Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Advice for travel writers

I have some advice for people who are out exploring the world, backpacking around the globe, trekking through Nepal, hitchhiking around Thailand and keeping diaries of their experiences: do me a favor and spend a few extra bucks for a good-quality pen with archival smear-resistant ink ---- and a decent weather-resistant journal with durable pages.

Here's why I'm telling you this: When I did a lot of exploring in my youth, I bought thousands of Bic pens with red water-based ink, and dozens of fifty-cent journals with pages made of one-ply toilet paper. This seemed like a sound decision because, hey, I was saving money.

Years later, I needed those journals for a writing project --- but when I opened them, I saw that water had leaked into the journals.

Every once in a while, I would find passages like this: "If there is only one thing that I always want to remember about this travel experience, it's (ENORMOUS HOLE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PAGE ) Furthermore, I will never forget meeting (UNREADABLE INK BLOB ) who changed my life when he told me about (HOLE IN THE PAGE .) Furthermore, (BLOB )gave me a few words of advice that I will always try to live by: (UNREADABLE RORSCHACH SMEAR.) I will always be greatful for (RIP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PAPER. )''


Anonymous said...

I have never ''blogged" before but just had to tell you what a wonderful read "The Cactuseaters" was. It made me laugh and it made me cry!! That is what a good book is supposed to do!!! I'm getting ready to hike 250 miles in the Cascades, on the PCT, in about a week, so your book was like a warm up, reminding me of all the trials, but also the great adventure of it all!!!I have 5 or 6 journals from hikes and will take your advice on the waterproof ink and good paper. thanks. Claudhopper

cactuseaters said...

Thanks! and you have a lot of incredibly beautiful country ahead of you. Eat lots of huckleberries and stay dry out there.