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. )”

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