Fran Meneley
New York City
Posted July 6, 2011 by Fran Meneley in Maps, Travel Journal

I've just returned from a trip to New York City, taking my daughter to college orientation. While she was orienting for a few days, I had a chance to fly solo and explore the city. I made this little journal before I left and used bought postcards for the cover.


Besides the postcards all the other "artwork" was made by my pen or bits of FREE stuff from around the city and touristy magazines from the hotel room. A book mark from a wonderful used and new bookstore, The Strand and a coaster from Prune, a restaurant I was very pleased to try by the chef/author Gabrielle Hamilton.


I saw a Normal Heart on Broadway. Raw and honest to the bone, it is a look at the beginning of AIDS activism in New York in the 80's. After the show they were passing out a letter from the show's writer and creator, Larry Cramer. I wanted to keep it so I fashioned a little envelope out of a paper bag and secured it with some decorative tape I had brought along. I love making little pockets and envelopes in my travel journal for either private writing or bigger pieces of ephemera.


Inspired by John Payne's blog on mapping, I made a little map of some of the places I went as I traversed the city.


Wanting to branch out and see parts of the city I hadn't seen before, I did a walking tour of Harlem. A great way to learn history and see things that go by in flash from the window of a bus or cab.


My daughter and I went to the MET to see Alexander McQueen's fabulous multi-media exhibit. Hours were spent lost in a couture dream. Walking through Central Park towards downtown, we stopped for a soda at a little cafe nestled in the trees. Lovely to spend a moment like that with my grown up girl. A sushi stop later in the afternoon will be remembered by the chop stick cover.

I am certain without taking the time make this little journal of our time together, these few fun and precious days would be filed away in the "soon to be forgotten" bin of my life.

Happy Travels and Journaling!
Erin Perry
Southwest Passage
Posted June 28, 2011 by Erin Perry

Winter 2009 found me in Taos, taking a week long workshop with Lynne Perrella and Anne Bagby. It was a magical experience - the teachers, the art, staying at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, and, the snow (especially for this coastal California girl).


We were kept delightfully busy, but I did manage to find odd moments here and there to compete a journal.


I love now being able to leaf through the pages and have the memories back as crisp and sharp as if I'd been there last weekend. It is so true that when we create a travel journal, we can open it at any time and relive the experience.
John Payne
I've been a member of the EverydayMatters Yahoo Group for a few years (Danny Gregory). Danny wrote a very popular journaling book of that title and then started the public Group (check it out if you haven't already). I gathered suggestions from posts to that group and to a private one called Love This Journal (Jessica Wesolek, on-line classes)and posted the compilitation on Everydaymatters. Since I produced the document I think I can post it here, too. If you have more suggestions please respond:

1. Before the trip, discuss what all parties want to accomplish on the trip. Discuss sights, activities, etc. and include your goal of sketching and be clear about the time requirements. Negotiate. If your traveling partner spends time with you when you journal, be willing to reciprocate.

2. Sketch while others;
a. eat
b. shop
c. read
d. sleep
e. any other activity

3. Similarly, be prepared to sketch when opportunity presents itself;
a. windshield time (let partner drive)
b. bus ride
c. trolley ride
d. ferry ride
e. plane ride
f. train ride
g. while waiting in line (at restaurant, tourist attraction, etc.)

4. Contribute to written journal daily, start sketches or leave spaces for them to be drawn later. Take good notes/pictures for reference and finish the sketches in evenings or back home.

5. Keep small journal with you always, making notes throughout the day. At night, compile them into your regular journal as a way to wind down as the day ends. Beware of too many journals!

6. Expect to be interrupted. It will happen! Pencil
layout and inking may require concentration, but the process of adding color may allow for dialog with partner or public who approach you and want to chat. Great memories can come of these chats, too.

7. Be prepared to cut short a sketching session (or any activity) if the group dynamics aren’t going well. This is the type of compromising that goes along with any group (even if only 2) travel. There are times when group harmony requires spontaneous changes to the itinerary.

8. Just take field notes/pictures and practice sketches. Start from scratch when you get back home. Be advised that if you loose interest and stall once you get home, you have no journaling to show for the trip.

9. The opposite of #8 is that you could set a goal that the travel journal STOPS when you get home, or when you go to bed the day you get back. Nothing demands every sketch to be finished. Get what you can in the moment. In the evenings you can add dialog to the journal to explain any unfinished items.

Not solutions, but could be considered;
1. Don't try to journal when traveling with a non-journaler. (Don’t be bullied out of something you love to do, though.)

2. Organize trips with fellow sketch journalers to share the experience.

Misc. Comments
1. Think over your supplies before you leave.
2. Consider carrying a gluestick to attach used tickets, receipts, etc. (a.k.a. ephemera) to your journal pages as you travel.

Some suggestions contradict others. The ‘right way’ for you may be a combination of suggestions. You need to select what works for you, as there are many ways to do travel journaling.
Admin (Gill)
I have just posted an interview with member Maria Trujillo.

Maria says of one of her journal pages - "I can remember the spot clearly when I see this page...the smell...the temperature...the light...that's the beauty of travel journaling, you can be back to the moment in a second!"

Read the full interview here
John Payne
Thoughts on Maps
Posted June 20, 2011 by John Payne in Maps
Most people learn better with visual instructions than with written instruction. Therefore maps and other illustrated journaling are a more direct pipeline into the mind's processes. It just makes sense to tap into this strength.

Some reasons for maps are that they are great memory promptors, they are a reference for "next time" visits and the map creation process helps digest what the trip could be (if you're doing it pre-trip) or digest what just happened (for post-processing).

Maps can be simple and small. As an example, Wilma and I were visiting a couple friends for a couple days in northern Minnesota. LTJ_217b.jpg We had a one-day canoe trip into Boundary Waters for a packed lunch, and I wanted a small map to show were we went.

Maps can be larger but not have excessive details. The idea is to prompt memory. If you need full detail, get a real map. This past Spring Break we visited Seattle where our son just got a job. LTJ_296b.jpg I wanted to show the relative position of the sites he showed us. I decided to show shorelines and major highways and the visited sites. That left out a ton of Seattle detail not related to our visit.

Or, spend the time and do a more detailed map. This map was of our trip to Glacier National Park. LTJ_141b.jpg I invested a bunch of time in the journaling; pre-trip, in-trip, and post processing. It was too much fun. So I created this map after the trip. I just love maps, and I want to learn more about cartography and early map making techniques.

So, that's my two bits on the topic of maps. Give it a try if you haven't already.
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