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Posted by on Aug 9, 2009 in Commentary | 1 comment

Etsy: Korea travel journal

Etsy: Korea travel journal

Here are a few tips on keeping a journal during your travels in Korea:

  1. Just do it, daily—Don’t let the blank pages intimidate you. Start on page one and start writing. Don’t wait for the “ideal” time to do it either. There is no ideal time when you’re traveling so look for the little spaces of time to sneak in a word or two: standing in line, sitting in the taxi, riding the train, etc. If you were getting paid to write, you would be diligent in documenting your experience. Don’t slack off just because you aren’t getting a paycheck. Your “paycheck” is having lots of good memories of the trip that you saved your hard earned money to take. It would be a big waste of your travel money (and your time) if 10 years after your trip, you only remembered 10% of what you experienced.
  2. Sense—What new tastes, smells, sights, sounds and touches did you experience? Emotions, senses and memories are interconnected. The more you write, the more embedded the memories become.
  3. Write reviews—Some of the places you visit might be good subjects for written reviews such as restaurants, museums, etc. Pretend you are a food or art critic for a big newspaper and try to objectively analyze your visit and tell your “audience” what you like and don’t like about the experience.
  4. Attention to details—Sometimes the best story is in the small details. The turtle sunbathing on a rock, a butterfly landing on your hand or watching a squirrel eating fruit offerings at a Buddhist temple. It’s the small things that make a place special.
  5. Save small mementos—My great-great grandmother (my grandfather’s grandmother) had a large old Catholic bible. Even though she had been dead for 40+ years before I was born, I loved to look through it to see all the little treasures she hid in it, such as a lock of braided hair, a four-leaf-clover, pressed flowers and newspaper clippings of her favorite poems and prayers. It made her Bible one of my favorite books to read. To document your travels you can glue (with archival glue) ticket stubs, boarding passes, business cards, etc. into your journal and then make comments about the subject.
  6. Make new friends—If you meet new people during your travels you want to maintain contact with, invite them to write a few words in your journal as well.

Consider taking this travel journal on your next Korean vacation — or when you’re just dreaming of Korea. It’s lighter than a laptop computer and will make a far more memorable reminder of your trip. From the Etsy.com description:

This hardcover blank book makes a great journal or sketchbook to take on your travels. The front and back covers are a map of Asia taken from a vintage atlas found in a used bookstore. The front focuses on North and South Korea …. It has been hand-bound with orange linen thread in a Coptic binding.

The first page has been Gocco printed to give you a place to say who the journal belongs to and how to contact that person in the horrible event of the journal and owner being separated. It also includes one of my favorite quotes by Bruce Chatwin, “To lose a passport was the least of one’s worries. To lose a notebook was a catastrophe.”

There are 80 pages of 50 lb. white sketch paper. This book opens flat to make for easy writing or sketching and at 5″ x 7″ (12.7 cm x 17.78 cm). It’s an easy size to take anywhere and throw into your travel bag.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks so much for including my Korea journal and for such a great post on journal keeping! I'm always reminded of how much of a trip isn't remembered in photos alone, rereading a journal from a trip is such a special way of reliving it. Thanks!

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