Documenting my Camino

While hiking and travel are for sure the hobbies I am most passionate about, scrapbooking is a very close second for me. Scrapbooking is this amazing way of creating photo albums that use various paper and embellishments (think small craft items) and lots of journaling to document the photo and its story. Check out Scrapstorian, a scrapbooking blog I have with my sister and our sister-in-scrapbooking!

Any who, a little fun digression there but let’s get back to it …

When hiking and travel and scrapbooking collide, wow! The heavens open and I can hear the angels of hobbies singing! And those angels will be singing for me when I get home and scrapbook my entire Camino trip. But now I get to satisfy this passion even while abroad. thanks to my new love for Traveler’s Notebooks (TN), a sort of on the go, in the moment journal and scrapbook. I am grooving to the beautiful singing of the hobby angels every step of the way AND during every page I make in my album when back home! Nothing like milking a single experience for every drop of greatness.

Let me tell you a little bit more about my approach with a TN and some ideas on what you might include in your travel notebook or journal or blog whatever way you document your travels in future.

To start, here is my Notebook (I am sort of squealing with excitement because I have been dying to get a notebook from MAKER THIRTY FIVE and bam, here it is – thank you for such a timely sale ladies!):

Camino Traveler's Notebook Cover

Now one of the MANY benefits of a TN is that it comes with no guts (insides). Just a number of elastics which you can use to hold any type of insert (think soft covered notebook) you want. If you like grids vs lines or dots and a calendar or blank – they have got it. You can buy up whatever type you like, or any combo that you like and just put it in your journal – find the middle of the notebook and slide it under one of the elastics until it sits in the middle. Like this:

Camino Traveler's Notebook Insert Elastic

I have thought long and hard about what to include in my TN to best serve what I want and how I want to document my Camino. I dont want to carry about something I will not use or force myself to use a solution that is not quite right for me. Here is what I have come up with and I am confident it will be magic:

JOURNALING – I prefer writing on grid paper, and the smaller the grid the better. So when I found the Chelsea Paper Co on Etsy.ca and their 3mm grid notebook I ordered up that goodness double time. So I have 5 of these, 3 currently in my Notebook to get me started (I write a lot when travelling and secretly dream of writing a book about my travels so I need to take notes like it will change my life!)

SKETCHING – I prefer sketching on blank paper, like most folks I am sure. So I have also included a notebook of blank, beautifully smooth, and super white paper from another of my favourite planner company’s The 4107 Planners.

ORGANIZING – I prefer keeping a to-do or “remember this” sort of list in a calendar type format, so I also included some weekly organization pages (includes a spot for each day of the week and a to-do list spot) that I printed for FREE from my peeps at The 1407 Planners team – thank you! On these pages I will make note of when we have to call an albergue (hostel) the day before to confirm, or when there is no grocery store for a couple days so we need to stock up on apples and chocolate.

EXTRA BITS – In the little side pockets of the Notebook I have tucked some washi tape (very thin decorated tape) that I will use to secure in bus tickets, coasters, etc. as memorabilia directly into my journal – much thinner and lighter than the usual glue stick I travel with. I have also created myself language recipe cards (albergue = hostel, cervaza = beer) in Spanish and Portuguese so I will tuck this in there as well.

I added a little flair to each of the notebooks with stickers and papers from my scrapbooking collection, some amazing bits my sister-in-scrapbooking (Cheryl) gave me and voila. I think it looks so awesome and am first day of school excited to start writing in it!

tn_insidepeek

Ok so blank canvas is ready, now what to actually write and sketch?

I am not sure exactly how it will all pan out in reality but below is a list of ideas I have about what I can include in my Camino Traveller’s Notebook – a big thanks to all the various blogs and Instagram folks and magazines I read that inspired this list:

  • Sketch cool logos, street art, streets, bridges, churches or buildings that I see (I used to love to draw houses around my neighbourhood, I am going to try and find that 10yr old me again!)
  • Sketch what is my carry on, backpack, daily outfits, funny
  • Use bullet lists to document top 10 favourite foods in Spain or Portugal, fav pilgrims, fav hostel
  • Write out all pretty and fancy quotes I find that I love or mean something
  • Quotes from fellow pilgrims or people we meet on the way that are funny, profound
  • A day by day account of my travels, the good – the bad – the ugly and in between
  • Where we eat and what, what we saw, places we visited, kms we walked in a day, etc.

I love to journal and I find I write the most when I am travelling and even more when I am hiking – funny how our happy places inspire us to do all the other stuff that makes us happy too. So while I know this might be a bit much to carry as far as weight in my backpack is concerned – I am ok with that and have managed my other pack items (their weight and how many) accordingly.

Stay tuned for updates as me and my TN take on Spain, Portugal and France

Brande

PS Just 5 sleeps now!

Found in Translation

Oh goodness me –  just had to share!

Over the past few weeks, Lana and I have been busy planning our Great Camino Mash Up Adventure. This is our catch phrase name for the 5 weeks we get to spend in France, Spain and Portugal taking part in the best parts of 3 different Camino pilgrimages. Check out Planning is Half the Fun! for way too many details on just how knee deep into planning we have been.

While bouncing about the world wide web during a recent planning weekend, Lana and I were finding ourselves quite amused. Some of the information on accommodation or travel websites in Spain and Portugal were hilarious. Either they are just darn funny people by nature (I hope so as that will make this trip even more fun) or Google Translate has wreaked some humorous havoc on their web fronts!

We had to share a few of our favourites which at 2am after hours of planning had us in stitches – of course what isn’t funny in the middle of the night with your bestie!

  • you shall see on your left hand side, a skat-park
  • chronic melting of volunteers
  • book to secure your most satisfaction
  • the soul given by each of you, to you
  • sheet low to use and throw away

Now while most made us laugh, I couple hit a bit home. These two statements that were seemingly lost in translation … may have actually been found in translation. I am hit by a much deeper meaning to these – for our lives and for this adventure.

Despite the passage is forbidden, continue

Despite the passage is forbidden, continue. This one had me thinking about all of the hardships we may run into and need to work through on our adventure. To overcome and just keep on stepping. Blisters, injuries, weather, malfunctioning gear, health issues, or whatever. Just take the next small step towards our goal. Despite it continue.

Trust in God and tether your camel.

Trust in God and tether your camel. Well this one definitely hits home for me as I am a bit of a worrier, ok sometimes more than a bit. I think this one will be a great reminder to just give it to God and know he will take care of us. Tether that anxiety or grumpiness or weariness and trust … and keep those hiking boots moving forward.

Awesome mantras for the adventure ahead!

Brande