We are back on the road and this time we are travelling around Europe for two and half months. The big question while I was packing for the trip was ‘what journaling set up should I have on the trip?’ In my head, I had imagined I’d be so inspired by the travelling, I was going to fill journal after journal. I wanted the things I see on this trip influence my upcoming book. So of course I packed my Moleskine softcover large notebook, as well as my travel favourite, a Leuchttrum pocket notebook.
It’s been 10 days since we left home, and I have to be honest. I haven’t touched the large Moleskine. I forgot the cardinal rule of travelling – if you are not out seeing something, you are probably recovering from having seen something! No energy to sit and write page after every page of the most inspired stuff.
That’s not to say I was okay about me not touching the large notebook. Oh the guilt was huge. Wasn’t I suppose to be noting everything I see and creeating beautiful prose? Wasn’t I suppose to have filled a notebook by now?
I realised the flaw to my plan. When you go from sitting at home, at your big desk, to being on the move constantly, staying in hotels, a large notebook was just not practical. Often, trains and planes have tables just big enough to hold your coffee, let alone a notebook. When there’s no desk in the room you are staying at, your thigh has to fit your notebook.
What has worked so much better under these new set of circumstances is the pocket size notebook. It’s small enough for me to write in it in the little pockets of time you get when you are travelling – at train stations, cafes, the hotel room bed. Another thing that has been working well are postcards. I love sending them to friends and family anyway, letting them know what we have been up to each day. That’s journaling, right?
It was hard to let go of what had been working for me previously. It was so easy to tell myself that the old method worked before, so if I just try harder, it’ll work for me again. No. My lifestyle or ‘journaling circumstances’ have changed, and my journaling was crying out to change with it. I was getting in the way of my own journaling needs. So it was time to pack the large notebook off home, and dedicate my time to the little guy and a bunch of postcard, writing what I can, when I can, wherever I am. It’s taken a load (read: guilt) off my mind, and I am enjoying journaling again.