If You Like to Travel, You’ve Gotta Give This a Try

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.

If you love to travel, you should make a journal like this. Here's why...

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:

  1. One thing on your bucket list?
  2. Favorite quote?
  3. If you could meet anyone, who would it be? Why?
  4. What’s one thing you can’t live without?
  5. 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.

Steven Harrell: Tiny House Listings

I appreciate Steven Harrell of Tiny House Listings taking the time to sign my traveling guest book by answering a few questions about tiny houses. I met him at one of Deek’s Tiny House Workshops. If I had known how big Steven’s website is, I would have been starstruck…which I never noticed until now is a word very similar to my last name. I digress.

Here’s his entry. Enjoy!

In case you can’t read it in the image, here are my questions & his answers:

a) For you, what’s one of the biggest appeals of a tiny house? (While writing his answers, he pointed out the irony in this question of the BIGGEST appeal of a TINY house…I hadn’t even realized I’d done that. Also, he’s such an overachiever, always giving more than he’s asked for. Or maybe he’s just rebellious…or generous. Either way, here are his TWO appeals of a tiny house.)  freedom, less resources used

b) How long have you lived in a tiny house? Zero seconds

(I think this is what he was referring to when he handed me the journal and said something like, “I just put some stupid answers.” Well, ask a stupid question…)

c) What’s the hardest thing about it? Fitting my beer (I typed that as “bear” first, which would also be a difficulty, I imagine.) in it.

d) How much did it cost? (or what’s your goal cost?) Will cost about 25k

e) What inspired you to build a tiny house? Tiny houses mean less bills, less bills mean less answering to people which is pretty awesome.

f) What’s the best thing you’ve learned at this workshop? That my public speaking skills are far inferior to deek’s

g) What advice would you give someone considering a tiny house? Vacation in one

(I love this idea! Makes me want to vacation in one and also rent mine out once I finish it…you know, after I start it.)

h) Is it ok if I post your answers to my blog? yes

(He kindly proceeded to steal a page from this traveling journal to write down my website. So I tell him it’s “TrueStories–” He’s already like, “Seriously?” I continue “JournalEntries,” pausing to let him write it. Then I add, “It gets worse…Letters. Dot. Blogspot.com. Yeah, I’m gonna start a new one.” Here ya go, Steven. Better?)

 

 

 

To learn how to start a traveling guest book (& why you should), check out this blog post.

 

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter at the top right of this page so that you don’t miss other posts like this. I also include some things there that don’t end up on the blog.

 

Keep living tiny & dreaming big!

How to Start a Traveling Guest Book (& Why You Should)

Do you ever feel like you’re meeting amazing people in passing? People you’d like to get to know a little more? Or would you like a unique souvenir to help you remember the awesome places you went?

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?

Well, they did. 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.

  • 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 that 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 are 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. Make them 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!

 

  • 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.

 

I look forward to sharing some of the entries people have written in my guest book! It’s funny remembering asking people to sign it those first few times and being so nervous, 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. 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 it if you leave a comment telling about your plans!

And if you love journaling in general, you might want to check out my other site.

5 Ways This Site Can Benefit You

Why are you here?

I mean, thank you for visiting my site!

There are many ways that I hope you can benefit from it.

1. If you want to build a tiny house, I have been to one of Deek’s workshops and am planning to attend one by Dan Louche in May. I will be sharing the wealth of information from these as well as my own journey, which continues to change. I began thinking I would save up to buy land and then build a small house on it. Then I decided to build a really cheap tiny house on a trailer and then start saving up for land to build another house on. Right now I’m considering returning to my original plan. We’ll see!

2. If you want to be debt-free, I’ll be attending one of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University series’ this year. I am currently working on paying off my $25k in student loans, which will be finished this June after only 3 years since graduating. It. can. be. done. I would love to offer any advice I can on how you can do it, too.  There are definitely some things that worked and some things that didn’t work and some things that surprised me while reaching this goal.

3. If you’re interested in travel (or journaling!), I have been on:

  • a cruise to the Bahamas
  • a literary trip to England with 3 friends
  • a 40-day road trip from Georgia to Alaska with my brother
  • a 17-day rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon with 8 co-workers

It wasn’t until the trip to Alaska that I decided to start my traveling guest book. I really wish I had started it sooner! I will be sharing how and why you should start one, and I’ll post what different people have written in mine along the way.

4. If you’re interested in missions, I have also been to:

  • Miami
  • New York (with Metro Ministries)
  • Kenya (where we also went on safari!)
  • Uganda
  • Israel
  • Thailand

I have also volunteered at SIFAT, which is a wonderful organization in Alabama that trains leaders from other nations and in the summer teaches youth groups ways they can help people worldwide and also in their own town. I now support many of my friends in missions and hope to do more by selling items I’ve crocheted. If you’re going on a mission trip, I would love to help you out. If you’d like to browse items, make a donation, or view the list of people I’m supporting and where they are going/what they’re doing there, you can do that here at a later time.

5. If you’re interested in fun, unique jobs, I have worked as:

  • transcriber/editor for NPR
  • camp counselor at a camp for adults with special needs in Texas
  • teacher for an outdoor program (where students come on a field trip and we take them on hikes, teach them to build bridges out of rope, canoe, make soap and candles, do a ropes course, and more!)
  • instructor for a therapeutic wilderness program for troubled youth (where we were backpacking in National Forests in North Carolina).

I now have a job as a nanny. And I’ve loved all of my jobs! They have allowed me to do all of my traveling while paying off student loans even though these jobs mostly pay by the day and provide room and board, so the money I was actually getting was less than minimum wage. I can share how I came across these jobs as well as the ups and downs.

 

 

As you can see, having a tiny house is a big dream but it also will help me make my other dreams bigger because it will allow me to have more time and money to spend on other things I believe in.

 

Please leave a comment below stating which section(s) most interests you so that I can focus on sharing about that first, or in other words: why are you here?

Thanks again for joining me on this journey!