A month back when I was looking for a book in my shelf, I found my dusty old Travel Journal which I stopped writing couple of years back. I opened it to have a quick read and it almost took me to those great old memories. I stopped writing it because it became too hard to maintain with the need to add plenty of pictures to it, no place for collectibles (either I have to glue it or stick it to the pages) and above all a boring and painful sensation will come up whenever I begin to write it.
But I didn't want to miss out on great reads and really wanted to re-live such travel experiences. So I decided to reinvent this and make a tailored Travel Journal for myself which I did and I named it as "Veronica". So the unique features of these travel journal is
- QR code (Link to vast digital photo library for collective memory experience)
- Assorted linking of photos
- Storage space for the trip collectibles ( exclusive space to store collectibles for each trips)
- Bookmark with a torch light
- Multi colored Neon papers
- Pen holder
- Vintage compass
- Two board games
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Step 1: Materials Required
Let's take a quick look at the materials required to make this cool Travel Journal. You need to purchase these materials individually and may take some time but I can assure it will be worth your time. Besides you can always get it online if you didn't have luck finding it in your local stores.
- Neon A4 Papers
- A4 sized protector Leaflets
- Mini torch
- Multicolored pen
- Thin chain or any bookmark material (Torch need to be attached, so choose the right one)
- Polaroid style photos (Do it with the help of a photo studio or you can make your own if you have printer at your home )
- Mini compass
- Print board game on a photo sheet
Step 2: Arranging the Neon Papers and Leaflets
I have used total of 100 Neon A4 sized papers. I usually take at least five papers to write in average for each of my trip. So I have inserted the protector leaflet between every five pages. This means for every trip I will have a protector leaflet to store the collectibles I may find in that trip.
Once you are done arranging the papers and leaflets, the next step will be binding. You may do the binding on your own if you find time.You will find plenty of guidance videos about it. But I would strongly suggest to use any professional binding service to achieve professional Journal look.
Step 3: Linking Digital Photo Library
Everyone of us love to take photos on our Journey but in travel journal you can fit a maximum photos of around 4 or 5 per trip, anything more than that will make the journal into a photo album. How do I allow myself or any reader to recollect all the memories of a particular trip and put it in a single space? That's where QR code comes in. Everyone is using cloud storage now a days, I got this idea of uploading all the trip photos to a cloud storage and generating a QR code for that link, later I can print that code and paste it in pages where I have written about that particular trip.
To start with I have uploaded all my photos in a specific folder and generated the link for it ( I have used Google drive for this). Once done I have used shareable link in this site www.goqr.me to generate the QR code. Similarly I have created folders for each trip( Delhi, Kulu and so on) generated QR code for each of it. Print these QR codes in a plain paper, cut it out and paste the corresponding QR codes in appropriate pages.
Now all that you have to do is point your smartphone or any gadget to scan the code .You will be taken to the cloud storage where you can view all the photos which will give a complete experience of "Reliving the memories". Cool isn't it? . Besides your photos will be safe in a cloud storage and you can restrict the privacy level so that your photos will be safe from prying eyes even though you lost your journal.
Step 4: Space for Collectibles/Souveniers
By souvenirs or collectibles I don't mean big and sturdy ones. I have lost a "porcupine hair" in a trek which is pretty rare thing and I feel bad for losing it since I didn't have a proper space to have that. Keeping this in mind I decided to add a small storage space in my journal which will keep small collectibles safe and intact. By the word small i really mean tiny things like (air tickets, flowers, hand crafts, badges and so).
Remember we have added A4 storage leaflet in the book for every 5 pages of Neon paper. It usually take 5 pages on an average for writing about a particular trip so I have added the leaflets for five pages you can customize it as per your requirement. So basically my journal offers single leaflet/storage space for each trip.
Second image shows the souvenirs I have collected during my trip to Delhi (Hand crafted cloth, air ticket, small vintage photo)
Step 5: Add the Bookmark Chain and Mini Torch
I have a habit of writing Journals at the moment when am inspired the most, I believe many of you like to do the same. I have went to a camping where the main attraction is gazing at "Night stars" and I missed out that opportunity to write my Journal because there was no light. And that's the reason I have added the torch in this Journal, I believe you would have now got idea about it's purpose.
Choose a long chain for attaching the torch to it. Make sure it can be glued to the back of the Journal but still can extend to other pages of the book to serve as a bookmark. Use a strong adhesive such as Fevicol or Fevibond for this purpose or it might come off. Once done gluing, let it dry for some time and if necessary seal it over with a decorative tape (make sure it doesn't look odd)
Now attach the mini torch you have bought to the tip of this chain. Now your multipurpose Bookmark torch is ready to light up at dark times.
Step 6: Adding a Pen Holder
I always had the trouble of finding a pen in my travel bag. So I thought to add a pen holder in my Veronica which will make writing a lot easier without much hassle. This holder takes less than a minute to make. All you have to do is stick a disco rubber band at the back of the Journal using deco tape, you will get something like a loop which will hold your pen. Your pen holder is now ready, no more hassles.
Step 7: Board Games for Boredom
Board games, a traditional way to fight off boredom. If you ever feel bored while you are away from entertainment systems, you can make the most out of these board games. I have added two board games one each in front and back hard covers of the journal. I have picked Snakes & ladders and Chinese checkers.
You can choose your own game. Search for the blank template in Internet, then print it out in a photo sheet. This will offer decent look and won't tear off. Then paste these printed sheets to the hard covers using a strong adhesive and your miniature gaming center is ready.
Step 8: Adding the Compass
Now we have come to the final part. This compass can be considered both as a functionality and decorative item to our project. Talking about functionality many times when we were going for a trek or camping we often struggle to determine the direction in which we want to travel. Compass can be your solution, even though we have compass in most of our gadgets. If gadgets run out of battery or malfunctioned this could come in handy.
Besides adding the compass to the plain hard cover will reflect the travel theme and adds unique look to it. The compass which is bought is only half an inch in thickness so it suited perfect. You can skip this if you want to. And my Veronica is ready.
I have been using this Journal for about a month now and so far the functionality is indescribable and few used to wonder what it is and go wow when I describe it is self made with lot of cool custom features. More than that I love the way it brings the collective experience of a particular trip. So my Veronica is a cool tailored modern journal with vintage touch.
Hope you all would love making a "Veronica" for yourselves. Do let me know if you have any improvement ideas or feedback. Post the final photos if you attempt to make one.
If you like this project, kindly vote for it in the "Travels contest 2017".