I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Postcard

I've faced the challenge for years of how to remember important details of a road trip while on the road trip. I would want to remember exactly what to order at that no name diner or which line is shorter at some road side attraction or the name of a particular guide or waitress I wanted to pass on to family and friends.


First, I tried a written journal. That worked well for a few cruises where I had plenty of time and space to write, but on a road trip, often I was scratching notes down quickly using the hood of my car as a desk, anxious to get back on the road. What I ended up with was a bunch of unreadable scribbles.


Then I tried the voice memo on my phone, but that got to be bulky after a few trips and usually meant transcribing all of the information into a written journal when the trip was over.


Then I discovered post cards.


I start the trip with a half a dozen post cards, just in case my stops don't have any. I also, have a couple of sheets of 35 cent stamps. At any stops that have post cards, I buy (or take - many restaurants and motels have them for free) a few more. Whenever I stop and have something I want to remember about the location, I take a moment to write to myself about it on the postcard, slap a stamp on it and drop it in the next mailbox or post office I come across.


The limited writing area on the post card forces me to be brief and the photo of the location on the front provides a lovely souvenir when I return home. I have even drawn arrows on the photo to indicate best entrance to go into or written hours of operation in the corner of the picture.


When I get home, the postcards are waiting for me. I store them in a box in date order behind a divider that has the date and itinerary of the trip written on it. If I know a friend or family member is going to be following the same route, I can pull the postcards. Scan them or photograph them and email them to the traveler.


Plus it is amazing to flip through them and relive the amazing memories of the road.


Travel safely and I hope to meet you on the road.



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