Borrowing Language


Grand Cayman Restaurants, page from travel journal by Lucinda Howe

Words and images combine well in a travel journal.  But if you don’t consider yourself a writer, don’t dispair.  Here are several ways to add language to your pages.

  • Incorporate printed ephemera (items designed to be useful or important for only a short time such as  pamphlets, tickets, wine labels, store receipts).
  • Borrow words from signs, ads, restaurant menus in the language of the country you are visiting.  Write down snippets of conversations overheard in public places.  Collect local idioms.  Quote local celebrities.
  • Make notes of your observations.  For example, my notes from a previous trip to France say activity around the square included “a woman in a red dress walking four dogs with red bandanas”, and there was noise from the “Esthetique Canine blowdrying a fluffy poodle”.
  • Use letter stencils, drawn letters, handwriting, or calligraphy. Use the letters as design elements.
  • Make rubbings of signs or carvings using thin paper and crayon or graphite and add them to your journal.

If you are interested in journaling as an art form, both for travel and everyday life, a good resource is the book, The Decorated Journal: Creating Beautifully Expressive Journal Pages by Gwen Diehn.

Next week:   Filling the Well

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