I have a goofy confession to make…I LOVE flying! I know, I know, the seats are cramped and the food is bad…but somehow there’s something so magical and inspiring about it for me–IF I follow one simple guideline: do my journal pages BEFORE I zone out on movies, magazines, or sleep.

in-flight journal page - collage
Top 10 Reasons to Journal on the Plane

  • You’re strapped into your seat with a little craft table in front of you and nothing better to do.
  • There’s a handy bag for your paper scraps in the seat pocket in front of you.
  • Conveniently, there’s even a free magazine for your collaging pleasure in the very same place.
  • Other improvised art supplies abound! Free water for your mini paint kit can be had at the press of a button. Foil peanut packets–cut into fanciful shapes–add bling. Alternately, tea can add a vintage patina to your pages (hold the milk and sugar, though!) 
  • Your bag is still full of ephemera from your trip (ticket stubs, receipts, maps, menus) You can transform them into memories and clean out your purse at the same time.
  • TSA has loosened up about scissors, so you can confidently carry on a normal pair (check with TSA for exact dimensions, and don’t bring a treasured pair–just in case )
  • The memory of your trip is still fresh. Flying is the perfect pause to reflect and integrate your journey (or dream it up if you’re on the outbound leg!)
  • There’s no laundry, email or Facebook feed to pull you out of your world into someone else’s.
  • You’ll remember the journal pages you made long after you’ve forgotten the chapter you read or the show you watched.
  • Time really does fly when you’re having fun! It’s pretty standard for me to be surprised (and even a little disappointed) when the pilot starts the final descent. “I was just getting to the good part,” I good-naturedly grumble under my breath.(yes, often even on long international flights!)

…and a BONUS:

  • When you’re brave enough to pull out your journal next to someone else, you just might be an inspiration–and it’s a great conversation starter! (And for those of you travelling with kids- they LOVE it!)

in-flight journal page - collage

When you tune in before you tune out, flying can be a pocket of glorious timelessness for daydreaming and creative play–exactly the kind of time that is so hard to carve out of your daily life–and something that transforms your trip into a journey.

Buon Viaggio for your summer travels, dear ones. Feel free to hitch a ride in my journal bag as I head to Washington DC–to connect to my visual thinking colleagues and learn some new visual magic to bring home from the Graphic Recorder’s Conference (follow us at #ifvp2016 if you’re curious!)

Happy Summer Journaling!


Visual Magic, Creative Change
512. 534.1100

P.S. There’s a reason they call them MAGIC markers… Why not pull yours out and doodle up something new? 🙂