Journaling Products I Prefer

 

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image by paulworthington

 

Today, I’m going to share with you some of my journaling product preferences. As I keep saying, journaling is a very personal thing. That means, the only right way is your way. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t learn or be inspired from other people. Journaling is a continuous process, and one can never be an absolute expert. Therefore, all the things I am sharing with you here are true for at least today.

My favourite journal

Moleskine large, hardback black cover, and plain, unlined pages. 

Other Journals

I’ve used a variety of journals, and I continue to experiment, though I do end up going through more and more moleskines. One of my other favourite brands is Paperblanks. They make gorgeous journals in different sizes. The main downside for me is that their lines are too wide, and I haven’t yet found an unlined Paperblank journal. 

I always get tempted by those old-fashioned leather bound journals, but usually the price puts me off. I’ve currently got a stock of a few special journals I’ve bought over time, so looking forward to using them. 

My favourite pen

If I am using moleskine, Pilot G-2. I have it in Black, Blue and Red. This is what I use to write majority of my entries with. Sometimes, for different colours, I use Sharpie’s fine point pens. 

I also really like using fountain pens, but they are not suitable for moleskines, so I use them when I use journals which have thicker pages. 

Glue dots

These are clear, acid-free glue dots that I use to paste memorabilia in my journals. It’s not messy or sticky, and are easy to carry when I go abroad. This is about the only thing I use to stick things into my journals. Not just for travel journals, but even during daily life – movie stubs, play tickets etc. make a much better memory and enhance visual. 

Decorating covers

Even though I prefer to buy plain black covers on moleskine, sometimes I like to decorate them. Usually, I use stickers. I’ve these two awesome journals with Dr. Who stickers. 

Journal I want to try

Rhodia. This is not that widely available in the UK, and when it is, it’s very expensive, even more than moleskine, which I usually get for a decent price on Amazon. I have my own personal criteria for what I am willing to pay for a journal (£10 or less for all my regular journals, unless there is something really special about that), and Rhodia hasn’t met that criteria so I haven’t tried it. When you feel as many journals as I do, even £10 per notebook can get expensive, so money matters. 

 

What journaling products do you use? Share in the comments. 

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons You Should Go Travelling

 

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image by alanenglish

 

Whether you have travelled a bit already, or not at all, now is the time too start. No matter how old you are, no matter what job you do, no matter what are your personal circumstances, there are ways – often cheap ways – to be able to travel.

Yes, maybe you like your lovely home, and your comfortable life. That’s fine. You can always get back to it. Travelling is not about being a vagabond, or selling all your stuff and wandering around with a backpack (though that is also a legitimate option). Travelling can be as personal as keeping a journal. No matter who you are, you will have your own unique travel style. And that’s fine. As long as you give it a shot.

Here are 5 Reasons why you should go travelling:

1) Appreciate the differences, and celebrate similarities

In the words of St. Augustine:

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page

Planet Earth is a big place. There is more to the world than your town, city, or even country. The differences will sometimes shock you, and the similarities will sometimes comfort you. 

For example, did you know that people eat Guinea Pigs in Ecuador? They are cooked whole, and as you walk down the street, you can see them being roasted, their faces frozen in an eternal scream. 

2) Self-Discovery

Travel gives you an opportunity to know yourself better. It may sound like a cliché, but it’s true. Just the act of being away from your routine gives you time to think. You can reflect on your life, and whether the way you are living it is what you want. 

Also, as you come across different cultures, different people, and different situations, it will give you more awareness about who you are, and more importantly about who you want to be. 

3) Get out of your comfort zone

You can’t grow unless you do something you haven’t done before. If you are not growing, you are stagnant, and that’s hardly the way to live. Travelling is a perfect way to stretch your boundaries and learn something new. You don’t have to do the things you hate. I’m terrified of heights, and not actually interested in “facing my fear“, so I don’t go bridge jumping or on a cable car ride. But I did started talking to the locals in Ecuador even though my Spanish was dismal. The world didn’t end. No one laughed at me. And I ended up making some great friends.

4) Be cultured and sophisticated

There are some people who travel, and come hope completely unaltered, with a bag of sparkling souvenirs. They are a minority. For most people, travel changes you. Not always in a big way, but you see new things, experience new things and your boundaries change. Being sophisticated is not about mingling with the rich or the bohemians. Being sophisticated is about being world-wise. Travel gives you that. Exposure to different cultures, first hand, is more educational than going to plays or operas every week.  

5) Gain Perspective

Travel gives you a chance to evaluate your priorities. When you find yourself living comfortably in a modest accommodation without any of the mod-cons, your gadget-filled house back home may feel excessive. When you find yourself enjoying evenings with friends you’ve made on your trip, or just enjoying some solo quiet time, you may find that the daily episode of East Enders is really not that necessary to your sense of happiness. 

You are not getting any younger. It’s one life, and for now we only have one planet. We are fortunate enough to live in a world where travelling across the planet is easier than it’s ever been before. Travelling gives you an opportunity to explore this world, learn everything you can and then keep the best bits from everywhere you go. That alone will make your mind and your life unique.

I met a girl, Sarah, while I was in Ecuador who wanted to get a tattoo on her foot with the words: Por qué no?

Translation: Why not?

Those are the two words you need to remember. Why not? Why not just do it? Why not just go to that one country you always wanted to go to? Why not break up the monotony of life? Why not?

What is your answer to “Por qué no?”

 

 

 

Why Do We Save Good Stuff For Later?

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image by feastguru_kirti

 

You know when you are eating a cake, you keep the best bit – whether it’s a cherry, or a piece of brownie – for last. Because you want to savour the taste. You want to keep it right till the end. 

It’s not just about food though. 

I’m currently going through a major de-cluttering exercise, attempting to embrace semi-minimalism. As I go through all of my stuff, I find a lot of things that are barely used. Because I’ve been saving them for a nice place, or a special thing or before I use up ordinary things. Scarves I haven’t used because I didn’t want them to get ruined in rain or wear out because I had other more “ordinary” ones; shoes I haven’t worn because you can’t really run after a bus wearing high heels; stickers I haven’t used because I didn’t want to just “waste” them; journals I haven’t used because I was saving them for when something special, something big happened. 

As I look at all these stuff….I can only think….what a DUMB ASS! I paid good money for all these stuff, because I liked it. I liked it, so why not use it? Why not enjoy it now?  I could die tomorrow and then I definitely won’t be able to use any of it. 

By waiting for a better day to use something, I’m telling myself, today is not good enough. This moment is not special enough. Why? What’s going to make tomorrow more special? I have no idea. 

Rather than waiting for a better tomorrow, our focus should be on creating a better today. That means, not worrying about saving good things for another day. That means, to enjoy ourselves with everything we’ve got. 

This applies to creativity too. Don’t save your best ideas for later, for another book, another song, or another painting. Pour it out now. Use it. There will be more ideas later. Just as there will be more stuff. 

It’s okay, to save the brownie for the last bite, but just wear the damn scarf. It’s meant to be rained on. 

 

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY

Journal about how you save good stuff for later. Is there anything about that habit that you would change? Share your answer with us in the comments. 

 

 

How to Work Through Conflicting Emotions

 

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image by puttermouse

 

Currently I’m going through a personal issue where letting go of something old is saddening. It’s a major life change, one that sort of half-happened, half chosen. I know it’s the right thing to do, and that’s where the conflict comes in.

I’m sad to let go of what has been….but I’m looking forward to what could be. I’m looking forward to doing something different, starting a new phase in life so to speak. 

This sort of thing is not limited to major life changes. We go through this often in life. You want a new job, but don’t want to risk losing the security of the old one, same with relationships, or even something like moving home. 

When we are divided by these conflicting emotions, your brain and heart becomes a yo-yo. You go from a bout of misery to hours of excitement and planning. For those of you who are control-freaks like me, it’s even more difficult because we are not just dealing with our conflicted feelings, but we are also dealing with being overwhelmed by this complete lack of control. 

Thanks to years of journaling I understand exactly what I’m going through and why, yet understanding does not make much difference. Feelings are not ruled by understanding. Feelings are ruled by emotions. As much as the control-freak in me may wish otherwise, it’s a good thing that we can’t entirely control our emotions. That’s what makes us human. 

Journaling about it – whining when the misery takes over, and outlining future plan when excitement takes over – gives you a greater understanding of your emotions. It shows you that you are human, and that things are rarely black and white. It also avoids sucking you into guilt trip for feeling one way or the other. 

What do you think? 

Have you tried to use journaling to sort out your conflicting emotions?