Sketchbooks & Love Letters

On the day I turned nineteen, I got on an airplane and flew to Paris and I stayed in France for ten weeks. It was the summer in between my freshman and sophomore years of college. I was in love with my best friend Simon, but he didn’t know it. Or maybe he did. Either way, for my birthday and as a bon voyage present, he gave me a beautiful little red leathery book entitled “Destinations”. Being head over heels as I was, anything that Simon had picked out for me was instantly a treasured item. However, this little book was better than most travel journals; it was so beautifully designed and felt so good in my hand. The texture of the pages was perfect. I found such joy in filling out its pages.

I have always been a travel journaler. It brings me great joy to review old journals of places I’ve been, to rediscover memories that have been buried by things more current and necessary. I loved this particular journal so much that I bought 2 more for subsequent summers spent in France. Each one is a treasured item, filled with ephemera, maps, gelateria napkins, and loveletters to Simon that I knew he would never see. I would sit for hours by the river and just write nonsense.

As I was arranging books the other day, I opened up these books and was so happy to look through their pages. Such happy memories, and fun to review my romantic, silly thoughts. 🙂
For our first wedding anniversary, Simon presented me with a beautiful little red book entitled Destinations, and it had the stipulation that I was now to fill it with memories of all of the places that we would travel together. I’m woefully behind, but isn’t that just the most beautiful idea for the first anni gift (paper, by the way, is the traditional first anniversary gift!)?

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