As an adult, I have only journaled for two reasons: (1) I'm in a mood to write poems (I call it journaling because it's usually related to whatever is going on in my life at that moment), or (2) when I travel. So, I am writing this post because I will soon have a reason to journal - I am traveling to Pakistan with my husband to visit his parents and sister - and we leave in less than 1 month. YIKES!
Don't get my wrong, I have enough to worry about to prepare for our trip (work reports, packing, buying gifts, getting my visa, etc) but for some reason I am thinking a lot about the journaling! I honestly hadn't even thought about bringing a journal to Pakistan, until my husband suggested it a couple of days ago. After leaving one of my journals on a plane (that I spent 3 months working on during my first trip to Peru), I felt so frustrated with myself and sad about the information I lost that I didn't care to journal much during my second trip to Peru...I guess I just thought that I would lose it again, I don't know. Of course, this is not a good reason to give up journaling for the rest of my life.
I also had not considered journaling because, honestly, I don't really enjoy writing. :/ Yes, I realize the irony in this statement - as I'm writing a blogpost! Sometimes, I am such a perfectionist (or nervous? or unsure?) that it takes me half an hour to decide what my first sentence will be. And I know journaling should be "enjoyable," "just for me," "I should just get my thoughts out," yadda yadda yadda. I KNOW! urgh. I'm getting frustrated just thinking about writing!
But I also want it to look nice, so I have to spend time finding the perfect journal...it has to be the right size, open comfortably, have the right look that matches my feelings about this trip, and I need to decide if I want one with lines (because I can't write in a straight line) or one with blank pages (so I can draw pics).
When I travel, I like to write about the things that I see, foods that I try, cultural mores, experiences, etc. but I began thinking that maybe I won't have that much to journal about on this trip. After reading the warnings about traveling in Pakistan we realized we probably won't be leaving my in-laws' home, except for a quick trip to a market to buy gifts. So what would I write about each day? There can only be so much that goes on between 5 people visiting in a home for 2 weeks that would be interesting to write about.... BUT, I may be wrong. I just need to change my style. Instead of writing about my site-seeing adventures, I will write more about my feelings (because I know there will be a lot of those)! This made me think of one of my best books I have ever received: The Decorated Page. My parents gave this to me for Christmas many years ago and it contains great advice for starting a journal and decorating it. So, I will have to re-read this book before I leave and put together a few simple supplies - maybe some pastels, charcoal pencils, glue, etc.
I have met my in-laws once and my husband goes years without visiting them so it will be emotional I'm sure, but also fun to catch up. I also plan to cook with my mother-in-law and that could lead to some interesting adventures, between the language barrier and my lack of common sense (at times) when it comes to cooking. When I met my in-laws it was also interesting to see how my husband interacts with his parents, and how similar his mannerisms are to his family members. ...I'm anticipating my journal might look more like a comic book! I'll be sure to take some pics to share on here. :)
Any advice on choosing a journal? topics to write about? how to get passed my perfectionism and just write? etc?