When I was in junior high I tried to keep a diary because, in the 90’s, that’s what junior high girls did – or said they did. I came across those diaries a few years ago when my mom kindly threatened to throw out everything in my childhood room if I didn’t clean out the closet and drawers and under the bed. I was given a large box for storage and the rest had to go. The junior high diaries were the first to be pitched. I thought it would be fun to read through them, seeing the world through my 12-year-old self, but it was actually a bit nauseating. I don’t know if it was the run on sentences about boys whom have long been forgotten or the memory of how cruel girls to be to one another at that age or the mundaneness of it all. Regardless, I’m satisfied with the selective and abbreviated memory of junior high that I have maintained.
But travel journals are different, I would never throw those away. They are full of memories of far off places and once in a lifetime experiences and while they are from the voice of whatever age I was at the time, they still paint colorful accounts of times I never want to forget. When I first traveled by myself I was a sophomore in college. The youngest in the program, I spent a semester studying in Rome and my emails home served as a special kind of travel journal. So much so, that my mom printed out every single one (including a one liner about how much I missed American gum) and had them bound into a book. I came across this book when I was rearranging parts of my apartment last month and have had fun thumbing through it. That inspired me to dig out some other travel journals.
Then I was further inspired to start a new segment on this blog… Europe through the eyes of my 20-year-old self! (That may be followed by London through the eyes of my 21-year-old self and Kenya through the eyes of my 23-year-old self, but I don’t want to get ahead of my 29-year-old self.)
First post coming later today, I know you’re all on the edge of your seats. Stay tuned.