written by Carolyn Chon July 20, 2015

How do you document your travel experiences? Are you one who takes many photographs, or perhaps the type that sketches lovely landscapes and sidewalks? Some take selfies, some shoot videos and some create an alternative way of preserving the experiences and memories.

Take Jane for example, she’s a full-time photographer but when she travels, she doesn’t just store memories on a photo. In fact, she takes it one step further and creates beautiful scrapbook travel journals! She would collect stickers, stamps, she writes and doodles on them! Let’s get right into it!


1. You’re a full-time photographer and you’re also an avid stationary collector, scrapbook maker and someone who journals often. Can you tell our readers a bit on how you started on all of the above?

I’ve had a diary since little, the hobby came on and off, and then stopped after my college days. I still have my journal, but it’s not that active during those days except for blogging digitally. To blog, I still keep notes in my journal to remind me about the trips and notes I once had. Now that I am working alone as a wedding photographer, I need my planner again. I used to have filofax, then Moleskine, and a traveler’s notebook that I bought for my own birthday gift in December 2014. It’s just a normal planner at first. Since then I would use it everyday and I didn’t want it to look boring so I decided to add in really random stuff. I’ll make them colorful with stickers and little notes or quotes, sometimes I exchange stickers with my 5-year-old niece as well. Slowly I am decorating other pages too.

Jane's daily diary and travel journal.

Jane’s daily diary and travel journal.

2. Browsing through your Instagram feed, we see that you often exchange stationaries with others with the same interest. How did you start connecting with these people?

Everyone likes pretty stuffs, everyone got curious where to find them, and then everyone started to ask questions. I started off by connecting with them directly. Instagram is great, we can find lots of interesting things if we use the proper hashtags like #postcrossing and #happymail. There are lots of them are still open and keen for swapping, we just need to find a suitable one and make the hobby and connection last as long as we can. To have a hobby like this is pretty time consuming, but if it is what we enjoy then it should be happiness.

You've got mail!

You’ve got mail!

3. We’ve also noticed that you make beautiful and colourful travel journals and scrapbooks, can you please share with us if you have a particular process to it?

Hope this is something to help some of our readers to be inspired to start their very own perhaps.

I started to collect materials like bills, ink stampings, pictures, washi tapes etc. And then just scrap them off on a page. It’s like writing a diary with more stuffs decorated in it and in our own enjoyable way. I got inspired and many ideas came from Pinterest mostly. There is no fixed process, there are even some who only doodle or they just colour the whole page with food and buildings. Someone once told me to start journaling during traveling and that it is the best way to begin. I tried and yes, it’s true. It makes the memories last even longer.

Travel often and journal often!

Travel often and journal often!

4. Which place that you’ve visited has got the thickest part of your travel journal? Why?

India. It has to be my most memorable backpacking trip together with my partner and everything there is so mind challenging. We went there in 2009 and I have not even finish putting them all in my journal yet.

The Y U NO friend me look.

The Y U NO friend me look.

5. When you visit a new place or country, is there something that you look out for specifically from a photographer’s and scrap-booker’s angle?

Anything that is picture-worthy. Or anything that can be kept in a book. I like to collect stampings and get them stamp on my book meaning I’ve been here! And I recently just started to write postcards back to close friends and myself when I am in another country.

Stamping overload

Stamping overload

6. What is the most precious piece of item in your travel journal amongst all the trips you’ve taken?

I bought a marble charm with a symbol of OM in some random street in Varanasi, India. I did not know how or when I am going to use it after buying it, but I kept it and not even remembering I have it and all the while it’s in my drawer. So half a year ago I bought a planner and just started to use it, wanting to add a charm in front of the planner, I found the OM lying nicely in a wrapped package one day. What an amazing feeling to find something I did not know I have kept for so many years (6 years!) and now I am using it everyday. It is like God already knew that I’ll need it today and planned for me to walk through that path and to rediscover  the charm. I remembered asking my partner when choosing of all many charms in the store, what does this symbol means? He replied, this is OM.

(Om is a sacred sound and spiritual icon in Dharmic religions. It is also a mantra in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.)

Here's how you can use charms to add-on to your travel journals.

Here’s how you can use charms to add-on to your travel journals.

7. Where has been your favourite place that you’ve visited (without relating to whether it gave you good content or not for your journal ?

I have two actually, that two backpack trips to Cambodia and India. Before these I thought I was only a city girl that likes shopping. It is because of my partner, he changed me. He is the traveler. I am always the one tagging along. He plans everything for us. I was the one taking notes and snapping pictures non-stop. Now, not only I still travel to the city, I don’t mind having adventurous trips in any remote locations. I like seeing real things and being real. I might not be good in understanding every historical place, but to me that curiosity and challenge are the ones that pushes me, I am eager to experience more. Whether it is good or bad, it doesn’t matter.



8. Last but not least, if you woke up and suddenly found yourself butt naked (i know, a bizzare question), where in the world would you want to be waking up naked in?

I’ll wake in a small peaceful wooden home facing Lake Wanaka with birds chirping and this song playing in the background – and lying next to me is my partner, butt naked as well.

A peek into Jane's everyday entries.

A peek into Jane’s everyday entries.


And with Jane’s sexy-back, we hope that if you’ve always wanted to start a journal, travel or just a daily one, this post would be an inspiration to you! Who knows, maybe you could also start exchanging mails and postcard with her!

You can stalk Jane on Instagram or you could check out her photography works at Jane Lee Photography.

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