A Different Kind of Travel Journal

This is the travel journal* from 7 months of travel through Central America, South-East Asia and South Africa. You might enjoy browsing the Mindmaps on each page.



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Interspersed throughout are a few pages with some reflection. In total we passed through 12 countries: Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and South Africa. You can check out our route on the three different sections: Central America Map; South-East Asia Map; South Africa Map.

Thoughts, ideas, suggestions, compliments, criticisms - I want to hear them - please drop me a note.


What is a Mindmap?

A Mindmap is an easy way to get information out of your head and on paper. Typically you start at the centre with a topic idea and then branch out as you build associations from it. Mindmaps are non-linear (not word-by-word) and so they can be taken in more easily and browsed quickly. We tried to keep them visual to trigger memories faster and draw a reader into the page. I learned about Mindmaps first from Tony Buzan, and learned more from Jump, and if you like them you might enjoy the RSA talks.

Why a Mindmap?

We found Mindmaps to be a great way of journalling for lots of reasons. Most people these days take on a travel blog - travel blogs are great as they are real-time sharing and people can comment on it and you can link to it after you're done. In practice though, writing a paper journal meant that rather than sit with a netbook or at an Internet cafe, we could be sitting out on a terrace with a beer or a coffee reflecting on our recent adventures. It is perfect then that we could do it as a couple, jointly reflecting and writing together.

Because you can add a little at a time it was also not a big undertaking and it was easy to add back into previous pages as you remember other fun things that happened, or later realise what it was you liked most.

So much of the travel experience is visual. So, while we have photographs too, Mindmapping allowed a quick sketch here or there for whatever was memorable to us - even if we couldn't capture a photo at the time. Being visual hopefully makes it easier to share with others and easier for people to browse through the pages rather than wading through text. And finally, it's a good skill for us to practice while we travelled. Hopefully you'll see some improvement as the journalling went on.

Why share it?

We think you will find this interesting:

  • If you are thinking of traveling to any of these places
  • If you have been to any of these places
  • If you like beautiful hand-drawn pages that people have taken time over
  • If you want to see some examples of what Mindmaps can be
  • And if we're lucky enough to know you personally

What's Issuu

The neat presentation is thanks to issuu. Intended for sharing documents and magazines online we were very happy when we stumbled on it as a way to share our journal. It's everything we were looking for and more. Check it out at issuu.com

Finally, I also wrote about the journal and other reflections from our travels on my blog.

*It's actually two journals condensed into one. And it was all done with a four-colour Bic pen.