With my upcoming trip to South America, I am preparing everything I need for the journey of a lifetime. One thing on my list to get is a journal. This is something that I have always done, ever since I went on my first big trip to Europe when I was 15. My high school had a Europe trip every other year, and my parents asked me if I wanted to go for my senior trip (even though I was a sophomore at the time). I have always been an easygoing person, so I nonchalantly said yes. We did 5 countries in 30 days, and I remember my mom buying me a journal in case I wanted to jot down a few things. I ended up filling that journal, but later in the trip misplaced it (I believe in Paris), and all my written memories of the trip was lost. That trip changed my entire life, and to my mother's dismay, the travel bug had bitten me.
About 5 years ago my parents gave me the best gift I have ever gotten: a map of the world...complete with pins, anxiously awaiting to be put on destinations that I had been to.
My obsession with this map is indescribable. While I know I will be putting 4 new pins on it this year, I also know that I will be on the hunt for a new travel journal to bring with me. Here are some of my old journals:
These journals may not look like much, but they are packed with details that my mind could never remember. They have the chocolate bar and fork for my McDonalds French fries (yes, I like to see how Mickey D's changes their menu for each country) that I had in Greece:
They hold the ferry tickets and map that I had in Santorini:
They hold foreign currencies (other than the Euro and the Pound), like the coins and bills I had in Sweden:
They hold the memories of the sweaty, tequila infused Tuesday nights when I lived in Italy and saw the Beatles cover band live:
But most of all, they are a snapshot of my feelings and emotions for some of the most life changing memories. I didn't write in them to be read. I wrote them to relive the details of the memories that I cannot remember. These journals help me look back at what I've been through and how I've come out stronger. They've witnessed the tears of one of the hardest breakups that tore my heart to pieces. They give me a sense of appreciation for all the blessings that I've been given, and give me appreciation for the path and life I've been given. Gratitude fills my heart, and one day I'll have great great great grand kids that can read these and be inspired to live life fearlessly. ❤
Bellisima = "Extremely Beautiful" in Italian, and how i would describe the world, and how I view it through travel.