Traveling Notebook

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Ever heard of a traveling notebook? A few years ago I didn’t, but now I’m totally hooked.

I always had a passion for writing, and with that came a love for notebooks.

I always bought notebooks, and since I never knew what to do with them I started a new diary in it. But I’m not much of a diary girl, I get ashamed for what I write because it’s to personal. My mom read my diary once and since then I was never honest in my diary’s. I have a great sollution for it though, whenever I really want to write something because my head is almost exploding. I take a stationary I think fits with my feeling (I have 42 different kinds of stationary and still counting) and I write a letter to myself. Sometimes short, sometimes long but it never feels like a commitment. My head is empty again and no beautifull notebooks are wasted.

So how did I end up making notebooks that travel the world? That story starts at: postcrossing.com. This website is sort of a project for people all over the world who love recieving postcards. How does is work?

1. Request an address from the website
First you will have to sign up to the site, totally free. After you’ve signed up you have an account with a profile. You can request an adress and when you do, there are some rules, very logical ones. The importent one is about the fact that you will recieve an adress and a postcard ID, this ID is the thing that identifies your postcard on the website.

2. Mail the postcard to the address
You have read the rules and accepted, now you will see a profile with an adress and ID number. A lot of people write in their profile what kinds of postcards they would like to recieve, the choice is up to you off course. So choose a card, write the adress and ID on the postcard and maybe something else fun or nice. When the person recieves this card they will register the ID on the website and they can send you a message with ‘thank you’ or whatever. After the postcard is registered you will recieve an e-mail with: Hooray! Your postcard has arrived, now you will recieve a card from another user!

3. Wait to receive a postcard
Now you wait… And if the day has come, there will be a postcard in your mailbox from another random user from anywhere over the world. On this card you will find an ID, register this ID on the website and maybe send a thank you message and the circle is complete!

You can never recieve more cards then you’ve sended yourself. For every card you send and is registered you get one back, seems fair right? I have recieved 81 postcards so far. Sometimes I don’t have a lot of time and money, then I won’t send anything, but then I don’t recieve anything too.

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So how about that traveling notebook? Well, the postcrossing site also has a forum. There you can ask questions or start projects with people from all over the world. One of those projects is a traveling notebook. You can post a message asking for whatever you want in your notebook. Let me give you an example because it might be a bit difficult to understand.

1. Buy a notebook

2. Go to the forum and post your idea for a traveling notebook
Example post: Hi there! My traveling notebook will be about DIY projects. Will you help me fill my notebook with all sorts of DIY projects? Sign up now!
Rules for the notebook: You can use any number of pages. You will keep the notebook for no longer than two weeks. If you didn’t got a chance to work on it send it to the next person.

3. Wait for people to join your project
If someone wants to join your project they will send you a message or leave a reply. You have a little administration to do. I have a tiny notebook for it. The people who join my project send me their adress and I keep a list of all of them. For the example 5 people have joined and sended you their adress.

4. Let your notebook travel!
On the first page of the notebook I always write my own adress, the theme of the notebook and the rules. Before I send the notebook to the first person on my list I send them a message if they have enough time for it and check if they still want to join. If so, the notebook will be on his way! After two weeks, send a message to the person who has your notebook. Example: Hi there! Did you finish your pages for my TN?  (traveling notebook) Then please send my notebook to the next person. Adress.

5. Let your TN come home
When the last person is done you can send them your adress so you can have your notebook back. When it arrives it will be filled with (in this example) DIY stories from all over the world!

There is a warning to this, a lot of notebooks disappear, get lost in mail or someone doesn’t respond to your messages anymore. So be carefull who you list in your project. A lot of notebooks have the rule that you have to be a member of the forum for at least one year or that you have done at least 5 other projects so you have a reference.

Are you a member of postcrossing, and maybe the forum, or are you thinking about joining after reading my post? Leave a reply!

– JoanyM

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5 thoughts on “Traveling Notebook

    • Ik heb een uitwisseling gedaan van notebooks met iemand uit litouwe die ook docent is/word en daarin hebben we lesideeën neergezet voor elkaar plus nog andere thema’s over onszelf. Ook heb ik een notebook uitwisseling gedaan met iemand die ik niet kon waarin we een maand lang ons dagboek bijhielden en dan naar elkaar opstuurden. Ik heb meegedaan met iemand anders zijn TN en het thema was: how to be creative! Ik vond het een super idee en misschien dat ik er zelf ook zo een start. Een ander thema was: photo of your home. Ik kon helaas toen ik het notebook had niet printen dus heb mijn huis en layout getekent. Ik vind TN’s te gek maar vaak wissel ik liever uit dan dat het langs 10 mensen gaat omdat de kans groter is dat je je boekje kwijt raakt. Mocht je een uitwisselings projectje in het NL willen doen, ik sta altijd open voor leuke TN ideeën!

      • Leuke thema’s! Heel verschillend, maar dat is juist leuk. Ook gaaf om te zien wat andere voor jou dan hebben ingevuld.
        Ik snap dat je het liever uitwisselt dan verstuurd. Hmm, misschien is het inderdaad wel leuk om zo’n project te starten in Nederland! Ik zal het je laten weten als ik het ga doen!

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