Globe Jotters; Travel: Writing a Travel Journal Will Keep the Memories Forever, Says NIGEL JONES

Daily Mail (London), February 17, 2007 | Go to article overview

Globe Jotters; Travel: Writing a Travel Journal Will Keep the Memories Forever, Says NIGEL JONES


Byline: NIGEL JONES

Captain Scott's poignant, barely legible last words home to his wife were only recently discovered. As he faced certain death in the Antarctic, he begged his wife to bring his son up as a nature lover, proving that, even in adversity, travellers and explorers have always recorded the trials, tribulations - and joys - of their journeys. From the medieval poet Petrarch's account of his ascent of Mount Ventoux in 1336, to the internet blogs of today's backpackers, the compulsion to note down the sights, sounds and smells of faraway places has been ever-present.

And whether the jottings and journals are intended for the eyes only of the folks back home, or to become immortal classics of travel literature such as Robert Louis Stevenson's Travels With A Donkey, or the works of Bill Bryson, it is important that the journals and diaries in which the journeys are logged should be attractive, light, durable, and, of course, portable.

Intrepid voyagers such as Columbus and Marco Polo, who braved oceans and crossed continents, and the aristocrats of the 18th century, who spent months on grand tours of Europe, all wrote accounts of their journeys, and, come the 19th century, women got in on the act, too, as Victorian ladies ventured into Africa's dark heart or clambered up the high Himalayas. The 20th century saw the arrival of air travel and mass tourism. …

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