5 Surprising Things I Learned About Documenting While Traveling

On my trip to Paris, I decided to try something a little different. Instead of waiting until I returned home, I decided to bring along some essentials and document while traveling. Kind of the best of both worlds - memories documented without the stress of having to do it when I returned home.

Here are a few things that surprised me while documenting on the go…

5 Surprising Things I Learned About Documenting While Traveling | Azzari Jarrett

1. The airplane folding tray was just enough space to create.

I didn’t intend to use the airplane folding tray as a space to create, but I was so excited to get started. As it turns out, the airplane folding tray is the perfect size. I was able to write down my feelings and intentions about the trip. Be sure to pack your supplies in your carry on bag.

5 Surprising Things I Learned About Documenting While Traveling | Azzari Jarrett

2. Limiting your supplies makes you more creative.

I know it sounds counterintuitive, but when I have my entire stash available, the decision making process about what to use can be daunting. By limiting my supplies, I actually used everything. Not once did I think, “I wish I brought ….” Instead, I made do with what I had.

Here’s what I packed: Midori Traveler’s Notebook, Midori Blank Traveler’s Refill, small palette of gouache, travel paintbrush, black ink pad, date stamp, stickers, Micron journaling pen, Scotch adhesive roller, binder clippers, my current favorite Kelly Purkey stamps, Fuji Instax Share printer (I have an older version), and my HP sprocket. I was able to fit everything in one bag, which was perfect for keeping my supplies together.

5 Surprising Things I Learned About Documenting While Traveling | Azzari Jarrett

3. Collecting ephemera during the trip can be fun.

I really enjoyed picking up ephemera at every place we visited - visitor maps, business cards, receipts, ticket stubs. Usually these things are cumbersome for me collect on trips because I know I have to keep track of them in order to get them home. And they add up quickly! I found that I didn’t mind collecting ephemera because I knew I would be using them soon.

5 Surprising Things I Learned About Documenting While Traveling | Azzari Jarrett

4. Finding a quiet space to journal is essential.

As soon as we got to our apartment, I made sure to find a space that I could spread out and create. It turned out to be this little desk near a window that was perfect for holding all my supplies. At the end of each day, I simply returned to this little area and documented our excursion for the day.

5 Surprising Things I Learned About Documenting While Traveling | Azzari Jarrett

5. Anything is better than nothing.

I realized I could let go of any preconceived notions about perfection. Anything I documented that day would be better than nothing at all. I wasn’t concerned about things matching or how they looked together. I was simply able get my thoughts and pictures documented.

And if you are interested, here is a short video of my complete January traveler’s notebook.