes to be legible!).

I don't usually take notes whilst on game drives -- I'm too busy absorbing what's going on around me, and I'd rather keep my camera primed and ready. A full-size clipboard would probably get in the way as well -- it's bad enough trying to juggle camera gear (including filters, beanbags, etc.), binoculars, and extra clothing (scarves, gloves, jumpers, etc). Even with a maximum six people per vehicle, that's a lot of stuff.

I usually write in my journal when I get back from a game drive, using my digital camera to jog my memory. I prefer to write about the highlights of a drive, rather than record everything I saw. Sitting on the veranda of your tent and writing as birds, monkeys, and other wildlife rustle in the trees and grass nearby is a great way to spend an afternoon. If I have some down time in an airport (something not uncommon with small airports in Africa) I'll do a little writing then as well. I sometimes include little sketches as well.

I am quite particular about my pens, so before a trip I stock up on Uni-Ball Vision Elite pens -- they are designed not to leak on airplanes, and are very pleasant to write with.

I love reading through my journals when I get home -- reading them while looking at my photos is almost like re-living the trip. A great way to get an Africa 'fix' between safaris!

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 11th, 2005, 10:49 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 973
Like Julian, I love reading my journals when I get home.

I take a little spiral notebook on drives with me, about 3x5 inches -- the kind with cardboard covers that you can get at any drugstore. I use it just to note down what we see. It's small enough that it doesn't interfere with anything in the vehicle. Then in the evening, or over lunchtime, whenever there's time for relaxing, I make an entry in my hardback journal, sometimes just listing what we did or saw that day, sometimes including a lot of my reactions and thoughts and philosophy. I use the kind sold in Barnes & Noble or other book stores, 5x8 inches. I've tried other sizes, but this is the one that fits best for me, doesn't take up too much room in luggage or on the plane seat, and has enough space between the lines for my biggish handwriting. Like Julian, I prefer a hard cover, with lined pages.

I always keep a travel journal whenever I'm traveling outside of the US. I don't do it in the US, I guess because I don't expect to have my perceptions altered the way they are when traveling abroad. Sometimes if I'm feeling jet-lagged or just plain tired, I'm tempted to skip a day of writing, but I make myself do it, because I know how much it will mean to me when I get home.
Celia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 11th, 2005, 11:56 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 37
Thanks to both of you for your ideas. This will really help me. I thought the clipboard was too big & waiting until I get back to camp at night would be the better way to go. I will use both of your suggestions & thanks again.
regg11 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 11th, 2005, 12:12 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,458
Julian, it's amazing how much your writing instrument makes. The first year I went I took a pencil and a small notebook (probably 3x5). My hand really got tired writing and it was hard to write in that small book. The next year I bought a spiral notebook, 6x9, with real smooth paper and a Pilot VBall pen. The paper and the pen made a huge difference!

regg11, I always start out with such good intentions but fizzle out after a few days. I love reading what I do have and I always wish I had kept it up. Maybe this year I'll carry it through to the end. Good luck with yours.

Cindy
sundowner is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 11th, 2005, 05:51 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 555
I actually like to keep little journals (no larger then 6x8 and usually smaller, that are themed:
Example: for upcoming trip to Egypt I purchased a small lined notepad that has a hard cover in what I take to be Arabic themed pattern work.
For Kenya I liked a little leather bound moleskin notebook called, the Hemingway that had a string around it to keep it closed.
After much trial and error, I always look for lined pages and a hard/semi hard back, also nothing too big so that I can easily fit it into pockets/day packs.
Usually I update my journal during any bit of downtime i.e trainrides, cocktail hour, early eveing.
During our Kenyan safari for the first, oh about 2 hours in the bush I tried to write down which animals we saw, but that was impossible.. I gave up and decided to just live it instead.
If you are going on safari, then I recommend one of those very cliche "safari vests" with the multiple pockets.. there are reasons why people wear those things.. you can always keep your journal in one of your pockets.
Thyra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 12th, 2005, 02:10 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
I also take a hardback notebook as a journal - not too worried about size and design depends on what I found that struck my fancy.

I tend not to make notes on game drives themselves unless we've seen something amazing and I want to record a special feeling I had when it's in my head - even then it tends to be when we are paused somewhere later for a break rather than at the time. Usually I'll write about the drives once back at camp rather than during.

Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 12th, 2005, 03:32 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 513
regg11, I'm so happy you posted this.

In our travels to Europe, I have always kept a travel journal, because we are fanatics and are on the go 24/7, so I need my journal to help me remember everything.
Like Celia, I have never documented any of our US trips, although I'm thinking I might want to start.
I usually journal during downtime, when we've returned to our home base. However, I am thinking of carrying a small notebook just so I can jot things down during the safari/climb because I just know that I won't be able to remember everything!
Thanks everyone, for the tips,
BostonGal
BostonGal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 12th, 2005, 02:56 PM
  #9
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
For sure, I know the gray matter is still working. Except for little notes taken on a small yellow pad... most of which about where those $1 bills were disappearing, my trip report is from memory. Working with the printed itinerary, and the photo album, it all just comes together.

Admittedly, on my very first safari I took lots of notes, as I saw Eileen doing on this her first safari - names of animals, places, plants, birds, people we met, etc. etc. Nowadays, I take less notes unless it's really important and go from there.

Like many of you though I find those small spiral lined journals found in places like Barnes & Nobles (and I visited five B&Ns to find the one for this recent trip)... this is what I see many other travelers using. But there was a real nice journal at my last stop at B&N, larger then most - though not for $20*... so back to the smaller size at $9 or $10 or $11 as I use one of these for each trip.

*this larger journal would be great for those who take lots of long week-end/mini vacations in our home countries... all in one place.
 
Reply With Quote
Aug 15th, 2005, 12:19 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Sandi, you make me feel so careless with my money...I paid $59 for my most recent hardback journal. Admittedly it was a gorgeous leatherbound hardback with lovely smooth creamy acid-free paper, but I must be shopping in the wrong places...

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 15th, 2005, 03:31 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 140
regg11, I don't keep a journal -- I let my images recall my trips for me, but I think it is important to accurately note place names, spellings, and other details that might provide important context for the captions I will write for my photos. I carry a leather bound 3x5 inch six-ring loose-leaf address book made by Bosca ( http://www.boscaonline.com/3x5-addre...k-263-100.html. ) I threw out the address inserts and replaced it with a couple of packs of Bosca's lined note pages ( http://www.boscaonline.com/mi-7-4-refill.html ) It is not cheap, but the note book is very durable and refills are available on line from Bosca.

I always wear a photographer's vest (Domke) when traveling, and this note book fits in one of the chest pockets with velcro flap. I use a 3-1/2" ball point pen -- a miniature version of the popular Tornado Retro 51 --to make these notes. It is extremely compact, does not leak, and fits into its own pocket in the vest. The pen is as durable as the notebook. (So far I have not lost either this notebook or the pen, which has been a major accomplishment.)

Phil
pnd1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 16th, 2005, 12:44 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
Blimey, Julian! I usually don't pay more than £10 for a journal and that's only if I really splash out! WHSmith has some nice suedette covered ones, one has a Ghandi quote embossed on the front and another has another wonderful quote, I forget who by.

Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 16th, 2005, 03:04 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,164
We're in the middle of our RTW - leaving from Sydney to Jo'burg in 12 hours - and we're keeping our journal two ways - herself in written form, me on a blog/website, where I can post pictures shortly after taking them.

(If you want to see it, the url is http://home.comcast.net/~gardyloo )

In the past I've only used spiral notebooks bought on the run, but then transcribing them is a pain. Now I put the words down in the word processor and import the ones I want into the website. The website adds a degree of discipline that I need in my writing.
Gardyloo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 16th, 2005, 04:58 AM
  #14
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Jasher -

I see those journals as you purchased and an tempted. So good for you. But since I started doing journals about 12-15-years ago, and not knowing whether it would be something I would even keep up with, I just couldn't see myself doing leather bound, acid free and all the rest. It's personal.

So far the ring bound (inexpensive) journals that I've used, originally writing in them - now using my typed report and gluing the pages onto the those in the journal - have all held up quite well and feel they will for years to come.

On additional thing I add to the journal - with so many photos, I use the extras (or not so great pics) interspersed on pages in the journal where they fit according to area, subject, etc.

And for still more extra photos (4x6" size) I use them as postcards - just draw a line down the center of the white side - address on the right, left for your comments - send them off to friends anytime, not only after a trip. Friends and families love getting postcards from places I've been even if the comments have nothing to do with the trip. It's a way of keeping in touch!
 
Reply With Quote
Aug 16th, 2005, 07:00 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 973
I've heard of people taking those tiny tape recorders and making an oral journal. That wouldn't work for me, because I like the organizing factor that comes with writing. But for some, it might be just the thing.

(By the way, I sometimes buy my journals at Tuesday Morning [an upscale discount store, if that isn't an oxymoron] where they usually cost about $5.00.)
Celia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 16th, 2005, 07:05 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
Celia, I've tried that and took a small device along on a couple of trips but just didn't use it. I'd thought to record (with their permission) a few of the lovely explanations by the guides during a drive but... just never did so.
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 16th, 2005, 07:49 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,297
I love to make a list each evening of all the birds and animals (and sometimes even interesting insects, plants, etc.) we saw that day. It only takes a few minutes and it is always fun to realize on the plane home how much we really saw. Even on a day when you remember a particular game drive as less than exciting, you may look back and remember that's the day when you saw the owl, or tortoises mating, or weavers building their nests, or some other cool thing.

I personally like unlined journals because sometimes I like to sketch or doodle, or glue-stick a small item (such as a menu, ticket stub, etc.), in addition to writing. Plus, I've noticed that the size and style of my handwriting varies with my mood. I prefer spiral-bound (for journals and cookbooks too!) so that it stays open if I want it to. I bring a couple of pens and one pencil (sometimes I will use a pencil to make a rubbing of the veins of a particular leaf I like). It is not easy to find small spiral-bound unlined notebooks, so when I find one I like I usually buy a few.

I do also try to write down details like what we ate, what we've spent, notes on accommodations, general impressions, etc.

My husband and I have also talked about making a very brief "video journal" at the end of each day with each of us sort of interviewing the other about what our favorite thing was that day, etc., but we never seem to actually do it although it seems like it could be fun.
lisa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 16th, 2005, 07:55 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
Lisa, that does sound like a great idea... I'm going to try and remember it though whether we actually do it either is an unknown!
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 16th, 2005, 09:58 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 973
Ooh! Next time I'll take a glue stick! What a good idea.
Celia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 16th, 2005, 10:02 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
If you pack a glue stick, put it in a plastic bag, just in case -- my sister brought one on a trip to India and it melted, turning some of her clothes a lovely shade of purple (it was a coloured one so she could see where the glue was going).

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:05 AM.