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

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Creative Travel Journaling - The View

 When anyone found out that I was an art teacher, I always got the response, "I can't draw a straight line." I always found it humorous since most art does not require straight lines. I am of the opinion however that everyone has some degree of creativity that can be nurtured and explored and used. If you love to journal about your travels and you feel that it needs a little spark, these next few posts might just be for you.

Whether it is in pictures or words, journaling expresses what we experience in the world around us. One of the first things I learned as an art student is that there is the big world and then there is the tiny world. By that I mean we look around us and see our collective surroundings, the big world. But if we zero in on details, we can find so much more, a slice of life, a new-to-me insect, plant, bird, etc., a glimpse into the past and so on.

Example: While on our visit to Leeds Castle in England.. The big picture was seeing the castle and going through the rooms. My travel journal for that day might read: Visited Leeds Castle. Lots of big rooms and history. Beautiful grounds and many waterfowl.

While that documents the visit, the smaller picture was in trying to get to the center of the maze and getting lost along the way time after time. The slice of life was seeing so many kids in the center getting there before us. Were they using GPS? Nope. Just arms and legs to climb over the hedges to get there faster. Kids are kids the world over.

Travel journaling does not involve just posing in front of Notre Dame and smiling for a picture, visiting the Great Wall to say you've been there, or even going to your local zoo to watch the animals. It involves making  contacts with people and places and yes, animals, that create wonder. Write down your impressions or even capture them on film: your new-found knowledge, what made you laugh, what made you cry, what made you want to linger or leave. Those are the memories you want to keep and even share.

Assingment: Sit or walk around your backyard and take in the big picture. Then narrow your observations down to one corner of the yard. Narrow it further to one small spot and examine it closely. See anything you didn't notice before? Now zoom in on a very small 6"X6" square of lawn or garden or bush or tree, etc. How would you describe what you see there? Have you made any new discoveries--right in your backyard?!

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

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