Friday, June 19, 2015

Travel Journal I: Planning, living, and remembering your adventures

Journey, adventure, sojourn, travel, odyssey, expedition, wandering so many wards that bring to mind the excitement of a trip out of your normal pocket or routine. These words are so evocative because journeying is an emotionally and mentally charging activity. That is usually why we spend the time, energy and money to do this. Travel is vital to so many of us. It allows us to be risky for a time, teaches us to be accepting of people who are unknown and different, helps us to be appreciative of our own home. Taking an adventure broadens our horizons and makes us smarter and richer.  

Most often we think of travel as where we go on vacation, involving planes, trains, automobiles, hotels, exotic food, time changes, souvenir stores, etc however you can document an adventure to Ocean Beach or a visit to every park in the city limits. These techniques we are discussing in this class can be quite useful for a journal with an adventure theme like these. You could even make a travel journal of the trip you take to your own made up country.  Like the worlds of JRR Tolkien, Nick Bantock, and JK Rowling your own fictitious world can be quite fun to document in a travel journal.

The next best thing to traveling itself is remembering the amazing expedition you have already taken. I am a story teller by nature and I LOVE getting home and recounting my adventures to my friends.  I LOVE day dreaming about my last travels when I have returned to my daily commute to the office. "Finishing", adding to, and embellishing a journal after a journey is over can be so rewarding. It makes the trip last even longer than you planned. I also will use sketches or pages from my travel journals as inspiration for a more complex painting or artwork.

A travel journal starts before the trip.
Start now.  Don't wait till you are dozing in the plane or frustrated in a highway pile up or slogging up 4000 ft.  Go get a journal now.  Or if you are inclined bind one yourself. 
Think about it for a minute.  How much time do you spend pouring over maps, banging the computer over booking flights, listing hotels, lining up clothes, weighing bags.... What a great place your travel journal is to house these dreams and realities. 

Next post in this series will start on the supplies.  Between now and then any old paper and pen will do the trick.  You can add those notes to your journal once you've chosen "The Book". 

If I had only 2 pieces of advice to give on supplies they would be:
1) Pencil smears and smudges to the point of illegibility after a short time.  That makes me sad when looking through some of my childhood journals and school papers.  
2) Find supplies and tools you are comfortable with.  No matter how dedicated you are to art, if you hate the smell of linseed oil you won't paint with oils everyday (unless you got a rad commission). And you certainly won't find away to bring them halfway across the continent on your back.

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