‘Still doing journals’

By Samantha Sartain
This item appears on page 49 of the May 2016 issue.

I grew up military, and my parents were very insistent that I keep a journal of all our travels. Since we had 21 moves in 13 years, I wrote a lot!

I’m still doing journals, even after having been married to a military man and now as a single. However, the journals have become more elaborate over the years, containing all kinds of “stuff,” even a photo permit in Niger (which cost me $50!).

I also put in postcards to illustrate the places I’m visiting, business cards from special shops, city maps, even a page or two of necessary phrases in Amharic (Ethiopia), Swahili (Kenya), Greek… You get the idea. 

I also have a list of former trip members. (Explore Worldwide, Ltd., is one tour operator that provides this.) 

And I keep all receipts for items bought, money exchanges and hotel stays plus trip itineraries and flight schedules (copies). 

I actually list the pros and cons of trips.

Not long ago, Explore and I differed on the number of tours I had done with them, so I pulled out ALL of my journals and counted them. As of fall 2014 it came to 42. Other trips were with Peregrine Adventures, Sundowners Overland and Exodus. All are great companies to travel with.


Colorado Springs, CO