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Notebook + Pen = A Lifetime Of Memories

Goodbye to a real trash weekend here, two cloudy, rainy, chilly, please-pass-the-down-comforter days that turned Thai food take-out and Netflix into survival gear.

Sunday afternoon I was so freaking bored I actually started cleaning out my closets. At first, not much fun and Kimmie Schmidt started calling my name, but buried under the contents of my next Craig’s List ad, I found a box I’d forgotten, and the weekend got epic real fast.

It was all my old travel journals, one from every trip I took between the time we went to Utah when I was 13 and the summer before college, when my BFF Jen and I took a road trip to Memphis to visit Graceland and find our inner Elvis. And I’m sorry I stopped because, man…  I turned those pages and the memories came flooding out. If I hadn’t written them down, I’d have lost most of them, but I did so I didn’t. And after reading through it all, I know won’t again ever hit the open road again without an open notebook. You shouldn’t either.

Because my travel journals are like time capsules. When I open one up, everywhere I went is waiting to be explored all over again. It’s all there and, even better, journaling helps me make sense of everything I saw and experienced. It processes my raw remembering into something bigger and more meaningful. Putting it to paper keeps it real, makes it matter, and saves it forever.

Do it. You won’t be sorry. I like to use a little notebook I can slip into a pack or a jacket, preferably one that’s clothbound with a page marker and a pocket or two for stashing souvenirs. Get some pens you love (mmmm… Gelly Rolls) and keep jotting stuff down—sights, sounds, smells, people, places, moments, impressions. Even if it’s just a line or two at pit stop or a paragraph in the tent at the end of a seriously lit day, journaling makes sure you never forget it. Which, if you’ll remember, is why you went in the first place.


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