A journey can mean many things. It can be a literal trip from one destination to another or it can mean a path that takes your from one part of your life to another.
I’m coming up on my 50th birthday. Yes. I know. It’s hard to believe when you look this young. ;) But it’s true. I’ve lived hopefully only half my life, but it is definitely quite a few years and quite a few years of experiencing hard times, good times, beautiful places and the comforts of home.
I don’t know about you, but I have random thoughts enter my head. I’ll have an image pop in my head about a place I’ve been and before I know it, introspection creeps in.
Finally, I decided I needed to be writing these moments down.
That’s how the project, A Life Well Traveled, came to be. Thoughts accompanied by photos (when possible) of things I learned or experienced. Perhaps how it changed or affected me. I don’t know exactly where this journey will lead me or for how long, but my intention (I always have good intentions :) ) is to write once a week and share that here on the blog. I may choose a word that encompasses that thought or I may not. It’s all very organic and I’m just gonna go with the flow.
This perspective can also be different than when you’re in a moment. Many times when you document a trip or a moment, you’re recounting more of the time rather than anything introspective. And that’s where I wanted to go with this written and visual journey.
It is about my journeys.
It is about my perspectives.
It is about my life.
And I’d like to invite you to join me on this journey.
So grab a notebook, pen, and come along for the ride.
I plan on using my Webster’s Pages album and Midori traveler’s notebooks. I love the size and the fact that it’s a traveler’s notebook. It seems very apropos.
I wanted my cover to include a map because of all that ‘journey’ and ‘a life well traveled’ implies. And you know me and maps. I opted for the western side of the U.S. since I’ve lived in many of those states–born and spent half of my childhood in Oregon, lived in cities in Utah, Colorado and even Alaska (not shown ;) ) as well as North Carolina.
I found a map HERE, changed it to black+white in Photoshop, and removed the white background to make it a transparent PNG file. You can download what I used for both maps and covers HERE (it’s a large zip file). There are also two variations on the LIFE title cover. Mine says Life well traveled. The other one says Life is a journey. For me, Life well traveled is appropriate in so many ways. But for you, Life is a journey might be a little more vague and may work better for you. Or, you can use the map and make your own title.
I, of course, had to Minc-ify it using the champagne foil. :)
After goldifying and trimming, I removed the staples from the Midori notebook and stapled on my new personal cover. And you may be asking, ‘Why not just make your own notebook?’ Well, I could have. But I like the weight of the Midori paper and it’s all trimmed nice and pretty. Maybe someday I’ll make my own with the right paper, but for now…this’ll do.
While my interpretation of this project will be leaning towards places I’ve been with accompanying thoughts, yours may have a different perspective. But the thoughts and questions you ponder can still apply.
To begin with, I thought I’d share an experience about a trip to Italy almost 20 years ago. I thought this particular moment was a great way to start off this new journey in my life.
Going to Italy was a huge adventure. It was the first time I’d been out of the country (Alaska + Hawaii are far away, but still US). Foreign soil. Many languages. My children were young and I’d never been gone from them for a week, much less two.
While in Venice, Dan and I decided take a boat through the Grand Canal. Not speaking any Italian, we were unable to read the signs. we finally managed to get on a taxi boat, expecting it to go through the canal. Instead, we set off into the ocean. Well, to me it was ‘the ocean’. I believe it was just to go to the mainland stop, but it was open water–away from Venice.
Where were we going?
What did we do?
I said aloud, ‘I feel like I’m all alone.’
Dan reminded me, ‘You’re not alone. I’m with you.’
Eventually we headed back toward the beautiful island of Venice.
It was sunset. We planned that correctly. As we passed the outside of the city, the buildings were all aglow because of the beautiful sunset. It’s something I’ll never forget. It’s something I never would have witnessed had we not gone the adventurous way, whether it was intentional or not.
While I have traveled many places, nothing ever put me quite out of my comfort zone as that moment. Not only what I saw will be forever embedded in my mind, but what I learned will be forever with me.
- I can be adventurous.
- Things will work out.
- If you get on the wrong path you can always hop onto another. (Thank heavens we didn’t have to do that here.)
- Never be afraid to ask for help.
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Adventure: Your Perspective
Now it’s your turn. Here are some thoughts to get you started on this subject.
- Was there a time you were outside your comfort zone?
- How did it make you feel?
- Was it a good or bad experience?
- What did you learn from it?
- Would you ever do it again?
I’m really excited to take on this documenting challenge and I hope you are too!
A Life Well Traveled is a journey of thoughts, perspectives, and memories in visual form based on events in your life. A play on words, it can be anything from actual travels and afterthought perspective to personal journeys and lessons learned in your life.