"" Writer's Wanderings: Creative Travel Journaling - The Tools

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Creative Travel Journaling - The Tools

An artist needs good brushes. A journal writer needs. . .Well, just what would you use? Pen and paper? Camera? Smart phone? iPad? Whatever you do, don't choose to rely on your memory. Your brain will be working overtime to process all that you are seeing and experiencing. When a computer has a problem with memory, you can always install another chip. Unfortunately that's not the case with the human brain. Therefore do take some type of recording tool with you as you tour and explore.

For me, recording on the go requires two tools--pen and paper and camera. I get a small notebook in which to record interesting tidbits I hear along the way. Background stuff. Things to spark more thought for later. Whenever there are free leaflets or brochures I pick them up and jot notes on them as well. Least you become a pack rat, be sure to glean what you need from these and discard before your suitcase becomes overweight for the trip home.

I probably use my camera as much to record information as I do to just take pictures. Whenever there is a display that describes what I am seeing, I take a picture of it to look at later. I can enlarge it on with my pictorial software or even on my camera by pushing the zoom button when it's in view mode. (Please don't tell me you are still using a film camera). I can glean the information I want and either delete the picture or save it for later. The advantage: I don't have to read it all standing there instead of enjoying the views around me--especially if it is in the hot sun or, perish the thought, the rain.

Now if you use a video camera, you might want to record your voice over the top of what you are shooting. More than likely though, it will only irritate your fellow travelers. Especially if you are talking while a tour guide is as well. Better to take notes and when you make your travel films if you need to narrate, do it then. There will be less of a monotone and you can add a lot more interesting facts and details.

My husband does have an iPad but we rarely use it to take pictures or keep notes. It's a bit bulky to have to tote along on a tour but if you don't have a travel computer and want to use a computerized device to journal on, that could be the way to go. There are even keypads that you can attach now to the iPad if you can't type fast enough on the touch screen.

Our iPhones work well when we don't want to carry the big camera or we just happen to be out somewhere and want to document something. If you are adept at typing on the touch screen, it's also a good place to keep notes.

While on the go, you want to use tools that will help you later to sit down and more fully record your travel adventure. As my husband always says, a job well done requires the right tool. But then he's usually off to the hardware store.

Assignment: Visit a local mall or shopping center and take along the tools you've chosen to help you record your observations. Take in the view. Zero in on some details and use your tools to record what you see. Later, write a journal entry as if you'd visited some exotic place on earth. A mall? Exotic? Sure, it's all in the perception.

Related posts:
Creative Travel Journaling - The View
                                        - The Five Senses
                                        - Descriptive Language
                                        - The Journal

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