Belinda // Journaling through the Epic Family Adventure in Africa

Belinda // Journaling through the Epic Family Adventure in Africa

Baum-kuchen: Tell us a little bit about you and your family! What is important to you and your family in every day? Do you have any analogue routine you enjoy as a family or for yourself? 

Belinda: We are a family of three. My husband and I have one daughter. She is 10 years old. Clean food and clean non-toxic products are important to us. Getting together with friends is important to us, especially cooking together or cooking for friends. We actually don’t have an analogue routine that we participate in as a family. However, after a recent camping trip in which we all collectively worked on a jigsaw puzzle, my daughter and I started on a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle at home and I LOVE this as a routine. Unfortunately, it's
a) not a favorite of her dad’s 
b) the living room is perpetually in disarray because we can’t mess up our puzzle pieces! 
We’ve been working on the current puzzle for almost a month now. I think if we ever move, I will have a separate puzzle room installed.

Baum-kuchen:  Have you always journaled or is there a specific person, event, or time in your life that led you to do so?

Belinda:  In my mind, there are two types of journaling. One is a spiritual practice and the other (bullet journaling) is for the organization. As for journaling, I kept a diary in my teens, maybe just because it was cool to do so? I don’t think I tried to start seriously journaling with intention until about a few years ago when a friend who was studying to become an Ayurvedic practitioner suggested I do so as it was part of her practice. This I try to do every day and it consistently helps me to work out problems that I am having in my life. Have you read the book “Conversations with God”? My journaling feels like that. Like, I write down a problem and magically, an answer appears in the next sentence that I write.
As for bullet journaling, well that is a whole other ballgame! But I love it! I was probably inspired via a post on Instagram. When I first came across bullet journaling I was super intimidated! Just seeing all those beautiful journals made me anxious. But, as I was always keeping a calendar, it seemed silly to spend money on something that was not tailored to my whims. So, I got into bullet journaling. And then I recently saw my niece’s bullet journal and was floored! SO BEAUTIFUL! She is currently my inspiration because her journaling is so perfect. You can totally tell the difference between hers and mine…mine’s a bit more “utilitarian” (Ahem, read: boring). I actually equate bullet journaling to meditation. It’s my “me” time when I create the new pages and fill them in to get ready for the upcoming week.
Belinda's Bullet Journal
Belinda's niece: Hope's bullet journal. 

Baum-kuchen: From your beautiful Instagram photos, I know you and your family took an epic African Safari trip this summer. It's on our bucket list for our family! Tell us a little bit about your trip! What was one of your favorite highlights? How about your kids? Did they have a favorite moment? 

Belinda: The trip…was AMAZING! INCREDIBLE! I cannot rave about it more. 
10 days on safari in Botswana. Up at 5:30am, breakfast at 6am, out in the bush by 6:30am, coffee/biscuit break in the bush around 11:30. Back to camp for lunch around noon. Siesta. Snack at 3:30pm, back in the bush from 4pm to around 8pm for evening/nighttime safari. Dinner, then bed. There is nothing like being in a jeep in the middle of the desert tracking animals while they track their prey or are just living. It’s so peaceful and quiet. It was an unforgettable experience. My daughter cannot stop talking about Africa. She just wants to be in a jeep checking out wildlife. She now keeps saying how boring Los Angeles is. "Let’s get back to Africa!"
A highlight of the trip, for me, was waking up at 2am to the intense sounds of lions roaring and hippos grunting. Because we are in a camp right in the midst of the animals, they are literally right outside our door. In the morning, the pride of lions walked right past our campsite. My daughter says the entire Africa trip was one big highlight. She can’t just choose one memory over another.

Baum-kuchen: We also noticed on your Instagram photo that your family was all journaling together during the safari trip. Why is it important for you to journal when you are traveling? Do you have a method/system how you and your family capture your moments while traveling? 

Belinda: I have to be honest, I didn’t think about journaling whilst traveling until I followed Wakako! Her posts are to die for and I really love everything about her account – the travels, the journaling, the homeschooling. Wakako’s analoguing with her family is so inspiring. I aspire for that routine so it was nice to have the siesta downtime in Africa to really dive in and capture some of our favorite moments via artwork. We basically took photos throughout the safaris and then came back and painted. One day, the hubby and I were painting the scenery just outside our camp and we actually ended up painting the same tree!
As for family journaling, this was our first time! Because we were going to Africa, I bought the travel journals from Baum-kuchen as a gift for us – me, my sister, my niece, and my daughter. It will now be my travel journal and I can’t wait to populate it. Because these journals are so beautiful, it’s easy to want to pull it out and use it for our travels going forward. It’s a good reminder to take a moment to breathe and be present. I actually love painting but just can’t seem to find the time to do it that often so this journal serves as a reminder to at least make the time when we are traveling.
Baum-kuchen: What are some of your favorite journaling supplies to take on board? 

Belinda: I always carry a bag of colored pens with me. It’s currently Stabilo, a pencil, and a really good eraser is a must. The current watercolor set we have is by Windsor & Newton. I like how compact it is and it comes with a portable brush. I also keep a homemade “straightedge” with me for lines. I made it out of cardboard stock.

Baum-kuchen: I know it can sometimes be difficult to lead our kids to journal (from my personal experience). Do you have any tips and suggestions for fellow parents who would like to encourage their children to journal (either at home or during travel)? 

Belinda: Oh man, I would just say lead by example. For me, it helped to have a special travel journal before our trip to Africa. Something that clearly looks different from any other old generic notebook – these journals from Baum-kuchen are beautiful and I love how they are customizable. Our paint kit is very small too so we keep the journal and the paint kit in a cloth bag that I sewed for us. For me, I think having a niece that is so organized with her journal will be an inspiration for my daughter as she grows older.

Baum-kuchen: If you could impart any words of analogue advice to a friend what would it be? It can be thoughts or quotes you live by as well!
Belinda: The one quote that I live by for all my handmade projects is “It’s not perfect unless it's imperfect” We don’t do things to make them perfect. We do them for the experience, and hopefully, we’ve enjoyed ourselves in the process.
Where to find Belinda: Instagram @leftsidebee
Baum-kuchen products mentioned or shown in Belinda's story: 


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