Whenever I travel, I always think: THIS time I am going to get so much done in my journal; dozens of pages, chapters. And…while it may happen one day, it sure hasn’t yet. Sure, I always manage to make a few really special pages* but I more often find that the way I really remember a trip is by using a technique I learned from Asheville, North Carolina, author and illustrated journal instructor Gwen Diehn. It is terrifically simple and effective.
When getting ready for a trip, take a break from packing, get out your journal or sketchbook, and draw a page-size box. Divide this into equal columns. I like mine to be about 1 ½ inch wide, but it sometimes depends on the size of the paper. It will look something like what it is – a mini-calendar that you can then fill in daily, no excuses. Label each day at the top of the column. Then, fill each column with anything that comes to mind in a small, thumbnail size.
When you get home, I promise you will be surprised at how much information and memories you crammed into this format. These are a sample of calendar-style pages that I’ve filled up on various ramblings. As you can see, I experiment with slightly different layouts. Do the same and find one that you are comfortable with, then you can use it all the time.
Oh, and please visit Gwen Diehn’s wonderful illustrated journal site here: http://real-life-journals.blogspot.co.uk/
Here I’ve added small photos. When I had some photos done, I chose the tiny option. Then – have glue stick will travel. Write around it and add some drawing.
*(Often these are the least expected, like one of the dog sleeping or my son watching tv, just images I don’t even think about or do very well are usually the most evocative of my visit.)