Thursday, November 20, 2008

Review: Destination Unknown Travel Journals

destination : unknown travel journal

destination : unknown travel journal on top of a large Moleskine for size comparison.

destination : unknown travel journal

Pam Bauer makes all of the destination : unknown travel journals by hand in her workshop at her home in Massachusetts. Each journal is made by hand, and as such no two are exactly the same.

From the destinition : unknown website:

" I created destination:unknown journals after searching unsuccessfully for a travel journal to take on a summer trip to Europe. I looked in every bookstore, gift and stationery shop in the area. Although there were many journals to choose from, none were really suited for travel. Travelers need to be able to write while on the move, collect souvenirs, keep track of important information, and do it all without adding to the burden of luggage, so a travel journal has to be more than just paper inside two covers.

I realized the only way to get the travel journal I want would be to make my own, and so I did. The very first destination:unknown journal came with me to Europe, and worked out perfectly. When other travelers expressed interest in obtaining journals for their upcoming trips, I knew I couldn't keep them just for myself.

What sets these journals apart is the combination of style with only the most useful, travel-friendly features. They offer travelers the flexibility to chronicle their journeys in their own individual way. Whether it's descriptive writing, recordkeeping, sketching, or jotting quick notes, it's all possible. And saving souvenirs along the way enhances the special written memories of a trip."

destination : unknown travel journal

This is the 5x7 travel journal. 3 5/8" x 5 1/8" pocket versions are also available.

15 different specialty papers (which feel more like fabric) "are selected to motivate and enthuse you to dream, plan, set out on and especially write about your journeys."

"Made of sturdy binders' board, the covers withstand the wear-and-tear of travel."

"Wire binding allows for easy writing anywhere. The journals can lie flat, or the covers can flip all the way around so the journals can be held in one hand to write when a table is not available."

A snug elastic strap keeps the journal closed while in a day pack or purse.

destination : unknown travel journal

Pam also creates matching Luggage Tags to compliment the travel journals.

destination : unknown travel journal

Inside the front cover, "A clear pocket at the front of the journal is perfect for holding something you may want to find easily or often, such as a hotel address, an itinerary, or a photo of someone you miss at home."

destination : unknown travel journal

The paper in the journal is a 24# stock. "One hundred pages of lined paper for recording travel memories, plus extra pages of grid paper for recordkeeping and blank paper for sketching and jotting quick notes."

destination : unknown travel journal

In testing the lined paper, (which is very smooth) I found that it didn't cooperate with fountain pen inks very well. The inks spread (but didn't feather) and bled through to the other side.

But wait! Good news awaits...

destination : unknown travel journal

"To save small mementos collected during a trip, destination:unknown travel journals include glassine pockets - ideal for keeping receipts, ticket stubs, business cards, etc that are collected while traveling."

Three such envelopes are included, and are a nice touch.

destination : unknown travel journal

Testing the graph paper with fountain pen inks - no feathering, no spreading, no bleed through. The paper is smooth and has a bit of feedback. (Keeps your buttery nibs from sliding willy-nilly all over the paper.)

destination : unknown travel journal

Testing the blank paper resulted in the same findings as the graph paper. No feathering, spreading or bleeding. Smooth with slight feedback.

And here's the thing - if you fountain pen aficionados would like to order one of the journals and have it filled with only graph & plain papers, Pam will be happy to do that. Simply let her know when you place your order.

destination : unknown travel journal

A pocket at the back of the book allows for stashing additional trip ephemera.

destination : unknown travel journal

I am a sucker for well made, well designed, artisan crafted goods. This book is a beautiful example of someone filling a niche with a well though out and well executed product. I applaud Pam's efforts and recommend her product.

With the holidays coming up, this would make an outstanding gift for someone that loves to travel.

The large journals are $50
Pocket journals are $40
Luggage tags are $5

destinition : unknown


Ontheroad said...

Thanks, Biffybeans for another terrific review.

Great concept. I have a coil binding machine, coils and paper. All I need is enthusiastic energy and I could make one of these for my trip to LA.

LizB said...

i've gone away from the spiral bound books, since i discovered the Moleskine, but this post reminds me why they are so versatile.

A thought / question regarding your site. Have you ever posted or ever thought of posting a pictoral how to of refilling your fountain pens? I'm really quite new to them, and while i'm sure there are instructions with a new pen, it would be awesome to see someone "real" doing it.

Just a random thought.


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