Sunday, 1 September 2013

Storytelling Sunday: A Holiday Journal

Today, I am taking part in Sian's Storytelling Sunday. On the first Sunday of every month, Sian encourages bloggers from all over the world to tell the story behind the things that are precious to them. Climb up to see her High in the Sky and read the tales of other talented storytellers. This is my story of a holiday journal. It is not old or battered or dog-eared from thumbing through and reading. Actually, it is still new and clean, with crisp pages and neatly adhered memorabilia. However, it is still precious to me, and I hope that as time passes, it will only become more important and treasured.
I had never written a holiday journal before this summer. Since I started scrapbooking (and probably even before), I have collected things like tickets and memorabilia when I go anywhere new with the idea that I may use it on a layout one day. Of course, as time passes by, I often forget the story behind the precious receipts and little pieces of paper I amass during a holiday, and they often end up lurking at the bottom of a folder or basket of supplies, never to be used. Sad times!
This year, when we went to Italy for the first time, I was determined to keep a journal of some kind. This was partly because I wanted to remember all the little details, and partly because I had seen so many beautiful travel journals from scrapbookers and bloggers online that I wanted to get a piece of the action! I knew that if I brought loads of supplies with me, I wouldn't have the time or discipline to keep up. My scrapbooking style is slow and detailed, and this journal was all about the memories and journalling, not the design. So I set off with this lovely Papermania journal (which I got from a sweet friend for my birthday), a Freckled Fawn/Studio Calico green arrow washi tape and my favourite American Crafts journalling pen. Minimal supplies that fit neatly in my handbag.
And during the fabulous week we spent in Italy, I set aside some time most nights (usually when everyone else had collapsed into bed exhausted!) to sift through and record the tales behind the bits and pieces I had gathered during the day. Before I knew it, the pages were filling up with stories: the dramatic story of an expired passport, the story of a expensive and beautiful island, the story of the many cocktails we enjoyed, the story of a sweet Englishwoman that worked in our hotel, the story of a place steeped in history... Accompanying the stories were countless receipts, tickets, maps, postcards, stamps, brochures and even a sachet of sugar from a cafĂ© on the isle of Capri that charged €7 for an orange juice. Yes, really!
I'll be honest. I didn't get it all finished when we were in Italy. I didn't write every single night. I definitely had some catching up to do when we got home. But the result is worth it. When I had written my last story and adhered my last ticket with that lovely green washi tape, I knew there was something else I wanted. Something that would make this journal really precious. So I went to my family and begged them to write something, something that would sum up their experience of the holiday. Having my Mum's love of family, my sister's humour and my Dad's almost illegible scrawl (!) as part of the journal make it even more important and special to me.
I am so doing this again!


  1. Wow Sinead, this is really amazing! I love how much is recorded in these pages and I know exactly what you mean about hoarding bits and pieces and not doing anything with them. I love writing travel journals but I'm really bad at using the memorabilia once I get home, but you've inspired me to give it a try. Thank you so much for this glimpse into your journal (and I love that you got your family to write in it too!)

  2. It's brilliant! and I love that it has more precious to "grow into" as you tuck it away safely and the years go by..

    I've always gathered up tickets and things too, and I so wish I had taken the time to do this instead of leaving them in plastic folders.

  3. i have so many receipts and restaurant cards everywhere. i do try (and fail) to include them in my layouts. PL has been great for that!
    also, having your family write in them is awesome!

  4. After years of collecting bits on our travels, I too now keep journals with all the bits stuck in.
    They are a fabulous reminder & I flick through mine regularly & sometimes to find the answer to a query like... what was the name of that place we ate in ??
    very precious indeed x

  5. This is truly wonderful! I kept my first good travel journal this year on a trip to Istanbul and Greece, but I didn't do anywhere near as wonderful a job as you did. My journal is just the writing, and the memorabilia is still stuck in a pocket waiting for a home. I'm pinning this one to remember just how you did it!

  6. Oh how lovely - especially that you've managed to get others to join in. I like that it will fill up with even more bits later. I like that washi tape too :)

  7. Beautiful travel journal Sinead. I can't believe that story about the orange juice! Crazy! I love that you have recorded details like this though. Getting your family to write it in is precious too. What a treasure to look back on in years to come.

  8. Such a beautiful journal, thank you for sharing x

  9. Hurrah another convert! This journal will be so well read, trust me, I have kept a holiday journal for every holiday since 1979. the clutter in my house is all journals and scrapbooks. My children still bring them out and read them or show them to their own children.
    So glad you have come over to the light LOL