Starting with something I fell in love with at first sight - Moleskines.
I remember it was before we moved to France that I had just discovered these. The simplicity is the beauty but the history and the art movement around it, is what makes it special and stand apart from just another writing pad.
I remember, amongst my first conversations with a friend in France was about moleskines, yes, I was that excited!! I thought it was such a European thing.. poets, artists, people all around sitting in cafes with their Moleskines... Think he thought I was nuts (and two more people the same, and they were even using a moleskine and had no idea what it's history was! after that I gave up talking to people about it!) but I was so touched when he got me my first moleskine ever, for my birthday that year. :) I have not used mine much yet though.
Moleskine has been around for a long time now and was the most personal creative canvas to artists and writers, among them Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway.. today they have journals, diaries, watercolor paper books (my fav!) and even city guides! In fact there is an exhibition on Moleskines currently on in Turkey displaying works of 50 international artists.
Smells, sights and sounds will all collide and dissolve to become a hazy memory of your travels and experiences, but the tattered pages, coffee stains, scribbles.. ah, this is what you will actually be able to keep with you forever, to touch, see and hold. Now, you might say what's the difference between this and any other note/sketch book.. BUT for me I like how it has a history of culture and when you are using yours, you are part of something a little more special than nothing, something that connects you to some other random person in some part of the world on this plane or another.. and that is Moleskine for me.
Visit this link to take a peek into the amazing stuff people have done.. it's a must visit link!
Also Moleskine blog -http://www.moleskinerie.com/
I'm excited with this blog and with all the travel plans I have lined up for myself till the end of the year! And suddenly there aren't enough hours in the day to do it all. I like it. :)