Also the most underrated.
Apart from the necessities, like passports, travel documents and some form of luggage to carry your few belongings, I believe there is no better travel companion than a trusty pen and (relatively) sturdy notebook.
If we broke it down again, I would give the gold medal to the pen, the notebook would finish proudly with silver, while the iPod battles with the eReader and phone for a podium finish.
I like to have a wide array of gadgets, books, and things to put in my ears to keep me busy while on the road. Most of them are to help me pass the time between one place or another, or simply to tune out for a little and let my mind wander. A lot of this paraphernalia requires charging at some point, and depending on how adventurous you’re being, when the battery is dead, it stays dead.
I used the word trusty on purpose when describing my pen. If I take a pen that decides to flake out on me when I’m trying to write down someone’s contact details, I will be more than a little disappointed. The same goes for a sturdy notebook. If the cover slowly but surely decides to part ways with the pages in between, all that journaling, contact taking, budgeting, planning, and anything else that you’ve written down is on the fast track to destruction (or at least missing a number of pages).
As I mentioned in my previous post about journaling, this is a fantastic way to keep track of where you’ve been, who you’re with and what you’ve done. Not to mention a great place to keep track of a budget and take down names and numbers of all those other interesting travelers you meet on the road. I had a look through my old travel journal that was with me through two world trips, and as I was flicking through the back pages where I kept my contacts and scribbled down my travel budgeting, I couldn’t help but laugh at the meticulousness of my spending habits at the time. I was budgeting down to the cents, weighing up every purchase and expenditure.
Talk about stretching every dollar.
I chose to nominate the pen for the gold medal, firstly because a notebook is obsolete without it, and second, having something to write with at all times comes in handy more than you think. I’m talking immigration documents, reminders on the back of your hand, and even a sneaky introduction to your fellow traveler who forgot theirs sitting in the seat on the plane next to you.
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Have you called your Mum lately? Do it now! I've never been good at contacting home while #overseas because I enjoy the thought of being out in the world on my own. I haven't experienced homesickness yet, and I always linked that feeling to the need to contact friends and family at home. You don't need to feel #homesick to call home. I've underestimated the power of maintaining those relationships while abroad, and if you're anything like what I described above, It's never too late (or early) to sneak a quick video call in to your nearest and dearest. Btw I've never spelt it 'MOM' in my life, this was 100% autopilot. Blending into North America like a champ 🥇🌍🏕 #vancouver #canada #bc #explore #summer #explorecanada #yvr #adventure #wanderlust #travelblog #travelwriter #makethecall #reminder #phonehome #sleevetattoo #tattoo #friendship #relationships #friends #family
So, while I love all the handy pieces of technology that provide entertainment and relaxation for me while on the road, I never fail to include a packet of pens and a notebook of some sort when I’m on to my third packing attempt of my small backpack. They take priority, and they never let me down.
Well, the pens sometimes do, no matter how sturdy they claim to be, which is why I choose a full packet. To all the pens out there that are thinking of letting me down..
I WILL BREAK YOU.
Now that I’m done threatening inanimate objects, what is your #1 travel companion? If you have something that you think is utterly indispensable, I want to hear it!
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Happy writing everyone.