Arm Chair Travel

Dear Fellow Journalers,

“We travel not to escape life, but for life to escape us.”  unknown

Arm Chair traveling is basically transporting ourselves to a destination without leaving our office, kitchen or chair in front of the fire. There are many ways to discover say London, and the many ways are movies, books, pictures, audio-books. There are other ways too.

How many of you travel up a mountain slope in Switzerland or ride a train into a forest while biking on a treadmill? Books that bring out the local culture can transport us to distant lands. Richard Paul Evans, Debbie Macomber and Kristin Hannah have a way of drawing you into the surroundings of their characters. Two books that I read recently transported me not only to the place but to the time period as well.

I saw the movie “Conagher” and wanted to read the book by Louis L’Amour. The book brought me to places I’d only seen on TV westerns. The second book is “Magic Hour” by Kristin Hannah. I’ve been to forests before but never to the State of Washington’s Olympic National Forest.

One of the best ways to use your imagination is to engage another of your 5 senses – taste. I usually order the same thing in an Italian restaurant in my town but I tried something different awhile ago and was transported to a tiny fishing village where I ate and drank to my heart’s content.

The perfect ending to a perfect day of arm-chair traveling.



A look back ~ Why write a Travel Journal?

Dear Fellow Journalers,

“Every trip consists of two simultaneous journeys. The outer journey and the inner journey. The outer journey is everything external: what you’re seeing, hearing, smelling, doing etc. The inner journey is what’s happening in your mind. Great travel journals weave the two journeys together.”  David Fox

I was going to start this month’s blog posts with the simple “the journey begins with the first step” but after reading the above, I realized that this type of journal means so much more than a flippant “remark” everyone has heard before. We’ve all taken journeys, haven’t we? Some of us took journeys to other states for family vacations or to attend college. Some of us have traveled abroad for business or pleasure. How many of us have souvenirs of those trips? How many of us have written a diary of that trip?

I wish I’d kept notes from my first trip to view colleges in states far from my own. If pressed, I could recall the different sights and sounds of life being lived in Maine or Virginia. I can remember how cold it was one winter in Minnesota and walking above a sidewalk inside a mall!

Far too often, I feel, we grab a passport, pack a bag and  after checking off the hundreds of tiny details to close up a home (temporarily) leave without a thought to writing anything down while on our fabulous trip.

So, this summer I propose a challenge in writing our travel journal. I know you’re thinking why do I want to do this? Your future self will thank you. Next week I’ll share some thoughts on how to create the journal as you travel.

‘Til next time,


Summer staycations

Dear Fellow Journalers,

The following is MaryBeth’s perspective on summer staycations:

What parent, at some time or other, has decided that a slow, awesome staycation summer is the ticket to a great adventure for their family? One summer, when our 5 kids were small, we planned a staycation. We’re all about exploring and crafting in our home so we decided that once a week we would do just that. Our only stipulation was that each one of our children would write about their adventures in a journal which we provided.

Some of our adventures were:

  1. We took a ride on a train to a nearby town. T.J. (our oldest) liked looking at the scenery as we whizzed by.
  2. Our girls like to play “dress-up”, so one day we put on a play for Dad, complete with rented costumes.
  3. We took the kids bowling- a sport they’d only seen on TV.
  4. One rainy day, we binged on TV movies and ate snacks all day . Nobody got sick, amazingly enough.
  5. We went to a local fair and sampled hot dogs and watched a relay race.
  6. We saved the trip to the dino museum for a rainy day and ate hamburgers at the original restaurant in New Haven CT – Louis’s Lunch.
  7. We broke open new tubs of Play Dough and spent the day making clay objects.
  8. My hubby found two “old-fashioned” board games at a thrift shop and we enjoyed “Twister” and “Monopoly” until the wee hours of the morning.
  9. We splurged on a two-hour drive to a town we had never been to and explored the many shops on their Main Street.
  10. The kids especially loved miniature golfing and ice cream treats.

Those were 10 of the memorable adventures that summer. Oh and I almost forgot, we went to our local library and participated in their summer reading contest. I started reading Mary Higgins Clark books!

Try Staycating (not sure if that’s a word!) it’s fun!


Travel with a purpose

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Last year I wrote and shared some ideas about creating a travel journal. I was skeptical at first but I became aware as time went on, that many of you actually liked the ideas I found and began your own travel/adventure journal.

So this year I have decided to revisit this topic. I will not ‘re-write the posts but instead tackle this topic from a new perspective. I hope you enjoy the ride! As always, please share your comments with us. We make this journey we all live together.

Have you ever thought about travelling but you felt something was holding you back?  Maybe you need something to kick start your motivation – some purpose for you to grab a suitcase and plan a trip. Here are some purposeful motivators:

  1. Take a food tour. The Food Channel is always presenting recipes from different cultures. Why not research the destination and cuisine as well?

  2. Try a wine or beer tour. Many local farms offer samples and may allow a fantastic tour through the brewing process.

  3. Sign up for a photography class. Many are offered through adult education classes. You’ll learn how to take great pictures which will enhance your destination and ultimately your journal.

4.Attend a sporting event. If money allows, you could go to an event in another state or even country ( like the Olympics).

  1. Take a hike. You can bike/hike trails in almost every state and take that camera with you!

  2. Learn another language. If you’ve ever wanted to travel to say Italy, you’ll be better prepared to order you new favorite meal (see #1).

  3. Go whitewater rafting or for more daring journalists, zip lining.

  4. Search out coral reefs or go scuba diving.

  5. Follow history. One of the most interesting trails is one I took in Boston Massachusetts years ago. I took a hike on the Freedom Trail.

  6. Visit the setting of one of your favorite books or series. It will bring the story alive for you. In her book “The Wilder Life,”, author Sarah Miller describes her journey following Laura Ingalls Wilder’s journey on the frontier.

  7. If you’re a film buff, travel to locations where your favorite movie or tv show was filmed. Many people are ‘re-reading and ‘re-enacting Jane Austen’  “Pride and Prejudice”.

  8. Investigate your heritage. After researching your ancestors, check out their homes.

Happy traveling,

~ Sallie

Globe painting

Dear Fellow Journalers,

This post is a departure for me (hey, I just made a travel joke!) Anyway, this is an article from Hallmark’s blog “Think. Make. Share.” It was posted on January 11, 2017 and is about globe painting. This is something we craft journalers could really get into.



If you love to travel as much as we do, a map of the world can be inspiring in more ways than one. Senior Designer Laura E. loves to pack up her suitcase and go exploring—and when she’s at home, she loves tracking down and painting desktop globes. Below, she shares tips and tricks for creating vintage globes into your own personal works of art.

I would live on the road if I could. But since that’s not really an option, I can at least surround myself with travel icons—like maps and globes—that inspire my wandering spirit.

I wanted to share my hobby, so I gathered some globes and invited some artist friends. I couldn’t wait to see how they would transform their thrift store finds.


  • Globe (find them in thrift stores, at flea markets or on Ebay)
  • Dish soap or mild cleaning solution
  • Krud Kutter
  • Paint (spray, acrylic—whatever you’re most comfortable with)
  • Brushes
  • Liquid paint pens (for small details and lettering)

A painted globe makes a great accent piece for any room of your home. And this can be a really affordable project: I scoured thrift stores and vintage markets around KC, scooping up old globes for $20 or less.

To ensure your paint adheres well, you’ll want to give your globe a good cleaning—who knows what kind of dirt and grime it’s picked up over the years? Simple soap and water typically works, although any kind of grease build-up might require a stronger cleaner. Let it dry completely before you get started.

There are so many options for designs:

  • Add words, designs or patterns to the maps of continents and countries. Highlight the places you’ve gone—or dream of traveling to. Capture the climate, landscape or spirit of a place. Or just fill an outline with icons or images you love.
  • Repaint it to match your color scheme.
  • Treat the globe as a spherical canvas and add a favorite travel quote.

Maybe, like Sara C., you’ll want the stand to be a different color. Most globes can be removed from their stands, so it’s easy to spray paint them with regular high gloss spray paint from the hardware or craft store.

You could paint your entire globe a single color first like Lynn G. did here, and then add details, or you might want to paint portions of your globe different colors. (The stand makes a convenient, built-in easel.)

Livy L. used the existing outlines as a starting point, and added a sweet succulent pattern inside the continents. Sam L. layered a background, patterns and a phrase for her lettering solution.

The results: Fabulous painted globes of all sizes, perfect for any room or office space. Bet yours will be just as awesome—have fun coloring your world!

What’s your favorite travel-inspired art project? Have you painted a globe, decorated a map, decoupaged a suitcase? Share your creations with us on Instagram @think.make.share or on our Facebook page.


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