Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nomad Travel Journals

On my three round-the-world journeys, I was an avid travel journal keeper. I still get a kick out of going back and reading these journals and they come in handy when I'm trying to recall the name of a particular place or what year it was exactly that I was in Bukkatingi. And was that hotel room with a view in Jaisalmer really only a buck a night? (Answer--yes.)

While some would argue that personal travel blogs online are more interesting because of the visual element, they're certainly not as convenient. With a paper-based journal you can be at the top of a mountain or writing by candlelight, no outlet or gadget required. A journal does not need to be booted up, recharged, or repaired and when do you not have access to a pencil or pen?

These Nomad Adventure Journals want to put a little structure into your spiral-bound notebook or Moleskin habits though, keeping your writing protected. The two elements are a case and a printed notebook inside. The case I tried out was zippered "weatherproof" nylon. It's rugged and feels nice in the hand, with the dimensions of a thin guidebook. There's a pocket inside for notes, ticket stubs, or receipts. There's also a fancier leather version for a couple bucks more.

The type of journal inside is up to you. The one I tried is a little too organized for my tastes, with a separate page for each day of the journey and blanks to fill in for "recommended maps," a "tick list" of what to do and see every day, "most memorable daily event," "weather conditions," and more. If you're the type that loves packing cubes and carries a map every step of the way in a new city, then this is probably a good fit. Others who are less concerned about structure can go for a blank version.

There are different journals for different situations though and some fit a nice niche. There's a live music/festival journal that has spaces for the band you saw, set lists, and people you met. The birdwatching edition looks like it would be really handy if you're into that since it's a passion all about ticking boxes and recording notes. Others are journals for fishing, hiking, climbing, and wine tasting, with a waterproof version for rafting and kayaking.

That last one is $8.50 but a new package for the others runs $27 to $29. Then the replacement journals are $15 each. If you like to record your experiences but would like something with more structure and durability, check out the options at the Nomad Journals site.

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