I was introduced to the One Line A Day Diary by three well-travelled women on my first long trip. I decided then and there that they must be good and I wanted one too! The appeal was of course that I only had to write a line a day so no racking my brains for content.
The books are hardback and a little bulky for a long trip but they’re built to last and I can imagine sharing them with my family in future so I’m glad for the quality. The biggest draw about them was sitting at a table one fine day on Lake Kariba listening to the women who owned them reading out entries from previous years. I found it fascinating to think that I might be able to go back in time on the exact day and remember what I did – a bit like Facebook’s memory posts but without the embarrassing reminders of that year you tried food blogging and the ex with the mullet.
What kind of thing should one write in just one line? I asked the ladies for advice. The first had started her diary on the day when she was having a hard time with a boyfriend in Australia. The entry for that date the following year revealed her to be living on a new continent, making great friends with a new job and no boyfriend in sight. The second had only started her diary the year before and her entry was about how stressful her job was; how she was hiding in a cupboard to avoid the office politics at lunch and that she wished she could go travelling and escape. As she wrote her latest entry, sat on a houseboat in Zimbabwe, she’d clearly achieved her dream!
And the third set of entries? Well, she didn’t share hers because apparently, she records only the juiciest titbits of each day and they’re all very rude! A kinky travel diary? Genius.
So I got home, legged it to Waterstones and snapped up a fresh diary for myself and with a little help from everyone I’d travelled with, managed to fill in an entry for every day of my travels for the previous 4 months and have written one line a day ever since (actually, sometimes I fill it all in at the end of the week but the intention is there!).
Of course not every day is going to be a happy one or a day spent travelling but it can help to put these things in perspective and keep an eye on the passage of time in a productive way. I believe part of travelling is discovering how to stay still and sort out life wherever I am so seeing that happening within the pages over time is cheering to me.
The diary has returned unexpected gains in helping to budget too – being annually reminded that a return ticket from London to San Francisco cost me £350 in one post, always makes me think twice about splurging the same amount on a new bag!
Let me know if you have a One Line A Day Diary or keep a travel diary too. What kind of things do you write in them? I still struggle with whether to write the funny things that happened that day or stick to the facts so I can recall them later. At the moment, mine’s a bit of a mixed bag with lots of extra details scrawled all around the main section and sometimes weird diagrams that I have no idea what I was trying to explain later on!