And I wrote to Howie, careful to share as many details with him as I could fit in the tiny space on the back of each postcard. There was never enough room, so I almost always sent two postcards from every place I went. That's the beauty of writing: it can vicariously transfer experiences, allow one person in one place to connect with another on the other side of the world.
It reassures a writer that the world is still a beautiful and endless space."
I stood in the airport before I left for the first of four flights en route to Austria for a whole semester, and realized I hadn't brought a book. I was suddenly overwhelmed by the prospect of having nothing in my hands, nothing to preoccupy my mind for that much time. So I went to the book kiosk and picked up Atonement, and since I had already seen the movie, I figured I might like it. Did I ever! This is one of my favorite books of all time, and there could not have been a more appropriate novel to carry around Europe. When I read a good book, I love to become immersed in it, imagine myself as the characters. The setting for McEwan's novel [1930's and World War II Europe] was the perfect fictional backdrop to my travels and my studies. What are your reading habits when you travel? If you read books, do you prefer fiction or non? Autobiographical? Does a magazine suit your attention span better? Do you prefer a book to a digital reader?
Elizabeth Hudson is a writer and blogger at StoryWrought.Wordpress.com currently abroad in her soulmate country of Ireland. She writes about writing, creativity, travel and story. You can catch more of her musings at @wanderinglizzie.
[Photograph by Bethany Suckrow. Taken outside Temple Bar in Dublin, November 2008.]
My criteria for a good travel journal : preferably leather because it's durable, and it has to be small enough to fit in a purse or side-pocket of a bag or coat [I have a hard enough time traveling light without adding a family-Bible sized journal into the mix.]
So here are a few of my favorites.
The Traveler's Notebook from Baum-Kuchen. Its pages aren't lined, for those that like to sketch, doodle, etc. And its cover - so sexy, so smooth. Want.
A foodie journal [because eating my way through Europe or South America or Asia sounds like an excellent plan.]
And don't forget the classic Moleskine. Whether you choose a regular lined or blank journal, or one designed specifically for travel, their smooth hard covers are aptly durable and beg to be filled with stories of your adventures. These are designed specifically for cities! The Amsterdam notebook would have been nice to have that time that I got lost [a story for another day this week.]
And this sweet little Moleskine wannabe, found in Ljubljana, Slovenia for just a few tolar, was my favorite travel companion. [I added the stickers as I went city to city. A cheap and fun souvenir.] To this day, I pull it out and read entries when I'm feeling wandersick.
wan·der·sick |ˈwändərˌsik| Adjective
1. experiencing a longing for travel during a period of time when travel is not financially possible, nor convenient to one's schedule.
Hey, friends! Today I've guest-posted over at Darrell Vesterfelt's This Is Me Thinking about story, grief, and living a legacy. Check it out, leave a comment, share it if you feel so inclined. I'd love to hear your thoughts about how you choose to live your story and share it with others.
1. Constantly compare yourself to other artists.2. Talk to your family about what you do and expect them to cheer you on.3. Base the success of your entire career on one project.4. Stick with what you know.5. Undervalue your expertise.6. Let money dictate what you do.7. Bow to societal pressures.8. Only do work that your family would love.9. Do whatever the client/customer/gallery owner/patron/investor asks.10. Set unachievable or overwhelming goals to be accomplished by tomorrow.
Have a wonderful weekend - one full of life, full of color, full of wishes come true.
Rachel McGowan is a California-born 20-something writer, reader, dreamer, joke-teller, car-dancer and shower-singer. She loves learning from people and is passionate about the power of story and seeing good come from gross. Rachel works with college students and drinks diet cokes back to back to keep herself sane. She often writes about love, sex, singleness and relationships -- and the awkward joys and struggles of them all. She tweets about her daily observations, and she blogs about everything else.
But for today, open your eyes. Because life is funny, short and sweet, terrible and beautiful. And worth reveling in.
since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world
my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
- the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says
we are for each other; then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis
- e. e. cummings
If you can narrow it down to just one, what is your favorite book? Do you have a book that you read over and over again? Do you reread a certain book at a certain time of year? Am I crazy?