SUMMER FRIDAY TRAVEL JOURNAL SERIES: Sometimes my favorite "rule" in journaling is that it's okay to let something go

My Grandmother had always dreamed of going to Morocco. It was a request of our trip to Spain. "Can we go to Morocco, too?"
I wanted to take her there with all my heart. But I knew the kind of travel I most enjoyed would probably not be comfortable for her in Morocco (she is in her mid-eighties!) no matter how adventurous she is.
So I spent many a long night after my son had gone to bed researching just the right way we could take her on a day trip to Morocco without it being cheesy and without it being uncomfortable.
I found a woman in Spain who owns a guesthouse near the ferry to Africa who lives and breaths all things Morocco. We stayed at her guesthouse, a magical and tranquil place called Dar Cilla, which is decorated peacefully and perfectly with Moroccan handicrafts and antiques. Even if we weren't going to spend the night in Morocco, I wanted Grandma to relish the flavor of the place.
The people at Dar Cilla arranged for a private tour for only my family. It was a beautiful and perfect day. I never imagined a day-trip tour could be so fulfilling. Our guide listened to things we cared about and walked us (or drove us) to see such things. That's how we ended up in an apothecary shop learning about spices (my husband loves to cook) and in a communal bread baking oven underground. It's also how we saw many of the sites Matisse had painted when he lived in Tangier (There are unassuming diamond shaped cobbles in the roads wherever Matisse painted). These colorful string bits are tied all around posts and doorknobs in the section of the market where thread spinners work:
We weren't pressured by any heavy duty salesmen but we didn't have to worry about the stresses of transportation and we had a guide who taught us lots of fun and interesting things. We also ate one of the best meals I've ever eaten in my life with some crazy brewed fruity juice concoction. I felt like the day was a trip on a magic carpet ride back in time to the days when silent movie stars and Parisian artists came to Tangier for the color, life and magic of the place. My Grandma beamed all day. I was thrilled that I made her dream come true.

And here's where I sigh and bring us back to journaling. My journal pages from this magical day are anything but. How frustrating.They are boring. And un-colorful. In a sense, I let them go before I even started making them. I was too busy taking in all the color and life and magic to collage about it later that day. But even though it's frustrating, it's also okay. Sometimes my favorite "rule" in journaling is to just let something go. So I didn't do it justice. Move on. At least I had that magic ride.

If I beat myself up about every time I didn't do some experience justice in my journal (travel or otherwise), it would mean I wasn't having enough magical experiences (I'd rather be having them than recording about them).

So consider this a permission slip from a journal junkie. If you are ever journaling (or blogging) and you really really wanted to capture it all, but you also really really wanted to do something else, do something else -- especially if that something is magical. Journals suck when they become dreaded obligations.

All that being said, I did bother to make some different sort of collages from my Tangier magic carpet ride when I got home. But that's another post.

TO BE CONTINUED... NEXT FRIDAY