Tag Archives: journal

Croatia Travel Journal

Croatia Travel Journal by Lauren Likes. Tips and ideas for journaling and saving your favorite tickets, labels and all those fun little bits when you travel to capture the beauty of your travels without overwhelming your time and energy.

Last summer we took a dream trip through Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary. We drove the coast, explored the mountains and pretty much lived in a fairy tale for 3 weeks. Croatia and Slovenia are stoked full of the most surreal and idyllic cities and landscapes. The turquoise oceans, the red/orange rooftops of 1000 year old cities, flowers in every window and truffles on everything. It is a delight for your senses and an artists’ pleasure.

While travelling I wanted to be in every moment, but every moment came back to back to back and faster and faster and we were a bit overwhelmed with the gorgeousness of every turn we made. Thankfully I came prepared with a beautiful and simple travel journal and I only needed a few moments each day to capture the highlights of our trip so as to not lose the beauty of our time.

Below is the process I used for capturing this trip in my travel journal. I am passionate about collecting your memories, but not letting them sit on a shelf. But turning them into inspiration and that inspiration into art.

If you would like to move your photos and notes from the page to the canvas of your choice, join me in my course Travel Like An Artist. You will learn how to take the beauty, flavors, colors, ideas and inspiration from your latest trip and turn it into new, unqiue and inspired artwork. Learn more here.



  • Have your journal prepped and ready to go, don’t waste time and energy creating each page background when you could be traveling, eating or sleeping
  • Spend 5 minutes working every night
  • Do the least amount possible. Decide what is important for you to document and do, at least, the bare minimum each night so that you have the most important parts recorded. Anything in addition is just gravy 😉
  • Keep a generic format for your journaling: date, location, general overview of your day and the highlight.
  • Veer off the format and simply write a note about your favorite part of the trip so far or a love letter to a new type of tea you tried and loved.
  • Don’t over pack. You don’t want to be overwhelmed with supplies
  • Use those tickets and pretty papers you pick up! Hoarding is not cute or useful
  • Throw away papers and things you pick up as you travel. What you think is an absolute necessity today likely wont be tomorrow. I usually always pick up a pamphlet, map, etc everywhere we go and then every few days sort through and toss out the ones that are ugly, boring, useless, duplicates, just too heavy, etc.
  • Always buy postcards…
  • Get creative. Find ways to use elements, like larger maps or double-sided tickets. Fold things up, only tape them down on one side.
  • Keep what is important to YOU. Some people keep receipts, tags, napkins, notes, trash, tickets. It doesn’t matter. Whatever you like, staple it in. Some of my favorite things to collect are beer or drink labels, tickets, things in other languages and receipts.
  • Be ok with blank space. You don’t have to fill the whole journal or every page. This is why having a pre-prepped journal is nice, some pages can speak for themselves.
  • It’s ok to rip things. I fear, in the moment, ripping something up to use a small portion that I will regret it forever but I never once have. There is still plenty left over to scrapbook with.
  • This journal is about journaling, not about being the most beautiful, so let some expectations go.

I hope you enjoyed a peek into our summer and my journal. This book, because of all it’s wonkiness and random memories and items always tends to be one of my favorites. These moments that I collected in here are some of my favorite and will last beyond my lifetime because I took the time to stop and write them down.

I hope you are inspired to create your own travel journal and to record your memories. I am working on a new class focused on just this, so be sure to sign up for my mailing list to be the first to hear when it is available!

Additional Resources

How I use Instagram to plan my scrapbooks

How to use instagram to plan your scrapbooks by Lauren Likes

Instagram is the best. I wish all other social media would disappear and we could just all use instragram. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about how I use Instagram to plan my scrapbooks. It’s really easy, you just have to be mindful of it and honestly we are all instagraming our lives away anyway, so it shouldn’t be much of a stretch for you if you are already using this magical majestic unicorn of an app! I’ll show you how I did this on a trip to Jeju + the minibook I made using this technique.

The main thing you have to do is have a plan. Here is what I do:

1. Take a fun photo that encapsulates your experience at each individual place/event/etc.

For example, we went Tangerine picking, so I took a photo of the tangerines. If i cant remember the tangerine picking from the tangerine photo then there is no hope for me….Make sure you are taking lots of photos of your time at each location as normal, but especially if you are using your big camera make sure to snap one quick phone photo that really sums up each stop.

Jeju Minibook by Lauren-Likes

2. Post that one photo on instagram as you are leaving that specific place.

I understand for safety reasons people do not like sharing real-time photos, but this lets you keep the memories fresh. On this trip we were taking a tour bus. So as I would be sitting on the bus waiting on the rest of the group I would post my photo, religiously. Establish a routine: no one gets in the car until mom grams it, etc. Telling your trip mates will help remind you, hold you accountable and make it not awkward to hold everyone up and that way other people can get in on it too!

How to use instagram to plan your scrapbooks by Lauren Likes

 3. Geotag it.

Again, since you are posting as you are leaving, safety shouldn’t be an issue. But if you are still worried, hit the geotag button, make a quick note of where you are and then delete it from the photo. Using the geotag lets you remember EXACTLY what a location is called and have the correct spelling. Especially when I travel internationally or go a lot of places in one trip or to not well-known places or stumble upon completely new unplanned places, I always forget what they are called. This fixes that problem!

How to use instagram to plan your scrapbooks by Lauren Likes

4. Write about it.

This is not the time to post a joke or a deep musing thought, etc. Legit write about what you did. “We went Tangerine picking for 2 hours and came home with a huge bag of fruit for 12$! The kids loved it and Layla ate her weight in Tangerines and we learned the Korean word for xxxxx.” This may not be your everyday style of instagramming but it will let your followers have a deeper glimpse into your trip and it allows you to have all the facts and little things you may not remember when you sit down to collect your memories weeks or months (or years) later. Writing it here in journaling style will preserve it for you!

How to use instagram to plan your scrapbooks by Lauren Likes

5. Create your scrapbook!

This is the fun part! When I sit down to scrapbook I will print all my photos, gather ephemera and scrapbook supplies and begin. I will then sort out photos into events/days/locations and then I will pull up instagram on my phone to help me organize. With just glancing at my feed I can quickly arrange the photos in order of event. Then as I work on each individual event I can open that photo see my location and remember the main points that I journaled about. And usually the photo I instragrammed is my favorite photo from that event so I already have one photo to really spotlight on the page.

Jeju Minibook by Lauren-Likes

Imploring these simple strategies will take away all the guessing and confusion when you sit down to scrapbook and helps you instagram without spamming your followers and tell a complete story! See the whole book here, see the photos of the trip here and here. 

Do you have any tips or tricks you use when travelling to help you remember things on the go?

Diy journals

journal title  

There is something magical about the written word. reading it. writing it. handwritten or typed, there is magic there.

“For books are people, people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.” -EB White

When we write we leave behind a little bit of who we were at that moment. Its how we remember and how those who will come after will remember.

I believe it so important to write, not to be smarter or to get published (those are great bonuses of course) but to write to remember and to forget. Journaling is such a therapeutic experience. Having a degree in therapy I can guarantee you I have NEVER written a therapy plan that did not, in some way, include journaling. Putting words on paper is such a self empowering moment. When you write it down it makes it real, whether it’s a goal, a confession, a problem. It is acknowledgement. Sometimes it is things we want to write down and throw away, because it validates that it is real by writing it and it is symbolic to throw it out. To trash those thoughts or experiences, to say “this happened and I am moving on” is a powerful thing.

Journaling that is written to be kept is such a powerful reminder. It reminds us who we were and who we are now. Its allows others to see inside us in a vulnerable way we cannot to share with spoken words. Sometimes we just need to get our thoughts out of our head. Sometimes we need a written, clear reminder of what we want to keep us on track. Sometimes we want to leave a memento for the future to know what it was like here, to tell them it will all be ok or to show them that their grandma was really cool a long time ago.

Whatever your reason for writing, the medium on which you write is equally important. Beauty, discretion, perfect lines, free space. All of these things are important requirements and all are distinct to the writer. That is why I love handmade journals. You get to choose your paper type, your cover, your size. And its handmade, that just makes it all the sweeter. Ive used this method a ton of times and have made all kinds of different journals: faux moleskins, smashbooks, and these pretty ones!

As the first project in my 1 Paper pack, 10 Projects series, I decided to make these journals for my college girls small group as we are doing a study focused on daily time with the Lord and are encouraging journaling to remember your thoughts!2013-09-23 16.40.01

First thing I did was make these journal intro pages, You can download mine by clicking here:  journal covers. They are super simple and can be made to say anything! I opened a word doc, typed my message, picked my font, changed the orientation to landscape and created 2 columns on the page and moved the text to the 2nd column. I print them and played around with spacing until I was happy. Remember the words have to go in the second column, on the right so that when you fold the paper its on the correct side!

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Then I selected my papers (from the Recollections: The Sweetest Thing paper pack) and cut them down from 12×12 to about 9×12 so there was some room around the edges of the graph paper. I played with graph paper and a heavier white scrapbook paper as the paper for these. I didnt really like the look of the graph paper, but prefered it because of the lines.

Then I chose how much paper I wanted, I went with 5 pages folded in half, used front and back, that gives you 20 pages. Which isnt a ton, but for our purpose it is perfect.

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Next, you fold the paper in half, place your writing paper in between your cover and sew! I used my sewing machine on a straight stitch. It took about 1 minute to sew each book. The only tricky part is holding it still so the paper doesnt get all wonky. You could use a binder clip if your papers wont cooperate. I used a light-colored thread so you cant see it, but a bright color could be a great accent!

The last step is to put a line of washi tape down the spine. This is important for the integrity of your journal, as with thin papers they tend to rip easier and will eventually pull apart with lots of use if you dont secure the bind. Oh and it makes it super adorable…duh.007

These turned out incredibly beautiful and useful and super easy. These aren’t the most sturdy, so if you are rough with your journals, I would use a thicker cardstock type of paper. I rounded the corners to make them look finished, but that is a preference.  I made 14 journals, virtually for free since I already had all the supplies. But if you paid $10 for your paper pack, and made 14 journals, there is no way to say you just saved a ton!  Journals can be really expensive! And you’ve only used 14 pages out of 180…. So keep tuning in and Ill show you what to do with those other 164 pages of paper…008

***This project is part of a series called 1 Paper Pack, 10 Projects where I have challenged myself to create 10 different projects from 1 pack of scrapbook paper to give you ideas of how to use a scrapbook paper pad for projects other than scrapbooking and how to use as much of the pad as possible!

Read about it here!