We are pleased to be able to bring back guest blogger (and freelance writer, editor and translator) Andrea Marvan for another Writing Wednesday. If you missed any of her previous posts, you can read them here. And be sure to check out more of her writing at her website www.mondegreen.ca!
Travel Journalling: As Personal As the Way You Pack
When it comes to travel journalling I don’t think there should be any rules. Journalling is as personal as your packing style: it could be perfectly organized (socks and underwear neatly rolled inside the shoes-kind of writing) or as free and spontaneous as just throwing half of your closet inside your suitcase.
Travel journalling not only may vary from one person to another but it can also be quite different depending on your stage in life or the purpose of your trip.
Many years ago, when I was in college, I went backpacking with my friends through Europe and carried a cheap spiral-bound notebook with me – this was before I knew Paperblanks. Perhaps it was because I was still in school, but I devoted myself to documenting every single thing I experienced, every building, museum or monument I visited through nine countries. In the cheap spiral-bound notebook I wrote my way through Europe and through art history. These were the days before Facebook and Instagram (yes, I’m that old) so the only way to document our trip was through my journal. I wrote copious notes and sketches about everything, from historical and architectural facts to what we ate and our daily budget.
After that intense journalling experience, through the years, every time I travelled I still brought a notebook with me, but instead of jotting down historical facts, I just limited myself to writing down any stories that came to mind. The stories I could imagine, inspired by the things I witnessed. That is how the stories of Agripina Melgar in a deserted village in Mexico came about.
On a recent trip to Morocco with my family I carried a Paperblanks mini notebook (in my opinion, the perfect size for travelling). In it I wrote notes for what one day will become a novel: the colours, scents, sounds of Morocco. Its people, how I felt under the desert’s sun, the flavours and textures I experienced, what my character would feel and think and dream in those magnificent palaces.
I was not the only one journalling through our trip: my father filled his journal with sketches and measurements of projects that came to mind; my sister – the artist – filled hers with delicate drawings of the buildings. My brother, a meticulous scientist, took careful minutes of the history of Morocco, and jotted down our anecdotes and misadventures. Now, thanks to him, we’ll have these details documented for years to come (not that we would forget breaking our car on our second day, anyway).
I wish I could write “10 Steps to Better Travel Journalling” or “5 Things You Need to Know About Travel Journalling”, but really, it is just about enjoying the views and telling your story in any way that pleases you.
In the words of 14th-century Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta: “Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
© Photographs by Andrea Marvan
About Paperblanks®: At Paperblanks®, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks®, go to our website at paperblanks.com.