Midori travellers notebook: First impressions

My Midori Notebook
My Midori Notebook

I”m a note taker, a list maker, a post-it note queen.. I try so hard to be organised but unfortunately it usually ends up with a thousand and one scraps of scribbled on, coffee stained, pieces of paper cluttering up my night stand. That eventually end up being chucked away in bulk because it’s too much of a mess for it to be worth delving into, even for the most important of information! This organisation stuff just doesn’t come naturally to me.. So I decided I needed a hand and began looking into the Midori. I chose the Midori, above other organisation notebooks like Moleskine and FiloFax, for a few reasons. I had previously owned a few Moleskine notebooks before and to me they don’t reaaaally feel like anything special (sorry die hard Moleskine fans) and I wanted to feel like the absolute nuts with my fancy new i’m-going-get-my-life-together notebook! As far as FiloFax, that was ruled out once I realised how complicated and expensive it would be to get it to the UK. Plus, there was really no persuading me in any other direction once I had seen a Midori and set my heart on it.

and it goes damn well with a good cup of coffee
and it goes damn well with a good cup of coffee

There is just endless potential for personalisation and customisation! You end up with a notebook that really does feel like your notebook, none else has one the same, it is your life in a fancy leather cover. So okay, confession time, mine isn’t a real Midori. It’s a Fauxdori. It’s a Midori-style notebook. It’s essentially exactly the same but without the brand name okay? My notebook is made by Foxydori and I bought it on etsy!

Priority! damn right
Priority! damn right
Foxy packaging
Foxy packaging

They did a fantastic job with the packaging, complete with a suede cord to tie it all together, and considering it came all the way from the US the delivery time was pretty good. I am really pleased with it, the leather is a lot tougher and more ridged than I imagined but I assume that’s something you compromise for not getting Midori brand? And also who knows it may soften with time, leather does kind of look better aged and battered doesn’t it? For me the only downside is the price. I feel like a notebook needn’t be that expensive.. especially when essentially it is just a leather sheet folded in half with elastic cord through it.. and especially especially when it doesn’t actually include the paper to go inside!

The cover
The cover

Buttttt, since it’s so customisable you can literally choose every detail of how the cover will look.. the colour, texture, amount of cords on the inside and out, colour of cords, any monogram or other stamp, size, charms the list goes on! And since it is real leather and hand made I thought fair enough of the cover price..

I mean, it is pretty..
I mean, it is pretty..

(However if you have the time and means to make one yourself then do it! They aren’t that hard and this is a fantastic tutorial on how!) Now one thing I was not going to do was pay £4-£8 per book to go inside the bloody thing. Sorry Midori but that is ridiculous. For one thing you are most likely going to want to put many different books/inserts in there to make it truly personalised and functional and secondly if you’re anything like me a complete listaholic you are going to go through paper like crazy and those books barely hold enough paper for me to decide what socks to put on today in list form.. So I have 3 options for you: 1. Etsy. All hail Etsy it is a life saver!  Etsy is full to the brim of people who have created really cute little books and inserts of their own to fit Midori style notebooks! The designs are great, the quality is perfect and since they aren’t a huge blood sucking corporation they graciously sell their lovingly made creations for a fraction of the price of the originals! So kind of them! Faves:

Now if they still are out of your price range I get you, it’s cool, i’m with you then the wonderful people at Etsy have created designs that you buy and then print yourself at yet a lower price! £2 for a calendar insert with cute design details rather than £8 for a bland soulless calendar insert? Yes please! Faves:

2. Get creative! Make them yourself! This option is totally free and you get a product that is tailor made for you exactly the way you want it! There are lots of tutorials if you’re unsure how to start! I used this youtube tutorial by InspiredBlush on YouTube as a guide while making my inserts but then totally customised the pages to suit me!

My customised daily planner

3. Now if the above free option appeals to you but you don’t have the time/patience/creative flare to create your own try searching for some free printables you like! They won’t be as customised as ones you make yourself but, hey, they’re free! There are tons of great prinatbles on pinterest and Mylifeallinoneplace has a ton of free inserts you can download. So all in all i’m pleased with my purchase. It’s still in the making, it’s looking scrawny at the moment, but I have big plans for it. I want to create a journey tracker section with tons of maps, I want to add a place for photographs and I also want to stuff full it with sketchbook paper. I will keep you updated as it grows!


FOHS- Fear of homesickness

I’m displaying signs of FOHS fear of homesickness..


Which actually come to think of it may actually be a massively overblown case of FOMO (come on you know this one?!) Fear of missing out..

For weeks  months I have been buzzing with excitement about my trip, telling everyone I can, buying (probably unnecessary) items for my travels, staying up late looking at trip adviser reviews.. I have been thinking nothing but I want to be there doing all these amazing things right now!

So imagine my horror when I’m suddenly struck with emotions very unfamiliar to me in my travels; dread, doubt, fear. Can I do this? 

I guess it’s because my trip is suddenly so much sooner than I had planned. To be able to do the trans-siberian the way I want and still get to china in time for my internship I have to leave in just over two weeks. I feel so unprepared, I don’t feel that I am ready to leave my job, kiss my family and friends goodbye and jet off for a year in TWO WEEKS!

Suddenly a year seems like a really long time.

Before it felt like ‘oh god only a year? I’ll never get to see everything I want to see in that time. Maybe I should extend it..?’  and now it feels more like ‘mum, dad, beloved family and friends..it was nice knowing you.’

I know i’m being super dramatic but currently, in my sleep deprived panicky little brain i’m dying for a year. Dropping out of existence for everyone I know and love and i’m supposed to be getting excited about deciding on my last supper.

Don’t get me wrong, i’m still excited. I’m still buzzing about all the incredible things I have planned for myself and I still feel incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to travel (I know many people don’t). But jesus christ i’m shitting it.

However, shitting it I may be, I am determined not to let my pre-meditative home sickness spoil my trip. I plan to keep in touch with my family and friends over Skype, send them post cards, collect souvenirs for them and write on here to you guys to keep me sane. I have a travel journal that I will sketch in and a thousand books on my kindle. I hope that will do the trick. Wish me luck!

I’ll keep you updated on how well my distraction technique goes and maybe even post some ‘tips and tricks to avoid homesickness’ if i find methods that work!

If you have any tips on avoiding home-sickness and or/loneliness on a trip or in general i’d realllllly love to hear them! no seriously, guys, help me! 

Also, I know it’s a massive backpacker faux pas to be homesick but hey we’re all human! We’re bound to feel afraid sometimes! Even if trekking up that mountain or jumping off that cliff doesn’t scare you, perhaps having to go a year without one of mum’s cups of tea chills you to your very bone..?

So come on guys, break free of the faux pas; if you have any travel fears/feelings of homesickness/stories to tell, comment and tell me! We can all stand together in virtual support and hopefully help each other out!

Hello world!

Bent palm tree on Koh Tao, Thailand.
Bent palm tree on Koh Tao, Thailand.

Welcome to my first blog and for that matter my first blog post! My writing is incredibly clunky and i’m cringing so very badly while I write this (sounds like a mixture of a bad cover letter and an over enthusiastic just-shoot-me-now kids show presenter) but I will get better!

So, Who the hell am I? I am an art student from London who has a passion for travel and adventure. And also a hell of a lot to say and not many people who will listen… cue you lovely people of the internet who may give my rambling validity!

Why am I blogging? because I have a lot of thoughts (no shit) and really wanted a place I could record them where they may be useful to people. Maybe someone who Is planning a trip but has no idea where to start or some of my friends and family back home who want to my travels because i’m a terrible person and forget to stay in contact (I’M SORRY I STILL LOVE YOU) or just people who are interested in the stuff I get up to!

Now I know, there are thousands of travel bloggers out there, incredible ones at that, that I am subscribed to and really enjoy myself. However, there is something missing, my research needs weren’t being met and a couldn’t put my finger on it.. I hope to fill that void for other travellers and provide really useful information as well as interesting content. Also I have tons of exciting things coming up and really wanted a place I could collate and share it all!

What will I be blogging about? I hope to provide useful, real and honest reviews of products I am using and testing to help you make good purchases. This will likely be, but is not limited to, travel goods. (don’tcha worry, if i find a brand of tea or a new lipstick I really love and just have to share, I will!)

I will also be keeping the blog updated on all the (hopefully) really exciting stuff I’m up to! I have trips a plenty lined up (all solo trips) including travelling the trans-siberian railway, living in china for 5 months on a TEFL internship, WWOOFing around asia and so much more!

I have so many ideas for posts but it would be great to hear your feedback and what you would like to see! Are you interested in how I plan and research my trips or would you rather cut out all that practical stuff and just see a gallery of cool trip photos?  Let me know!