We have been back in Ireland for six months now. The New Zealand trip is seeming very dim and I am relying a lot on my travel journal to jog my memory as I write my blog posts. Only… the thing is… I’m not the best journaler in the world.
When I’m travelling, I tend to get swept up in what we’re doing. Enjoying everything to the point of exhaustion. The last thing I want to do at the end of the day is sit down and write. And that has resulted in one of the most incomplete travel journals I have ever written. I ended up just jotting down bullets and prompts in pencil with the intention of going back to write it up (I haven’t). Fortunately, I no longer trust myself to go back, so my prompts include things like names, senses, times, distances. All the details I want to remember with very little prose. Tiernan’s vlogs fill in the remaining gaps.
Perhaps I am being too hard on myself. I did have every intention of writing during this trip until the worst thing happened – and compulsive people will absolutely relate to this – my pens ran out. My pretty little Muji 0.5mm black gel pens. I brought two of them with me, but I did not appreciate just how much I wanted to write. Both of them drained completely and I couldn’t find another inky pen that was the same shade and did not bleed through the page.
What I Used |
- Typo A5 Blank Buffalo Journal – It is nigh on impossible to find blank notebooks these days. In the age of bullet journaling and smashbooking why is it so hard to find blank notebooks?! I was enraged until I found one (literally) at Typo, an amazing stationery story under the Cotton On umbrella. Fortunately, I love the brown. It’s very intrepid.
- Muji 0.5mm Gel Ink Pens in Black, Red and Green.
- A cute pencil from the gift shop at Versailles
- A hilarious ‘undo’ eraser from Tesco
- A ruler
- Staedtler Pigment Liner in 0.5mm was the pen I bought in lieu of Muji that did not work in my notebook
An Honest Flip Through |
So I hope you have your cup of tea ready. Here we are with an honest flip through of my travel journal from New Zealand!
# 1 Route Map
Tiernan did an amazing line drawing map of New Zealand for me. He copied them off a Google image search and I added the stops as we went. As you can see, it was very South Island focused. But we could have done with a lot more time (says everyone who went on holiday ever).
# 2 Itinerary
After the map, I included a one-line daily itinerary based on the typical bullet journal monthly spread. Made changes in red – there were a lot of them. We did not plan everything in our trip, leaving lots of room to be spontaneous.
# 3 Bookings (Flights, Accommodation, Activities)
All of our accommodation, flights and activities got their own sections. I have a travel app – TripIt – which I use to store all of this information, but I love having a paper copy with our booking references on (just in case). We cancelled the Glenavys Motor Camp as we were able to stay with a reader, Paddy, on the east coast of the South Island. Thanks, Paddy and see you next year!
# 4 Expenses
You all know we are not shy about sharing the real costs of our life. In pure Celt & Kiwi style, here is one of our expenses spreads. The black is things we’d planned for, the red is the surprises. Mum always says that after accommodation and flights you should double your budget because you always end up spending random money. Well, baby Lucas can now know what we spent on him…
We’ve been working in two currencies for a while: pound sterling and Euros. Whenever we spent money, we would convert it using xe.com into both. Tiernan thinks better in Euros, so if he wanted to know the value of something we would think of it in terms of how many Costa (please sponsor us) coffees we could get at the Castlebellingham AppleGreen.
I ended up excluding accommodation costs because we had that listed in the accommodation section. It’s all about being organic.
If you’d like a break down of the trip budget, let me know in the comments section. We’re neither luxurious nor overly frugal so it should be a fair baseline budget for New Zealand. Spoiler alert: New Zealand costs a lot.
# 5 Diary Section
Finally, we come to the diary. The prose section of the travel journal. I write stream of consciousness and sometimes my brain gets ahead of my hand. Reading back, it’s full of half formed sentences – slightly hilarious ones, too.
Not all the pages are as pretty as the ones above. Some sections have little to no pen script at all. Here is an example of a busy patch just before we left Auckland on our road trip…
Why does Tiernan’s belts get a special mention the day after my brother’s wedding? I think I’ll leave that as a little mystery.
Next Time |
My next trip is to Stockholm, Sweden in September. I am going to try a bullet journal style travel notebook for that trip to see if I fare any better. Since I default to writing in bullets when I am under pressure for time, I have high hopes.
Do you keep a diary, journal or book when travelling?
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