OK so it will come as no surprise to you that hobbies do wonders for our health – they’re pretty much an active form of meditation which encourages us to fully engage in an activity and block out the rest of the world. Chances are you need one just as much as I do!
You might ask: ‘But isn’t making things your hobby?’ Making things used to be my hobby, but as you guys know I’m been very lucky to have been able to turn that hobby into a job. And whilst I couldn’t ask for anything more amazing, it’s changed the way I approach this first passion. Clearly it’s no longer a hobby! In short, I’ve been meaning to try a new hobby for a while and so when Officeworks asked me to collaborate on a campaign of theirs around ‘upgrading your downtime’ I decided it was time to take on the holy grail of hobbies – Travel Journaling. (View the second post in this series here).
My trip to Bali was the perfect opportunity to experiment with this new hobby and I absolutely loved it! It took a while to get used to the different activities and mindset that goes along with travel journaling, but once I got the hang of it, it turned out to be such a nice lens through which to see my journey – collecting memories, items and Polaroids of the trip in real life. It truly made the trip feel completely different. Because I loved it so much, and know you will too, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you a guide to getting started with Travel Journaling as your next hobby. Read on for the full guide, and watch the video below.
Tools of the Travel Journaling Trade
- A good quality blank notebook (I used Moleskin Classic Notebook)
- A good quality writing pen ( I used Pilot Prera Fountain Pen)
- Various typography pens with different shaped tips (I used Tombow Brush Pen )
- Watercolour pencils (I used J.Burrows Artist Colour Pencils)
- Stickers (I used Tailored quote stickers)
- An Instax Camera and film (I used Fuji Instax Mini 8 Camera)
- Washi Tape (I used Otto Washi Tape)
- Paper clips and bulldog clips (I used J.Burrows foldback clips in gold)
- Small Envelopes
It’s a good idea to get a small pencil case for keeping everything together, making it easy to journal on the go, like when you have some downtime on a bus or flight.
Tips for Travel Journaling:
Don’t worry if you can’t draw… I’ve always been afraid of travel journaling because I’m not a great illustrator, but through the process I realised that travel journaling is a mixed media experience in which you can use whatever you want to create written memories. If you can illustrate that’s great, but if you can’t Polaroids, postcards and other items are just as nice.
Become a collector… This is the part that was the hardest to get used to, but was the most enjoyable benefit of travel journaling. Collecting things form the trip! Usually I throw scraps and tickets away because they can become clutter if they aren’t organised, but the travel journal was such a lovely way to keep these things (in an arty way) as real life mementos. Ideas for things to collect…train tickets, bag tags, local newspapers, teabag tags, receipts in a different language and currency, small currency, postcards, candy/food wrappers, hotel branding.
Don’t be limited by a diary format… A journal is a great way to write what you did, but it’s also so much more than that – it’s a place to break out and get creative. I loved devoting a two page spread to the key places we went, like the markets or an indigo dye class.
Write what you want… On the same subject as the diary format, don’t feel limited to writing all about everything you did. Just write whatever you want to write and leave the rest out. That way, you won’t feel pressured or bored by your new hobby.
Use all your senses… Write about the sounds, smells, tastes and even textures of your trip. Get it down on paper while it’s fresh, it will be much more vivid. If there’s not enough time for a full description, jot down a few key words, which will jog your memory and fill in the gaps later.
Get creative… In how you display your page, his was the bit that I loved the most – really getting creative with how I wrote up my pages as collages, with photos, stickers, colour schemes and other elements. It was this that really got my creativity flowing.
Travel Journal at home… You don’t have to be a constant traveller in order to enjoy travel journaling, half the fun of travel is the planning and imagining, so use your journal before and after your trip at home for unleashing your creativity.
Here are a few pics of some pages from my travel journal, it was such a lovely experience and I recommend you give it a try. It’s inspired me to continue journaling – one day I’ll be able to look back and feel inspired by my own creativity.
For the first time I really had some downtime on this trip, imagining and drawing up my travels. I even found that the pens I used helped me to learn more about calligraphy where in the past I was too scared to give it a go!
Make sure to stop in to your local Officeworks store or online to get fully equipped before your trip, they have everything you need to get you started on your next hobby.
See the next post in this series here.
This post is in collaboration with Officeworks. Photos by Nicola Lemmon and Illustration by Natalie Ong.