Getting crafty on the road

by Michelle on February 8, 2011 · 10 comments

One of the best things about hostel life is that there are always things to do come evening and night time – pub crawls, party buses, theme parties, the list goes on. If you’re looking for entertainment that doesn’t involve drinking copious amounts of alcohol however, you’re sort of out of luck. Of course we all enjoy the craziness that ensues after a few bottles of wine, but after a few months of traveling, even the biggest party animals need some well deserved R & R.
There’s always movie nights, but how many times can you watch L’auberge Espagnole before it takes away your sanity? And no traveler wants to spend a day in front of their laptop using overpriced hostel wifi out of sheer boredom. Out of my past experiences in finding something creative to do on a quiet night in, here are some of my favourites.
Make funky bracelets
Materials needed:
– ball of hemp
– scissors
– shells
When I was in a hostel in Airlie Beach, I met this Italian girl who had this really cool idea of collecting some shells and dead corals during her time sailing through the Whitsunday Islands, and strung them together with coloured string to make necklaces.
Inspired by this, I bought some hemp, collected some shells, and on a spare evening a week later, set out to make my own bracelets and anklets to send my friends back home.
During this time, there happened to be a French guy in my dorm room who was deeply in love with me (I assumed this because he held his book upside-down in front of him and glanced at me every few minutes from his bed across the room). He ended up joining me and turned out to be quite the bracelet braider. He also taught me how to make those hopping paper frogs. In an interesting twist of events, everyone else in the room found the paper frogs really cool and we ended up with a pretty sweet new drinking game for the next few nights…
Keep a journal or scrapbook
Materials needed:
– blank journal
– pen or markers
– photos, ticket stubs (optional)
– glue or tape (optional)
If you’ve traveled with me for more than a few days, you’ll realize that I make an effort to write in my journal almost daily. I love writing and find it really comforting. Most of my pages are filled with crazy stories that are good for a laugh when I re-read them on a day I feel down, and they help to keep my dreams high of one day publishing a best-selling travel memoir. Some people take it even more seriously like this Serbian traveler I’ve met, who sat on his bed everyday and wrote like there’s no tomorrow… by the time I left that hostel he must have written over a thousand pages! For those not looking to write the next Lord of the Rings trilogy, keeping a scrapbook with some pictures and ticket stubs are a good way of sharing your adventures with your friends back home.
Send some home-made postcards
Materials needed:
– card stock or cue cards
– markers
– scissors
– glue
– magazines
– stamps
Last week when I was in Montreal, a friend and I decided to make some homemade Valentine’s Day inspired postcards on a night in. Rather than send them to people we know, we thought it would be kind of fun to send one to each province to people with funny names listed in the Canada 411 (watch out Dwayne Fontaine*). We decided to also send them as anonymous to keep Dwayne and Adelard guessing on who their secret Valentine really is. And… obviously the “U R Hot” postcard went out to the guy from little town Manitoba* who happened to be named Ewan Mcgregor.
*name and location slightly altered to protect the innocent.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

sootspirit February 9, 2011 at 12:59 am

hahahaha u're so naughty with those postcards


Brenna February 9, 2011 at 4:29 am

That is so cool you sent Valentines to strangers! I watched a story on the news about a guy who sent 5 dollars a week to random people.


Red Nomad OZ February 9, 2011 at 6:16 am

Hey, love those ideas! Even though I'm a bit more of a 'read a book' or 'write my journal' kind of girl myself … and when I get bored of that, I people-watch (surreptitiously, of course!!)

Happy travels!!


Ryan February 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Haha I love the Ewan McGregor one! Truly inspired 😀


Suzy February 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm

What a good idea! I don't think of myself as crafty, but it sounds like anyone could make/do these things. Ha! I love that you sent Valentines to random names.


David February 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm

I really like your layout and your topic. Travel is a very smart topic to bring to your blog because this is basically every topic in the world ( literally ) I think your blog has potential to grow massively please keep posting and I will see you in the big leagues one day ;D


Jenna February 12, 2011 at 7:20 am

I'm a new follower and saw in your about me section that South Africa is on your top three travel destinations… well I'm American, but have been living in SA since 2008. I've recently started a blog, mostly about life in general, but am planning on starting a weekly Spotlight Post where I will highlight somewhere different I've been in the country each week. Feel free to follow!… and let me know if you have any questions… I'm also a bit of a travelaholic and have been throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East 🙂



Michelle (Confessed Travelholic) February 16, 2011 at 12:46 am

Thanks for all the comments! Glad you guys like the ideas! 🙂


Ambyr February 16, 2011 at 2:11 pm

haha I love your bracelet making, and your new "friend".

The post cards are super cute too!!


C February 22, 2011 at 4:30 am

That's an awesome idea! Oh wait, they're all ideas. And all awesome, but especially the post card one.


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