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Journaling on the Camino

suzTeach

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future (October 2018)
#1
Hi all! Our journey begins in 3 days! We're very excited! My dear sister gave me a beautiful albeit heavy journal and suggestions as to what to write as my birthday gift. What a beautiful gift! Today I felt curious about what others take and what others find useful to write. Please share!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Camino Frances/Muxia/Fisterre (2017) Caminho Portuguese/Fisterre
(2019) Camino del Norte
#2
I took a very small and light journal which I kept in a small cross body purse. Mainly though I wrote detailed emails to myself on my cell phone. I wrote about connections, spaces, feelings, places--whatever struck me as important for that day.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#3
Paper is the heaviest substance known to man, so I suggest leaving the heavy book at home. You might use it after your return to journal your ongoing transformational experiences.
On the path, though, electronic tools are so much lighter weight. Day One is a nice journaling app. Or you could blog (to family and friends) on Wordpress or Blogspot.
 
#6
I journaled on my 2012 Camino and again on my 2017 Camino ... both trips in the same lightweight notebook. Interesting comparisons. I am currently in Italy for 6 weeks and have a dedicated journal for this country, if I should return ... walked 5 days on the Cammino di Assisi. Journaling helps me capture the memories of the day and is relaxing end to each day.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#7
Paper notebook - on my second Camino I took a Palm Pilot (yes, it was THAT long ago). While changing the batteries I dropped one and, by the time I'd found it, the memory had wiped itself. Paper may get soggy but it's been around a long time for a purpose!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Samos-Santiago (2015)
Samos-Santiago (May 2016
Porto-Santiago (May 2017)
Kumano Kodo (March 2018)
#8
I carried a smallish paper journal in a ziplock bag on my Caminos and don’t regret it. I journal for myself, not to publish a blog.

To me people are more approachable when writing on paper than when typing on a screen. It can be lonely sitting in a room or at a cafe when everyone else is intently (inwardly) focused and typing away on a phone using the WiFi. Writing on paper, to me, allows me to remain engaged with my environment (I don’t need WiFi). I also enjoy sketching, doodling, making lists, collecting flowers to press, and adding a sello I don’t want to put in my credencial.

This is what works for me. Each person has his or her own preference and aims. If you want to keep an electronic journal or blog for family and friends, then previous posts are very helpful. There is no wrong way to record your memories and emotions. They are as unique as you are.

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Arles Route (2013/2014 onwards)
#9
I always carried a small Moleskine notebook which usually came back empty or with a few incoherent jotting, then I discovered blogging. Now I find the discipline of writing a daily blog, with photos, a very good way of lining up my memories and I publish whenever I find reasonable free WiFi.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#10
I always carried a small Moleskine notebook which usually came back empty or with a few incoherent jotting, then I discovered blogging. Now I find the discipline of writing a daily blog, with photos, a very good way of lining up my memories and I publish whenever I find reasonable free WiFi.
I did the same, although I was not good at journaling. I plan to blog next time. I expect that will be a great record of the journey. The one regret I have about my first Camino is that I didn’t document it well in writing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
#11
Like many I have talked to, I started with a compact 64 page, 6"x4"x.25" journal, used it for about 3 days and never wrote in it again mainly because I was too busy living life to actually stop and record it. Meeting and talking and observing other people always took priority over writing down memories of the past.

I still recorded my thoughts, feelings and memories but I did it electronically and usually in the morning while walking by myself. I either dictated it on my iphone in the "notes" app that comes with all iPhones or I recorded my previous or current thoughts/feelings/memories while walking and shooting video which of course also has an audio track. I had a tiny action video cam with lot's of high capacity (128 gig) micro SD memory cards with me that take up very little space. The videos use lots of memory but are the best because they capture your voice well AND the natural sounds of the environment around you plus the visual component. Walking and talking and taking video all at the same time was an efficient and effective way of multi-tasking while making few compromises. It's so much richer to review these videos than to read my journal notes. I could also just key-in with my thumbs a traditional journal entry using the "Notes App" when in a situation where talking out loud was not appropriate. For the video to be "useable", you will need something with good stabilization like this Sony or GoPro. You will also need to practice with it before your trip to refine you technique of walking (and pointing the camera with the sony since it has no view finder but can be ordered as an extra). Video cameras require different batteries and battery chargers which add weight and complicate things.

You can also video w/audio on an apple or android phone that has a good electronic stabilization feature and supplemental micro SD memory cards that can be exchanged when they fill up (android only). The stabilization on these phones is not as good as the video action cameras. For super smooth professional results while walking, you will need a 3-gimbal stabilizer for the phone or action camera but these are bulky, more money, fragile and require more batteries and/or charging cords. A buttery smooth video of which I have none is such a wonderful thing to watch and a shaky, poorly aimed video can make you physical ill to watch...but you will still have the audio.

The simplest and least expensive technique for making a video to record your thoughts and take in the natural sounds and stunning scenes of the camino environment is to stop moving while recording. Use the video function of your phone along with this tiny tripod to hold your camera so it captures the scene you want and then start recording/talking. Change the view and talk some more etc... It's not as efficient as walking and talking so you will lose a little time over the course of a day but it's time well invested for a pleasant viewing experience when you get home and watch/listen to, your videos.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Newbie (Nov, 18)
#12
Slightly OT, but two mates of mine got back from a round the world trip recently and had taken one of them new-old-fangled Polaroid cameras and had taken "1 photo per day". This meant that they had a really nice little album with 40 photos in that you could look at and get a really good feel for their trip, without having to sit through some god-awful slide show type thing.

I really like that attitude and am going to try and re-create it. Now that's not to say that i will ONLY take 1 photo a day, but try to sum-up the day in a single photo. Nothing kills creativity like being able to take 10,000 photos and Instagram Filters. I'm going to try and do something similar with a journal. As I get older I find I need to write stuff down otherwise 2 weeks later I can't remember what happened where. Even if on boring days you just write down, start/finish, distance and what you had for tea...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Brabantica, Via Campaniensis
#14
I always have a little paper notebook with me, in which I write some thoughts and snapshots of the day. Just some phrases. When I get home, I write them out, following my notes, my pictures and the gpx track I made. So it's a recall of memories of my camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2018)
#15
Hi all! Our journey begins in 3 days! We're very excited! My dear sister gave me a beautiful albeit heavy journal and suggestions as to what to write as my birthday gift. What a beautiful gift! Today I felt curious about what others take and what others find useful to write. Please share!
My sister also gave me a heavy journal but it was too bulky and i left it at home. I chose to write a blog in my ipad, also heavy but i sacrificed myself to carry it and never regretted this decision. I had never written for others before and it was very rewarding. ( you can get an idea of the camino experience at http://jacscamino.wordpress.com. Be sure to scroll down to the very last page to read this chronologically) meanwhile, your body will thank you for leaving most unnecessary items at home, believe me!
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
#16
Hi all! Our journey begins in 3 days! We're very excited! My dear sister gave me a beautiful albeit heavy journal and suggestions as to what to write as my birthday gift. What a beautiful gift! Today I felt curious about what others take and what others find useful to write. Please share!
I imagine you are already there and have lots to write about. We walked the Camino last year Sept-Oct. and I wrote each day in a very inexpensive note pad. On the 1 year anniversary of our start date I began to read a journal entry each day. It was a wonderful way to remind ourselves of our journey. I am so thankful that I wrote as much as I did!!
 

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