Travel Prep: Journaling

In my previous post under the Weekly Photo Challenge prompt “Growth“, I introduced a new travel journal my daughter got me for Christmas. Well, my husband liked it so much, he had her order one for him too!  (By the way, she got it on Amazon. It’s called You Are Here: A mindful travel journal by Emma Clarke.)

I’ve been working on the preparation section for our upcoming trip to Holland and Tanzania. To travel to Tanzania from the U.S., there is usually a flight change in Amsterdam. I thought, since it’s such a long trip, why not break it up by staying a few days in Amsterdam before we fly to Tanzania? I’ve heard from several people how awesome Amsterdam is, and since I haven’t been there since the ’70s and my husband has never been there, it’ll be great to spend a few days in that historic yet modern city.

So I’m trying to divide my journal into two parts and here’s some of my progress!


TravelJournal 27
What I’ve done while traveling in the past


TravelJournal 28
I want to travel more mindfully now – take time out to rest, be still…and not obsess over everything!

Well, I guess I have obsessed somewhat because in Amsterdam we’ll be on our own. In Tanzania everything will be taken care of as part of our tour. I had to do some research about Amsterdam and find a place to stay. I went online and came across the website I was able to compare prices of different hotels and found something reasonably priced. I had planned to book through Airbnb, but found a studio apartment at Amsterdam ID Aparthotel. We can buy coffee and other breakfast type foods to eat in our lodgings, saving time and money.

Then I had to figure out what to do and see in Amsterdam. I contacted my brother, who has spent quite a lot of time there. He sent me an enthusiastic and long email with ideas and tips, which I printed out and taped in my journal. I also looked on the Internet, and copied information for a lot more places than we will be able to see. It’s a good thing I did this, because the Anne Frank House is being renovated and one must order tickets and a time slot to visit online.  While I was at it, I booked a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter. I also ordered a card that gets us into some museums free, discounts at others, and free public transportation for four days.

It’s always nerve-wracking yet exciting to plan trips where we’ll be on our own. I’ve been checking Amsterdam’s weather, and next week it’s supposed to be in the 40s (F) and rainy. A lot better than Chicago!

Today I did research on transportation and printed out this map of the Amsterdam metro.
Amsterdam metro map


Another map is interactive and shows buses and trams as well as the metro and how they connect together. I’m sure we will use it!

Since our trip has two parts with very different climates, we have to be careful what we pack. I’ve decided that it would be a good idea, on our last day in Amsterdam, to mail our winter clothes (except our winter coats, of course) back home. That will give me the freedom to bring a couple of warmer shirts. My husband wondered, what do we mail them back in?

“A box, of course,” I said.  Here the post office sells boxes; perhaps the same is true in Holland. Anyway, I’m sure we can find a suitable box to use.




TravelJournal 32-33
My ongoing packing list – still a lot to add – such as sunscreen & insect repellant, and a warmer shirt or two. I drew a hypothetical box for mailing back our winter clothes.


TravelJournal 36-37
What I want to do and see! (A partial list). My brother told me about other interesting places in Amsterdam, so I pasted his email on the following page. Most of the things to see and do are on a separate document I made. In Tanzania, we’ll mostly be on safari, which is why I printed and cut out random African animal photos and stuck them in here. 

I’m finding the travel journal fun and engaging. Its pages have different ways of looking at things as we travel. I look forward to filling them in during the next two and a half weeks!  We leave on Sunday, Jan. 28.






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