When we went to Laos at the end of 2005, on a complete whim, I bought myself a hardback Moleskine notebook at the airport, and started keeping a travel journal of our trip.
I later used these notes to write up a series of blog posts, and later turned our Laos trip into an ebook, really as an exercise to teach myself what was involved in making up an ebook – I think all up I’ve earned $20 from sales of the result.
However, that gave me the travel journal habit, and I’ve kept one ever since for our overseas trips, and our longer trips inside Australia.
Stupidly however, I never kept a record of my work trips. Most of these were fairly boring, journeys to large metal sheds where people assembled servers and bits of high tech gubbins, or else bland offices with tinted windows that could really be in any megacity anywhere on the planet – only the complimentary tea and coffee sachets in the hotel give you any clue of where you are.
But there have been fun moments as well – like sitting in the bar of the Darwin yacht club with members of Yothu Yindi after a conference on digitisation and digital preservation of aboriginal stories and songs, or being taken by Apple to a steak house in Cupertino where you walked past the cool room and could see the slowly maturing cuts of meat.
Other trips perhaps not so much, but some work trips have been as interesting as some of the trips we did as travel for the sake of travel, and I should have written them up as well as a more unvarnished and true to life version of what had to be put in official activity reports, where you detailed who you met and what you talked about. I have no idea if anyone ever read these rather bland trip reports, although I did to a preso to my team about Apple (and the dead animal museum)
Finally, after 14 years I’ve come to the end of the first volume of my journal, so I’ve bought myself yet another Moleskine notebook – a soft back version simply because I like the French style square paper pages to write on and Officeworks only had the softback version.
It’s a little thinner – hopefully it’ll take me less than fourteen years to fill it ..