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Topic: How to journal/scrapbook while travelling?  (Read 2764 times)
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« on: March 31, 2009 08:33:36 AM »

Hey guys,

Hereís my dilemma.

In 2 months I am going backpacking around Europe and the US for 6 months. While I have done a lot of traveling before, I have never been away from a home base for more than 3 weeks. This has always meant that I am able to collect as many brochures, ticket stubs, postcards and random scraps of paper and materials as possible -  because itís easy enough to carry them around for that time, even if when I get home I throw half of them out.

I know that I obviously will not be able to do so for 6 months. I am also doubting that I will be able to keep my regular journal for this time - i'm never in the mood to just sit down and write when i travel.

I already have many journals Ė written, visual, photo scrapbooks etc. So I have no problem mixing collaging scrap paper and journaling together.

My problem is that I donít know where to start.

What should I bring? What kind of book should I use? How exactly should I go about doing this?? I've never travelled like this before so I have no idea if it's practical to bring watercolours, scissors etc.

Has anyone else done something similar that they could send me pictures of or something? Or just suggestions??

Thanks!!  Grin Grin

« Last Edit: April 01, 2009 04:43:02 PM by beckashell » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2009 01:15:54 PM »

First of all, I have to tell you that I am totally envious of your trip and that no matter what, you should post pictures of your journal when you get back so we can all see where you went.

I've brought my visual journal on various trips with me, the longest one being two weeks. As far as books to use go, whether you choose a blank book, a handmade book or an old book to alter, make sure the book is durable and small enough to not be a burden to you. My book is about 4 inches by 6 inches, is 500 pages and is hardcover. It wsn't terrible to carry around, but I wasn't backpacking so make sure you choose one with enough pages, but one that won't add a ton of weight to your pack.

I also packed a small pouch (pencil case or small cosmetics case sized) with yellow, red, blue, black, brown and green coloured pencils, a pencil sharpener, two pens, and exacto knife, small embroidery scissors, an very small water colour kit, 2 paint brushes and a small tube of acid free glue. These are the things I use most often in my journal, so it was important that I had them. I also kept a second small pouch for collecting ticket stubs, pamphlets, doodads and other goodies in to stick into my journal when I had down time.

I worked on it every night before I went to bed. We were camping, so I had to do it by lantern light, which actually made it pretty enjoyable.

The key for me was to keep the essentials with me, have a sturdy book, a place to store keepsakes and to set aside time to work everyday or two to work on it. Keep in mind you can always add other embellishments and stuff when you get home.

Of course, this is just the type of journalling I enjoy doing. Hope all of my rambling is helpful and have a fantastic time on your trip! Cheesy

« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2009 08:23:49 PM »

When I travel, I like to collect almost everything I can get my hands on: brochures with photos, feathers, tickets, strange and unexpected things that may or may not have a use, but capture my imagination, such as a rusty little part found in a puddle or the colorful piece of a plastic toy or an odd looking seed or leaf. These things not only stimulate the imagination but, later in your journal, stimulate memories the way words cannot. My suggestion, therefore, is to carry plastic bags (I like the large freezer kind that are sturdy) and as they fill up, mail them to yourself at home. Also, carry notebook paper for sketches and notes. Notebook paper is lighter weight than copier paper and has those light lines that donít interfere with your sketches. Again, mail them home as you fill them up. I think about 6 sheets of copier paper in an average envelope go for one first class stamp, so you should get 7 or 8 notebook sheets in. The post office will sell you an envelope with postage printed on it so you save the weight of a stamp and the need to carry envelopes.

An advantage of the plastic bags is that wet or dirty things you may want to collect (I know, you think you wonít want anything like that until you find something you could never have imagined and suddenly you are SO grateful for the plastic bag!)

Your trip sounds grand. I will be leaving in the fall for a 3 year trip around the US with my roommate, SniQi. She has fur and claws and stays in the motor home. I will journal as I go.

I havenít been to Europe yet (that will be 4 years from now) but I spent 3 months in Japan on a government contract, and people constantly asked me about my home and my family. I had pictures of my children, of course, but had not thought to put together a few photos of the area I lived in (the mountains and Puget Sound) so people could have an idea what my homeland was like. When I travel now, I carry photos. My daughter lives in Paris (France) and traveled Europe extensively while she was in college there. She found that it was helpful to carry small, inexpensive (perhaps hand crafted) gifts to give to families she stayed with on her travels. When foreign visitors stayed with me during an international competition in my area, they gave me a tiny ornament from their country, and I loved it as much as I enjoyed their visit. Something to think about....

If you have a reservation in Europe, you could mail yourself a package of little gifts in care of the hotel or hostel to lighten your load on the trip over.

Most important, have a wonderful time!
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2009 09:52:39 AM »

I was also going to suggest you mail things to yourself - you'll have lots of exciting envelopes when you come home! Cheesy

If you need watercolours you could carry just a few watercolour pencils and a brush or regular watercolours in just red,blue,green,yellow,black and mix everything with them. I have a small mint tin (decorated, of course!;) ) with just four colours and one of those brushes you fill with water.

Bring a lightweight, sturdy journal. I always regret it when I bring too heavy books (which is partly why I started designing my own).

Oh, and keep your journal in a little plastic envelope or bag in case you spill something or get caught in the rain!

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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2009 06:30:54 PM »

Hey guys,


You have all been a great help. I think I just needed to hear that it was actually going to be possible to visual journal while travelling. You all gave me such great ideas/advice.

Danni - thanks for letting me know specifically what you have taken with you when you have travelled. I've always just waited to scrapbook until I arrived back home, where I have an endless supply of EVERYTHING, so I was a little lost about how to narrow it down Tongue
I promise to post photos when I get back, although that won't be for a looooong time!

Sue & antigone - plastic bags and mailing things home!! PURE GENIUS!! Cheesy Cheesy
I can't believe neither of those things had even crossed my mind!! I might even have a home base in the UK for a while so I could even just mail things there!

You have no idea how helpful you have been -- thanks for all the advice! Feel free to keep adding more tips Tongue


« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2009 01:07:55 PM »

Well I like to journal as I travel too, and a 6 month trip is the perfect time to absolutely stuff a journal! What I have is a "journal pack" with everything I need in it. It's a zippered white plastic folder from Muji - inside I keep paper, a date stamp (fast and it looks cool!) glue, scissors and my fountain pen. Make sure you have a really good pen for doing lots of writing! The paper you can collect as you go - tickets, vintage stuff from thrift stores, advertisements, programmes from recitals and theatre trips, maps, etc etc. The good thing about a folder is it's flattish and compact, which stops you from collecting junk you don't need because you can't! Also it's good to take some nice coloured pencils and a teeny tin of watercolours. And don't forget your camera! I have seperate journals, one for writing and one for art, but that is probably unecessary on a backpacking trip.

Take care and have a great time!

« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2009 09:06:57 PM »

I'm going to be traveling this summer and will be taking my journal books and 8x10 scrapbook with me to scrapbook while on the road. I'm not going to be driving so I can work on it while traveling on the long trips. We are going to Nashville, TN. which is about a 7 hr. drive. Then to Alabama, which is about a 12 hr. drive. Then probably to Kentucky, which is about 4 hrs. So, there will be lots of places I will visit and I will have things to put in my scrapbooks.
What I plan to do is take a bag with me just for my scrapbook supplies. It's like a large tote bag with places to put pens, pencils, etc. and a zippered compartment on the inside and one on the outside. I will have 3 little zipper bags that are kinda like make-up bags I guess you'd call them. One will have my glitter gel pens, and glue stick in it. One will have my glitter mat pack of carstock. The other one will have my embellishments. I will have a couple of journal books, scrapbook paper, and my 8x10 scrapbook in the tote bag along with my scissors, regular pens, and pencils. I will also have a folder to put all of the things I collect like ticket stubs, programs, brochures from places I visit, maps, etc. Those things can be used for the scrapbook papers if you don't have room to take scrapbook papers with you.
I think it's a good idea to have some zip lock bags with you also. If you collect little things that could be used as embellishments then you could put those in the zip lock bags, so it's easily accessible and you don't have to go searching through one of the compartments in the bag to find them.
It would be good to have a journal with you too though so you can write all about your trip. You can put little tidbits about the places you visited, etc. on the scrapbook pages, but you may also want to write more extensively about what you experienced and how things were as you go along.
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009 08:08:04 PM »

You may already be gone, but one thing that I make sure to do when I am traveling is to look through the pictures on my camera that I have taken that day and I make sure to leave some space in my journal for them.

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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2009 08:46:23 PM »

You may already be gone, but one thing that I make sure to do when I am traveling is to look through the pictures on my camera that I have taken that day and I make sure to leave some space in my journal for them.

Still a month before I leave! Thanks that's a great tip!

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