From January to May of 2018 I had the amazing experience of living in Iasi, Romania. While living in Romania I had the opportunity to visit six additional countries. Those few months back in 2018 were honestly some of the best times I have had in my 23 years on this earth and I will remember then for the rest of my life.
During my travels there were three things that I always had with me: my Osprey backpack, Canon Rebel camera and my trusty notebook. I think I picked up this notebook at TJ Maxx right before I left. It wasn’t anything fancy but it is now one of my favorite things that I have from my time overseas. My notebook is full of journal entries about the places we visited, ticket stubs, pictures, menus and more. Imagine a travel guide book written in your own words.
Paper is Just Better
A year or so ago, after my trip, I had a friend ask me if I had any recommendations for items she should take with her on her next trip. Completely ignoring the fact that a power adapter is vital and shower shoes are a must, I told her she HAD to bring a journal or notebook of some kind. Even if you’re not much of a writer or journalist, I will always recommend bringing a notebook/journal with you any time you travel. Not only is it super handy to have when you want to quickly write down the name of a food you want to try or jot down the location of an adorable bakery you want to visit, it is an excellent way to document your own thoughts and feelings while in a new place.
I know the vast majority of us have smartphones that we can take pictures with and even write notes and journal in, but it is just different when all of our thoughts are recorded on paper. Personally, I find that paper is a conduit for experience and emotions. I truly believe that it can hold on to the emotions you feel in any given moment.
In my travels I had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz and Birkenau while in Poland. It was an incredibly moving and heartbreaking experience, but one that I am fortunate to have had. I remember writing about the tour on the bus ride back to Krakow and I couldn’t quite hold back the tears the had been welling in my eyes the entire time. At least one of those tears hit my journal and is still there to this day. As the years pass, my own memories may begin to fog, but the pages of my journal will never forget the things that I experienced that day. You just can’t get that same level of memory and emotion through a screen, no matter how hard one may try.
The Next Journal
Ever since getting back from my travels in 2018 I have kept my eye out for my next travel journal. I normally look for something with a sturdy cover that won’t rip or tear and has a strap or clasp to keep it closed as well as an inside pocket to keep tickets and things in that I haven’t had the chance to tape down yet. I actually ended up taping a small envelope to the inside of my old journal for this very reason. So, for my next trip, I am looking for a bit of an upgrade.
Recently I found the Lingo Traveler’s Notebook and honestly, it hits pretty much all of the things I have been looking for – plus a little extra. Let me show you!
A Deeper Look
Not only does it have a pocket in the back but it also has a passport sized pocket in the front to keep all the essentials together.
It has both lined and unlined pages making it perfect for both journaling and sketching.
In the back of the notebook it has designated pages to record “Handy Translations,”
a “Post Card List,”
“Splurges”, you know those things 100% worth spending that extra dollar on,
add something to your “Bucket List,”
and keep track of the “Best of Food” and “Best of Drink”
as well as your favorite “Places to Stay”,
“Museums to Visit” and “Waves to Surf” (if you’re into that),
and lastly, never forget the “Mountains to Climb.”
To finish off the notebook you get a handy dandy knot tying chart and world map to mark all the countries you have visited.
This notebook honestly has it all. While the strap around it could be a little heftier, you’re getting so much else in exchange, it’s a completely forgivable offense. Plus, you can easily wrap a bandana or scrunchie around your journal to help keep it closed, add a little extra security and give it a personal touch while you’re traveling.
While I love this notebook, I honestly just urge you to pick up a notebook or journal before your next trip whether it is this awesome Lingo one or one from your local shop. Write about your travels and you’ll have the neatest keepsake you could ever ask for. Just remember to make it count!