Fellow blogger, Nomadic Matt, recently blogged about his need to keep better notes while on the road. I sympathize with his situation having had many a frustrating moment trying to remember some important detail - an address, the name of a favorite restaurant - last year in Paris. Getting ready to head to Brussels, I was vowing to do a better job this time around when another fellow blogger came to the rescue: The Cupcake Avenger gifted me my very first Molskine City Notebook.
Now, it's possible that before receiving a Moleskine City Notebook all wrapped up in a pretty little birthday bag, I was the only traveler in existence who didn't really know what a Moleskine City Notebook was. Basically, it's a guide book that you make yourself as you go along exploring and living in a specific city. There are some street maps and a metro guide in the front of my Brussels edition, but the rest is up to me. They give you sections for writing down favorite shops, eateries, encounters and museums. There is a little expandable pouch in the back for stashing away business cards, ticket stubs and newspaper clippings. There are blank pages for your notes, and tracing papers for, well, whatever you might need tracing papers for. I recently used my Moleskine to jot down the address of a fromagerie that recently won my heart with an amazing crottin de chèvre.
Having only used Moleskin for a few short days, I already don't know how I ever traveled without one. Isn't it fun how there's always a new travel toy to discover and play with on your next trip? If you know you're going to be in a certain city for an extended period of time, think about picking up your own City Notebook. They makes guides for locales all over the globe, from Amsterdam to Zurich. When you're done, you'll have the perfect, useful souvenir in your possession. And you'll never again forget the name of a favorite fromagerie.