Laptop, camera, smartphone, tablet – when it comes to traveling I am usually the full spectrum of what is sometimes called a flashpacker. Traveling is my job and free time is often inextricably linked to what I do for a living so I see it as a necessity to travel with my full equipment. Unfortunately, this also means that I can never quite let go and just be in the moment. It means that I always feel pressure to document every beautiful moment on my phone through photo or video. That I have to share it on my instagram channel or post a status update to facebook about it. Whatever happened to just being? About living the experience fully?

When I traveled around the world on my own back in 2005, I used to write email updates to all of my friends every other week or so. Each day I would use those moments when I just strolled around town or sit in the park over an ice cream to think about how I would best put my experiences into words, so I could write a fun and uplifting email to my friends that would sound more like the chapter in an autobiographical novel than a simple life update. Something I would enjoy reading in 1o years time and that I would give to my kids to read in 20. Back then I would scribble a few sentences down in a small notebook I carried everywhere with me. When it was time to write my email again I didn’t have to check the notebook at all; it was enough to write it down once to have it in my head, even if a week had passed.

I don’t do that anymore, I realized the other day, and it made me sad. I was a better writer then. Funnier, more spontaneous, I even lived my experiences differently somehow. I miss the old-school days of carrying notebooks instead of smartphones, of actually writing things down with a pen on paper, rather than typing on a laptop, making my own thoughts pretty much indistinguishable from someone else’s.

So, I decided to do something about it. Blogging is my job and my passion so my laptop will still be with me on my next trip and I will continue to snap gorgeous moments with my smartphone. However, I will definitely make an effort to scribble down notes again and I have recently found the perfect way of doing that.

I have always loved the idea of a travel diary, so when I first found out about JourneyBook, I was instantly sold. JourneyBook is an interactive kind of travel journal which sets little challenges, asks questions and dares its owner to travel more creatively, thus enabling them to have a fuller experience. The special thing about JourneyBook is that it is location-tailored. Whether it is Paris, Indonesia, the USA or Australia, JourneyBook has 13 different editions.

Here are some example challenges out of the Thailand edition (seems I am always currently planning a trip to Thailand – HA!):

Challenge #01: “Take a selfie with an elephant”

Challenge #06: “Write a postcard to someone who doesn’t expect one from you”

Challenge #10: “Buy something you would like to hand down to someone.”

Aren’t those fun? It’s a bit like traveling with that one friend that always has the best ideas. Those you end up remembering the fondest, after you return home. Unfortunately JourneyBook is currently only available in German, but hopefully that will soon change, it really should!

It was via JourneyBook that I learned about Lamy, a quality brand producing pens, which has recently partnered with JourneyBook. It was only through finding out the two companies were collaborating that it dawned on my that a special pen would really complete my experience of writing a travel diary. In my quest to go back to more old school days I was very tempted to go all out and commit to bringing a fountain pen (I miss them so much!!!) but then fell in love with Lamy Pico, a small red pocket pen which will easily fit into any jacket or jeans pocket and will surely become my trusted companion on my next trip.

I haven’t even left yet, but am already excited to about my sentimental pen & diary package. What about you? Do you write a travel journal when you’re on the road?

*This post was created in collaboration with Lamy & JourneyBook <3