Travel Journaling - A Traveler's Tale
June 27 Art Challenge: Photos and Words
Journal Prompt: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Yesterday I booked a winter trip to Spain and Portugal. I have been thinking about this destination for a long time, but I was apprehensive because of my past experiences. In August, 2000, I stopped in Madrid for a few days on my way to Gwen Gibson's workshop in the South of France. Off to a bad start with Iberia misplacing my luggage, I was determined to enjoy my first visit to Spain. I took a walk to Puerta del Sol and the surrounds to gather my thoughts.
I strolled past a fire station and turned into a brightly lit square. With foot steps behind me and two figures in front of me, I knew I was in trouble. Swiftly I was thrown to the ground, hitting my head, breaking my glasses, and banging my nose. One attacker used his knife to cut off my neck pouch, catching my neck with his stroke. A resident ran out to my aid and took me to the hospital and to the police station. No passport, money, travelers checks, credit cards, id, glasses, or lipstick, I had my work cut out for me to put myself back together. Iberia found my luggage, my daughter sent me money, Citibank sent me a new credit card, and I shopped for lipstick. I completed my trip, and I had a brilliant time with Gwen and other artists even though I could not see what I was doing.
To make this journal entry, I pulled out all the documents I had related to this experience (remember me, the ephemera hoarder) -
my journal pages,
police report, Robo con violencia,
maps, passport, ticket stubs,
and receipts. By physically handling all these documents, I soothed my anxiety over returning to the "scene of the crime."
Making this journal page was about the documents. Cutting, arranging, pasting these original materials to the page really proved the benefit of journaling. Talking therapy, but to myself. My final page is as chaotic as the experience. Flaps open to hold more documentation, different passport pics show contrasts, messiness reveal my thinking.