Debra – It’s all about the travel journal.


I need a travel journal.  A fabulous one.

BECAUSE I’M GOING TO AFRICA!  Yep.  In February.  I’ve got plenty of time to plan my non-colorful, non-white, non-black wardrobe that won’t scare off the animals, but I’m running darned short on time to find THE perfect journal.

I’m sure I’ll travel with a computer of some kind, even if I leave it in a safe somewhere as we head out to the back end of nowhere.  And I’ll probably have my long-battery-lasting Kindle (never leave home without it) on which I could type in a pinch, but as any person who loves books and paper will tell you, there is something magical about the immediacy of thoughts written by hand in a journal with a wonderful pen.  So, I need a journal people.  Something elegant but utilitarian.  Something with incredible paper.  Leather is yummy.  And a great pen.  I need a fab pen.  Multiples, of course.

The plan is a trip of 8-9 days, which includes a few days in tents.  According to my uncle, these are not your ordinary tents.  Here’s a pic from his last trip to Africa.  That’s the wilderness you see through the tent windows.  What a scream!  However, since my idea of camping is a Day’s Inn with no internet…I’m liking this tent.  Our safari might be less fancy.  He was a VIP on this trip and a representative of a conservancy group.  (He’s the original nature guy.)  So…our safari tent is likely to be slightly less gorgeous but still better than a pup tent.


I have to learn to take pictures before I go, too.  I rarely use the camera.  Must find instructions.  And a class.  And a journal.  I’m thinking soft.  It should fit my hand well so I’ll carry it around.  Lined paper, I think.  No trendy travel journals with “fill in the blank pages” and wild life info.  This should be an experience journal.

Do any of you journal?  Is it all about the paper or the pen or both?  Any tips on journaling?

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20 Responses to Debra – It’s all about the travel journal.

  1. Kathleen says:

    I used to keep a journel when I travled. I have my journels from when I went to Ireland and Scotland. And I have my journal from my car trips I have taken. But I don’t travel as much as I used to. But I do keep a journal for my mother. She is in a nursing home and I want to keep a record of all the conversations and what is being done by the nursing home staff and other things I do for my mother. Just so if something should happen, I know when and where and why..
    Have a great time on your trip.. How wonderful it will be.

    • debradixon says:

      Kathleen– On aren’t you smart to keep a jounal for your mom. I’m sure that one fact alone will make a difference in her care. Seriously. Good for you.

      • Kathleen says:

        Oh for sure it has… They know I don’t let anything get passed me.. Althought my mother has all her faculties, she does forget things.. So I thought his was best.

  2. I’ll say it’s better than a pup tent! Oh, Deb, please take me along in your backpack. I could lose a lot of weight by February.

  3. lois greiman says:

    I’m so jealous, Deb. I’m hoping to do Africa and climb Kilimanjaro in a couple years after Son One graduates from med school. So far I have $22 saved. Do you think that’s enough?

    And yes to the journaling. Great thoughts must be immediately penned on great paper. 🙂 Have fun!!! And tell us everything when you get back. I think Feb’s a good time to go.

    • debradixon says:

      Lois– My uncle climbed Kilimanjaro last year. When you go, I’ll hook you up. I’m sure he’d be happy to share some “things you should know.” (g)

  4. kylie brant says:

    Deb, I’m soooo envious! Africa! That’d be a dream come true and no way will I ever get my husband there. Unless I can convince him there’s a great tropical beach in the middle of the Congo….

    • debradixon says:

      Kylie– LOL! “great tropical beach in the middle of the Congo” Okay, that’s a stretch. (g) I’m so excited.

  5. Leanne Banks says:

    Africa sounds very adventurous, Deb. Maybe too adventurous for me. Although I would REALLY love to go on a safari where the only shooting involved pics. This trip is definitely worthy of a fab journal. My problem with travel journals is that I get so busy on the trip I either forget to write or I’m too tired to write! My best shot at it was collecting postcards in Italy and trying to journal on one postcard per day. I didn’t quite hit my mark. Too many things to see! Enjoy!! xo, Leanne

    • debradixon says:

      Leanne– I’m worried that I won’t journal enough, too. It’s the experience of a lifetime. And I should write it all down. But I’ve spent so many years on a keyboard, I’m going to have to learn to love long-hand again. I honestly can’t write without a keyboard. This will be interesting.

  6. michelehauf says:

    Oh I love a good journal. I buy them. A lot. And then I never write in them, because I hate to make that first mark on the first pristine page. I know. I know.

    • debradixon says:

      I do have one lovely small but thick leather journal (not written in) with lovely handmade paper. So this time I think I’m going for lined paper so that I wouldn’t see the “big blank page” and feel like I’m messing up something pristine. Line paper is utilitarian. It says, “Muss me up.” I hope so anyway!

  7. Helen Brenna says:

    Boy, Deb, have an awesome time! Oddly enough, I don’t journal any longer at all, but a travel journal does sound like a great idea. I probably forget more than I remember about vacations!

    • debradixon says:

      Helen– I know I never remember all that I should about vacations. Someone who’s been with me will talk about something and I say,”Oh, yeah! I remember that. I’d forgotten.” I really don’t want to forget anything about this trip!

  8. Oh, Deb, how fabulous! I don’t journal because writing is my day job , but I bought my mom a gorgeous travel journal after she retired and she and her husband started traveling a lot. She really has enjoyed it and pastes things in it after she gets home, too. I know we’ll treasure it always.

  9. Stephenia says:

    Moleskin journals are my favorite. I like the original ones which have unlined paper that is just thicker than usual, a firm leather cover and a rubber band thing to keep it closed. There is a 4×6 size that is great. I like waterproof pens, India Ink is my favorite, can’t think of the name, but I get them at Hobby Lobby in the art section for around $4 each. Have fun on your trip!

  10. Pingback: Before My Travel Blog « InsideJourneys

  11. Pingback: Before My Travel Blog | InsideJourneys

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