In the summer of 1996, after graduating college, thanks to my mother’s support and encouragement, I had the opportunity to travel through Western Europe for a full two months as a graduation gift before hitting the “real” world and settling into a full-time job.
This summer will be 20 years since that amazing, life altering trip and since I just refreshed this blog with an emphasis on travel, I thought it would be fun to revisit the handwritten journal I kept on that journey.
I was very meticulous about journaling every day – I often took notes in a smaller journal then every few days would review my notes and maps and write my thoughts out more fully. Places and new terms were highlighted (highlighters were bought in a stationery shop in Florence). Even though it was tedious sometimes to try to catch up, other times it was a great excuse to slow down and find a cafe or park to do my writing. Some days it kept me occupied on long train rides or was a great nightcap at the end of the long day walking.
I won’t publish every entry (I made a point to journal each day of travel) but I’ll type up my favorites so you can join me in laughing at the thoughts and writing style of a 22 year old Elaine. They’ll be featured under this new category, Time Travel Tuesday.
Below is a picture of the journal itself. And it was such a perfect travel journal! Since it was spiral bound and hardcover, I could fold it upon itself and write without needing a hard surface like a table. And when I wasn’t writing on it, I could use it to play cards or write postcards. It held up great throughout two months of travel!