Just like singing, everyone can draw - just some can do it better than others. But it doesnít really matter how well you draw, you should still attempt to do it. The actual action of drawing something on your trip is far more important than the outcome of the piece of art. Drawing anything you see on your trip allows you to capture it in your mind more than if you just took a picture. I spent a half hour drawing a sunset over the Bay of Naples in Italy (click here). Because of this, I can simply close my eyes and see the beautiful sunset happen over and over again in my mind. Plus, a drawing adds personality to a journal and breaks up the monotony of its pages.
When Iím staying in a small town, an interesting hostel/pension, or visiting a neat location, I like to draw a map of it. I walk around and first draw a general layout of the place - itís rooms, hallways, doors, etc. I slowly add more details - position of paintings, rugs, cabinets, windows - and soon I have captured a blueprint of the place. Like drawing, the action of drawing the map has made you look at things that you could have easily missed. I discovered a beautiful light switch cover in a house in Romania that I doubt I would have ever seen if I didnít map out the house.
On my journey through Europe, I made it a habit to collect certain objects from each city I stopped in that I could add to my journal. I call these objects "flat finds." (it is very hard to add items to your journal that cannot be flattened unless you donít mind carrying around a bulky book!) The objects not only added flavor to my journal, it also introduced me to areas of that city that I wouldnít have otherwise seen. How often do you go into a post office on a trip? What about admiring plants and flowers? If it wasnít for my habitual collecting, I wouldnít know, for instance, how big stamp collecting is in Croatia but not in Yugoslavia; or how many different clovers are in Italy. Flat finds can add so many things to both your journal and your journey!