Vacation Journel Writing
I'm a collector of words. My favorite Pinterest board is full of words and sayings. When I go on vacation, I gather brochures, postcards, maps, and words about the places we're visiting. Usually these go in my suitcase with the best intentions of being transformed into something more creative once I get home.
I wanted things to go differently on our trip this summer. I wanted to write while I was experiencing the vacation and have a place to store this vacation writing along with the literature and words I was picking up along the way.
Prior to leaving, I made a travel journal dedicated to the trip. Using three pieces of tag board scrapbook paper, index cards and loose leaf book rings, I assembled the journal in a few minutes. Not wanting to waste the scrapbook paper, I included various sizes of tag board figuring if I didn't use them, they would be easy to remove. I took a few supplies along: a hole punch, glue stick, scissors, watercolors, and colored pencils.
Once we got on the road, I found the index cards ideal for making quick reflections on places we visited. Some days I wrote notes of the sounds and smells around me. Some days I jotted down each person's positive (a rose) and not so positive (a thorn) experience for the day. Rather than having the kids keep their own journals, everyone contributed to this one journal.
I used the free maps at the state visitor centers, attraction brochures, and post cards to add visual reminders of each day. The smaller tag board pieces were fantastic to adhere the postcards to.
Most days my time to write was pretty brief, accomplished late in the evening or early morning. On days when I had more time to write, I layered multiple index cards for that day. By taking a moment to record even brief thoughts while we were experiencing the vacation, I wrote more vividly than had I waited until I got home to record my thoughts.
A few days were action packed from sun up to sun down, so I simply inserted the literature I collected that day from sights we visited. I kept the Ziploc bag of supplies in the front seat of the van to hole punch items right away. Having the information in the journal in chronological order helped when I did have to time to go back and reflect on those busy days.
Most importantly, by having a dedicated space for writing and words this vacation, I know I lived more like a writer. I took time to notice the small details - breakfast's banana peel odor in the van, the sound of the mountain stream rushing down the rocks, the emotions of watching my son rodeo. I've returned to my vacation jounal multiple times since we've gotten home to write a little more. Even if I never take the time to turn this into something "more creative," it's a keepsake of vacation 2012.