I was so nervous, but I knew if I didn’t ask her then I would chicken out for the rest of the trip.
I was at a gas station in Tennessee, which isn’t far from my home state of Georgia, so it didn’t seem like a big deal. I just needed to get that first one overwith.
It was even worse because my brother was there. I knew he would be judging me. And possibly hiding from embarrassment.
Turns out she was from New York.
And I have the journal to prove it.
I started my traveling guest book for my road trip to Alaska. I had no idea if it would work. Would people want to take the time to sign it?
Apparently, the answer is yes! And I loved it so much that I didn’t stop once the road trip ended.
So here’s my advice on starting one yourself:
- Find a journal. This one was given to me by a friend from college. She knows I love handwritten letters and also journaling, so this fit perfectly what I was doing. You could also use a travel journal or anything really. Just keep it cute and make it something you wouldn’t be embarrassed asking all sorts of people to sign.
- Keep it in a waterproof bag and with a pen. I travel outdoors and in the rain so much that I have kept mine in a ziplock bag for a while. I would just hate for it to get ruined. Just a suggestion. I always keep a pen with mine, too. It just keeps things simple not to have to search for a pen every time.
- Write/type your questions. Make sure the questions are easy to read. I wrote mine on a separate piece of paper so that they don’t have to keep flipping to the front of the journal to see the next question.
One of my questions was, “What’s another question I could add to the list?” This has led to these great additions in mine:
- One thing on your bucket list?
- Favorite quote?
- If you could meet anyone, who would it be? Why?
- What’s one thing you can’t live without?
- Favorite ice cream flavor?
I highly recommend having a variety of questions from easy (such as “Oceans or mountains?”) to more thought-provoking.
When I ask people to sign it, I always ask them to include their name and where they’re from. Then I tell them they can choose 3 or 4 from the list because I don’t want them to feel like they have to spend an hour on it, especially if we’re parting ways soon. But I have had people answer them all, which has been fun.
Ask questions you’d like to know the answer to. One of my favorites is, “What’s the most life-changing book you’ve read?” I’ve gotten some great reading suggestions from that!
It’s funny remembering how nervous I was to ask people to ask those first few people to sign it, but I’ve never had anyone refuse.
I have since taken it to the Grand Canyon, Thailand, and a Tiny House workshop. I love flipping through it and being reminded of such good times. My only regret is that there are so many other people I’ve met that I wish I’d gotten to sign it.
If you plan to start your own traveling guest book, I would love for you to leave a comment telling about your plans!
Also, I plan to share a few old and new entries from my traveling guest book on Periscope this week. It’ll be way easier for you to get a feel for what it’s like that way. Follow me there @mcstarbuck. Or contact me for the replay. It’s so interesting to see all the different handwriting from people around the world.