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Journal Prompts for Time Travel and Culture Tripping

I have a little check in for this week’s chapter of Walking in this World.

Even if you’re not doing the Julia Cameron program, there are some fun journal prompts below you can use on your own. They have us taking a look at what cultures, places and time periods besides are own strike our fancy.

Is it just me, or does this chapter feel disjointed? It reminds me of the “seafood fiesta” sushi roll that the Page always gets at Marineopolis – all the ends and pieces from making other rolls, crammed onto a bed of rice.

The readings and tasks both feel useful, but unrelated. It’s strange.

Oh and while I’m in a critical mood, I just have to say that I love Julia Cameron but once in awhile I wish she’d call it quits with the clever. Every single sentence has to have some play on words. It gets annoying, especially when she stretches to finish the pun: “Do you like period movies — or movies, period?”


Anyway! Onward and upward.

Task: Geography

So I don’t understand what this task has to do with the chapter topic of “creative breakthroughs.” But here are some things that came out of that exercise for me, which was kind of fun to think about.

Other worlds I enjoy

What culture other than your own feels like home?

New Orleans, gypsy caravans, sailing vessels, Zen monestaries, India, Japan, bohemian NYC, North Beach surfer central

What age other than the one we’re in resonates with your sensibilities?

Probably the first half of the 1900’s – hanging out with those bohemians and loose-lipped artists, the beat poets and jazz — all the stuff before internet and cell phones.

Beyond that I can’t help but think about what it would be like to be a woman in any other time than now. Especially a woman like me: independent, brazen, and refusing to be tamed. I’d have been branded a Witch, for sure — especially with my existing Pagan leanings and the ability to talk to animals.

(Actually, that might have been fun. Aside from the whole burning at the stake thing.)

So although I think it would have been cool to live in a lamplit world, I couldn’t swing the whalebone corset gig.

What foregin cuisine feels like home to your palate?

Japanese, Morroccan, Greek, Southern Italy, India. Any place with sun-drenched fruit trees, close to the ocean.

What exotic smells give you a sense of expansion and well-being?

I’m a big smeller. Have I ever told you that? In an alternate life I would have been one of those professional sniffers that develop perfume and other scents. I catch a whiff of something as I walk by, and it’s not just that I smell something fruity or flowery — I smell Vaseline Intensive Care lotion (the one in the yellow bottle).

So I’m big on scents.

Some of my favorite exotics: sandalwood, amber, jasmine, narcissus, violet, gardenia, green tea, nag champa, cherry blossom, olive, and Amarige perfume (which I wear).

What spiritual tradition intrigues you beyond your own?

Native American, Buddhist. Although I consider a little bit of both of those “my own.”

What music from another culture plucks your heartstrings? (gag)

Oh so many: Middle Eastern sitar, Moroccan, Irish folk music, Flamenco guitar, anything out of New Orleans, Hawaiian

In another age, what physical age do you see yourself being?

I have a hard time with age questions. I guess I consider myself ageless. Either that, or I refuse to grow up.

I was thinking about this yesterday when musing to the Page that whenever I sell anything on craigslist, it always ends up being bought for a little kid. Because I like turquoise footstools shaped like frogs, giant hedgehog pillows, and bookshelves covered in graffiti art. Why should kids have all the fun?

In another culture and time, what is your sex?

Hmmm — I’m kind of rocking the girl power, so I’d probably stick with that. Although if I went back in time to the aforementioned days of gas lamp light, I probably would have been a guy so I didn’t have to spend my days knocked-up and doing laundry in the kitchen.

Do you enjoy period movies? Or movies, period? (double gag)

I hate period movies, especially if the actors have British accents. Also I hate when Americans make movies about other countries and the residents are speaking English, but with an accent. Yes, it’s 1945 Germany but we’re also speaking English, with a German accent, like Dieter the Waiter. And nobody on screen thinks that’s weird.

Yes, perhaps my refusal to suspend disbelief ruins lots of potentially great films for me. But even without anything pre-1975, I manage to watch at least half a dozen movies a week.

So I guess I enjoy movies, period.


That was a fun exercise. It makes me thing about my cultural leanings as I decorate my new little creative nest (a.k.a. The Situation Room) to be a fluffy womb of color and textures. It’s part India and part NYC Bohemian. And the fresh pineapple I’m eating tastes a bit like Hawaiian magic.

What did you discover this week about your sense of geography?


  1. if you were making a journaling box for yourself, for when you felt down and wanted like boxed comfort, what would you put in there?

  2. Remember the ads—”Calgon, take me away” ? My 36 yr. old daughter-in-law was recently diagnosed with cancer. Talk about your foreign cuisine!
    Just after your post about journaling for cancer patients, too. sheesh.
    Well, Calgon didn’t take us away. But, conspiring against cancer, we have been writing, drawing, reading and coming up with a very unique and creative plan of attack. Walking in this world, staying upright, can be a challenge!