Always be sure to do your own art too - it will change your life for the better!
Always be sure to do your own art too - it will change your life for the better!
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Curate Your Life!

Ancestry archives blog Diary history Personal History story Travel Art Travel Diary Travel Journal Vacation

When visiting the Big Island of Hawaii one time, I made up a couple of small Travel Journals that featured the plants and palms of Hawaii…..just for fun. I want to see if I could do it. :-) 

The fact of the matter is, you are ‘curating’ your life anyway – consciously or unconsciously! You make plans to visit places and meet people and to enjoy new settings, food and experiences. So why not be more intentional with those experiences as they unfold in your life?


Over the next while, lots of you will carry out plans to visit somewhere warm perhaps. Why not think about taking along a Travel Journal for this trip. This will be a real opportunity to capture more and clearer memories - and the process is surprisingly simple.


North Kohala coast on the Big Island of Hawaii.

When you keep a Travel Journal, you have the opportunity to capture and craft your memories in a unique way. We will all have travel memories, to be sure; and bringing them to life in a Travel Journal with descriptions and little sketches and watercolours will take those memories to a whole new level - they will last longer and they will be much more vivid in the years to come!


One of the most enduring questions I get when I teach about keeping Travel Journals is: How do I figure out what to put in my Travel Journal?


Fortunately, the answer to this question is fairly straightforward.


Start by making a short list of all your travel obligations - weddings, family reunions, historic site tours etc. This will give you a framework around which to build your Travel Journal content.


There are lots of options for what to include in your Travel Journal entries.

Next, when you’re out on your travels, fill in the intervening spaces/pages with lots of descriptions of the places you visit, the people you meet, the events you enjoy and more. To this end, you can perhaps glue in a wine label and describe how wonderfully it paired with the local cheeses you were trying.


You can also add small pencil sketches - almost like doodling (an under-rated and under-valuedart form). Later, perhaps, you can add some light watercolour washes to those sketches and you will see how your Travel Journal comes to life even more.


A quick pencil sketch from Travel Journal on the Big Island of Hawaii….then I added a bit of watercolour.

Also, remember to use all your senses when you’re building those short descriptions of your times in those places you’ve travelled. This will help you remember more clearly the smell of that evening sea breeze, the rich sounds of the music at that afternoon cafe, or the taste of that seafood appetizer on your final travel evening with friends.


Once you’re back home, you can still add to your Travel Journal too. Perhaps you’d like to give more descriptions, add some new sketches based on photos you took, or simply ‘personalize’ the pages of your journal with decorated page numbers or other highlights.


This quick pencil sketch is from a Missouri River canoe trip - when I got home, I simply added a bit of watercolour to give it some more dimension. Remember that you don’t have to paint the whole sketch!

If you follow this simple framework, you’ll be able to see your way though the dilemma of ‘what to include’ in your Travel Journal - before, during, and after your travels is a great way to start!


To help with this framework, I’ve added a link to a downloadable PDF that can give you some of that structure and take some of the pressure off.


Go ahead and start curating your life in a more intentional way by using a Travel Journal the very next time you head out on a canoe trip, hiking trip, cruise, or vacation someplace warm.


Email me to let me know how I can help you get going on setting up your very own Travel Journal. Tell me what your biggest barriers are, and I’ll help you overcome them.


Go ahead and click this link to download you framework on Travel Journal ‘content’!





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