Title:  Globejotting:  How to Write Extraordinary Travel Journals

Author:  Dave Fox

Publisher:  Inkwater Press

Copyright:  2008

Rating:  5 out of 5

I absolutely LOVE this book.  I think this is the third time I have read it, and I am still finding useful tips to help my travel writing endeavors.

Dave is also a humorist writer, so the book reads easily and conversationally.   He not only gives instruction, but he also includes his own travel writing pieces to illustrate his points, which matches my learning style.

While there is a wealth of information contained within these 175 pages, I will focus on the ideas that I plan to immediately implement in the wake of my future trip to Europe in March, 2015.

Dave has taught me that I can write about my travel adventures at any time:

  • Pre-journaling is a way to anticipate the trip and build suspense.  I can focus on what I hope to experience, or I can journal about the varied emotions surrounding the trip.
  • Speed-journaling is a way to journal while on the trip without missing the experiences.  Taking sensory notes rather than worrying about chronological details is key.  Quick ten-minute bursts of free-writing will help the mind focus on the memorable.
  • Group-journaling is a great way for those traveling together to document personal highlights that can be compiled and shared when back home.
  • Post-journaling is about reviewing the speed-journaling notes and developing articles or personal essays focused on a particular theme.  I would plan to match a photograph with a written essay for a complete exploration.
  • Re-journaling is about reviewing past entries or essays. but with the advantage of perspective in order to compare/contrast and find deeper insights.

Dave reiterates that practice makes perfect… so if I desire to maintain a travel journal while on vacation, I should experiment with travel journaling before leaving.  To that end, he offers Flight Simulator exercises, that help me focus on necessary components of travel writing.  For example:

  • Theme journaling:  brainstorm a list of possible themes from past vacations, select one, and explore.  Themes can include food, money, transportation, accommodations, religion, etc (for more ideas regarding themes, visit Dave’s website)
  • People Spotting:  take time to people watch for a few days (no problem for me… I love to people watch).  Using these notes, write an essay over one of the subjects – trying to show as much physical  detail as well as explore personal feelings toward the individual.
  • Mind Journeys:  play pretend!  Imagine a vacation destination … close your eyes and really put yourself in that place.  After a while, open your eyes and journal, trying to elicit as many of the five senses as possible (see, hear, smell, touch, feel) in as much detail as possible.
  • Foreign at Home:  Choose a place near home that is new-to-you.  Treat yourself to a mini vacation by pre-journaling – speed journaling – and then post-journaling when back home.

I am serious about becoming a travel writer, if for no one else but myself.  I have plenty of prior trips to call upon for practice in the hopes of making the best of future travel journaling.  I anticipate using this blog as a place to share these experiments.

I highly recommend Dave’s book, his website for additional information, and if interested, his video courses.

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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