I was resting for a moment against the rim of an historic fountain in the Cours Saleya of Nice, near the old city branch of the Post Office and the Fragonard perfume boutique, when a fellow tourist came out of a souvenir shop holding a few postcards and took a perch beside me. He asked to borrow my pen, which was peeking from my shirt pocket, and proceeded to fill in the postcards. His handwriting was beautiful, and I complimented him on it. He in turn complimented my pen -- I like to carry good fountain pens and choose them to match my outfit and the occasion.
We chatted: he was from a little town just north of Paris, and comes to Nice a couple of times each year. Many French people visit to get a taste of Italy without having to cross the border, just as Americans might seek out Tex-Mex in the Southwest or Caribbean flavors in Florida. It was a small but pleasant encounter that could easily have never happened.
And except for noting it down just now, I haven't actually written out and preserved that moment anywhere.
RS advises us to keep a travel journal -- he explains how he jots notes down as he goes along and then further elaborates and shapes his observations when he gets back to his hotel room in the evenings. The RS store sells his recommended notebooks. Not following this advice is one of my regrets! I pack a nice small bound notebook (often a freebie from magazine or journal subscriptions) to go along with my nice pens, but I always end up making a few stream-of-consciousness entries inconsistently at the start of a trip, and by the end not even carrying it around with me any more.
Why don't I keep up with the journaling? Lack of discipline? I'm also more apt to throw dirty underclothes away and buy new ones than to do laundry when I get back to the room at night. Maybe I'm thinking that I didn't come on vacation to do chores...
Help me out, those of you who do good journal-keeping! Convince me that it's worth the effort, and even more importantly, explain how to fit it into my travel routine.
I'm already worried that I think back to trips just a year or two ago and have trouble figuring out what I did on a particular morning, or where I found what has become my favorite scarf...