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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon July 22, 2011
I say that primarily because this journal does NOT consist entirely of blank pages. Dedicated diarists might prefer all blank lined pages, dedicated sketch artists might prefer all blank unlined pages or all blank graph pages, but the rest of us can be more than a little intimidated by all that white space, not knowing quite how to begin. This travel journal eases you into it by providing some structure along with useful information for travelers.

This useful information starts with 79 pages of maps, subdivided into a 1 page map legend, 2 pages of world time zones, 22 pages of regional maps (4 US, 18 non-US), and 54 pages of major city maps (8 US, 46 non-US). There are also 23 pages of travel information text including such things as the table of contents, a 50-year perpetual calendar, weight and measure equivalents and conversions, and US area codes and international dialing codes. (There are also 4 pages devoted to publisher information.) This leaves 214 pages for your use, subdivided into 1 page for personal data, a 9 page address book, 57 pages for travel summaries, 114 lined travel journal pages, 32 blank graph pages, and one completely blank page at the end of the map section.

Of the user entered pages, the purposes of the personal data page and address book are obvious, and the graph pages and 1 completely blank page are for drawing your own maps or sketches. This leaves the travel summaries and journal pages.

The travel summary pages are divided into sections:

City
Place
Dates
Purpose/Activity:
Lodging:
Restaurants:
Purchases:
Transportation:
Weather:
Continued on
and the page number

so as to stimulate the creative juices while the journal pages include only:

City
Place
Dates
Continued from
and the page number

plus 19 lines to use as you see fit. (Personally I divide my travel journal entries up by date.) As you can see, there are 2 travel journal pages for each travel summary page, but you can use them in any combination depending on trip length, thus providing space to document up to 57 trips.

Note: Graphic Image used to publish another travel journal, uniform with this one, sold as both "The United States Travel Journal" and as "The Business Travel Journal" with a different set of maps including more US cities and more detailed maps of the states, but these have been discontinued presumably due to lack of demand and on the theory that this item can serve for both foreign and domestic travel. In addition they still publish The Traveler's Atlas, which contains BOTH sets of maps along with a map index and 9 lined pages for Traveler's Notes.

Since this is intended to be a keepsake of travel memories, you will want to take care of it so I suggest cleaning and treating the leather before and after every trip with something like Leather CPR Cleaner & Conditioner 12oz Tube and during the trip, keeping it in one of these Ziploc Quart Storage Bags, which fit it perfectly. As for writing instruments, my weapon of choice is a Namiki Vanishing Point Gold Trim Fountain Pen - Red/Gold, Fine Nib 60167, but most anything will do.

This would be the perfect gift for young men or women setting out upon their first international trip;...

however, should they ask you where the USB port is or how to sync it up with their laptops, it may be necessary to check them out on an older generation of information recording technology: "OK, this is called 'writing'; it is kind of like keying things in, except without the keyboard, and using your stylus will only work if it is also a pen."
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