travel journal

Travel Journal - Venice, Italy by Dana Roberts

I don't know why some places seem to call to me more than others, but I have been dreaming of going to Venice for as long as I can remember. It's not that I had any specific reason or specific connection to the city, but for many years when Lou and I dreamt of places we'd like to visit in our lifetime Venice was always at the top of the list. And the other week we finally got to make that dream a reality and I'm so happy that we brought the camera along to film, so we can go back and re-live these memories whenever we'd like. And I hope that you enjoy the adventure too :)

It was such a beautiful day exploring Venice, browsing bookshops, relaxing at museum cafes, watching the boats go by, meeting a mask maker, and so much more. I tried to take all the little moments of the day and transform them into this entry in my travel journal. I loved the book of black and white photographs of Venice that Lou found and tried to incorporate more collage in this entry. I am definitely going to keep using images from this book even in future entries not about Venice because the photography is so beautiful.

It's funny how the biggest take away I had from our day exploring Venice was the beauty of not having any expectations. Doing very little research with our main prep being finding a day that wasn't raining in the weather forecast, Lou and I had our favorite day exploring a city so far of our entire van life experience. We didn't rush around all day, but still had plenty of charming activities from riding the ferry in the morning to admiring paintings in the Guggenheim, or just sitting on the side of the canal and bask in the sunshine. And then because the day was so magical when I then got to my travel journal I could feel this sense of internal pressure to make the entry live up to these memories. I wanted it to be special, carefree, and colorful. And just as quickly as I had learned this lesson of letting go of expectations, I forgot it and got in my head about making something impressive. Luckily for me, travel journaling is really forgiving so I was able to work through all the hiccups in the spread by being patient and continuing to layer more and more into the collage. I am actually really happy with how it all turned out and will definitely keep trying to go into all experiences whether travel or art related with an open mind and the least amount of pressure I can because I just love the joy that comes with spontaneity. 

Travel Journal - Cinque Terre, Italy by Dana Roberts

This Tuesday, we have another Travel Journal entry for you! This one was inspired by our day exploring Cinque Terre, Italy. Hiking the miles of coastline with Lou as we looked out upon these beautiful colorful towns is an experience I will never forget.

We stayed at a beautiful campsite while we were visiting the area called Camping Acqua Dolce in the town of Levanto, though I think that it would have been possible to find a wild camping spot here if we had been willing to move every morning, so as not to bother anyone. Lou and I loved the small town of Levanto and would highly recommend it if you’re coming to Cinque Terre. Our favorite part of the whole hike was actually the first portion we did from Levanto to the next town over Monterosso because it was really peaceful and there was hardly anyone on the trail. We did do the Cinque Terre day card so that we could hike from Monterosso to Vernazza, which is the only trail you have to pay for. It was a little pricey, but all the money goes towards upkeep of the trails so we felt good about the investment. The trail was REALLY crowded, but the views of Vernazza from the top of the trail were breathtaking. I’d also highly recommend taking one of the ferries, especially when going to visit Riomaggiore because it gives you a completely different perspective. The Cinque Terre day pass lets you ride as many trains as you want, which was helpful for as as we navigated between towns, but didn’t cover our boat trip.


All in all, I would say that this is one of those places that completely lived up to the hype! We were there in mid-April though which made the crowds manageable and the weather not too hot. Not sure if we could have managed in the high season.