“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
I love that quote by Albert Einstein. And that spirit of thinking, that our ability to connect seemingly unrelated ideas is more important than a collection of useless facts, is one of the largest motivators for my desire to travel long term while my kids are young.
But sometimes, I worry if they will remember all the interesting things we see and do, or if they’ll only regret having to give away their favorite lego sets.
How can I help them preserve their childhood travel memories, and remember all the special things we saw and did?
Enter the art journal.
Both our kids are incredibly articulate, even if they are only four and six, however their ability to write and express in written form, often leaves them frustrated. Their ideas and spoken language are much larger than their written vocabulary. But with the art journal, the emphasis is on using colors and images to capture a feeling or an activity from the day.
Inspired by a technique I learned last month at Lisa Sonora’s Dreaming on Paper workshop, I invested in a few simple art supplies for the trip.
Using inexpensive craft paint, we then take an old credit card to smear the paint around. It takes the stress out of feeling like you’re “painting,” and the need to have precise brush stokes, creating a certain form. It also reduces the mess factor when traveling.
After we get a base of color down, the kids then draw whatever stood out for them, or glue small mementos from the day into the pages. Originally I thought I would have to prompt them along, but my experience has been that they have tons of ideas for writing all on their own.
After spending all day on the road, it’s a great way to connect, and share what we saw that day. We’re often talking about the landscape or geological forms (which I always have to goole, a geologist I am not!) we see in the car as we’re driving, then we’re able to revisit that in greater detail with our journals.
And there’s something about smearing paint around on paper, without much expectation from the outcome, that is deeply therapeutic.
So that’s our journaling method we’re using to help make the journey more meaningful and hopefully help the kids preserve their own memories. It’s simple, and that’s what I love the most about it.
Today, we’ll cross the border at Nogales, and the plan is to make into San Carlos, by the afternoon.
Can’t wait to get my feet in that ocean! It’s been a hot ride so thus far, I’m sure it’s only going to get hotter…