We're getting ready to head out on our train trip! It's been a busy week of last minute errands getting everything in place, in addition to received a bunch of orders to keep our shop as stocked as possible while we're gone. We've been picking up things for the shop and things for the trip and trying to clear off memory cards and finish up the laundry. And of course I've been thinking about which of my pens will be making the journey with me, and the even tougher decision, which inks to put into them, along with which notebooks I'll be bringing along with me.
Travel tips for fountain pens

It's a short list! Coming up to this trip, I've been trying to make a conscious effort to wash and dry pens after they've been written dry, so I don't have to leave pens at home with ink in them, or bring along too many.

Here's the list: TWSBI Vac Mini, medium - mystery ink, I'm guessing Asa-Gao (someone returned a Vac20 bottle with ink in it already, and Jon used my Vac Mini to demonstrate filling with it.

Pilot Custom 92, medium - J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

Franklin-Christoph Model 20, medium - Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-Ho

Parker Lucky Curve, soft fine - Rohrer + Klingner Sepia

Kaweco Luxe, F (not pictured) - Kaweco black cartridge

Parker Duofold, medium - Diamine Ancient Copper

Parker Sonnet, medium - Noodler's Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham  

Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-Ho writing sample fountain pens Toronto Canada
We don't carry this ink regularly, but it's available as a special order, along with the rest of the Iroshizuku Line.
Noodler's Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham Wonder Pens Toronto Canada
Everyone's favourite Canadian ink! Noodler's Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham
Diamine Ancient Copper Writing Sample Toronto Wonder Pens
And look at this! It just arrived this week - the Lamy 4-pen, or four colour pen. When I was a kid, I used to love the white and blue Bic four colour pens, so how could I resist.
Lamy 4pen multi pen 4 colour pen color wonder pens toronto canada
We only ordered a few of them, but despite my very good intentions of not accumulating more pens than I can use, I'm keeping one. It has a very good gravity-directed colour changing mechanism, and I've been changing colours willy-nilly just for fun. I have to admit that it's not exactly the same writing experience as a fountain pen, but it's not bad for a ballpoint. It's really the four colour function that sold me. I'm going to be bringing a handful of Preppies in case we bump into anyone on the train or around who might like to try a fountain pen. I try to carry one or two in my bag, punctured, in case I come across someone running an errand or at a cafe. I like to have at least one or two at the ready immediately, so in the heat of moment we're not left awkwardly waiting to see if the pen is going to write. I'll scribble a note or two with it if I haven't given it away in a few weeks.
Platinum Preppy Fountain pens wonder pens toronto canada
Here's Jon and his pen roll. He has opted for the "I'm bringing whatever is in my pen roll" route, which are these pens in the photo. I don't know how he lives with himself.
Superior Labor Pen Roll Wrap Wonder Pens Toronto Canada
We're taking the train to Vancouver, hanging around for around a week and then flying home. I'm thinking by the time we make it to the plane, some of our pens may be dry, but it'll depend on how much time we have for writing postcards and writing in general.
what's in my pen roll liz wonder pens
Look how empty my pen roll looks! What restraint! For notebooks I'm bringing my personal journal (the B5 brown covered Life notebook), my Midori Traveler's notebook for everyday notes + keeping everything together, and my Hobonichi for my three daily gratitude thoughts. My personal journal is just for my thoughts and ramblings and whatever comes to mind. I'm thinking and hoping we may have some down time, first on the train for a few days, and then secondly in Vancouver with Caleb, where we'll be home early for Caleb's bedtime. I had considered using an insert in my Midori TN for personal journaling to save weight and room, but we won't be backpacking or hiking with all of our gear, just moving from the train to the AirBnB, and then to the airport, so I think we'll be okay. My Hobonich is for the same, and I have to admit there are a few days where I've missed! Maybe I'll try to catch up, or just use those pages for other memories. My I revamped my Traveler's Notebook a bit for the trip. I have one notebook for planning, organizing and notes - I'm hoping to do a few blog posts, and keep in touch with a few things going on in the shop.
Midori Traveler's Notebook planner Toronto Canada
The start of my calendar for planning for the blog while we're gone. I watched a video of those bullet journallers drawing out their boxes, and I definitely need a ruler.
Midori Traveler's Notebook Wonder Pens Canada Pan Am
I'm hoping to keep a notebook of just memories, photos and details from our trip. As we travel more, I'm planning on keeping all of these notebooks in one of the 10th Anniversary Midori TN tins. I've tentatively packed a few items to bring along for keeping a Travel Notebook on the road, and hopefully I'll have some time coming up to share more about that. I love that I'll be able to go out day to day and keep everything together in my Midori for organizing and keeping ticket stubs or little pieces of paper all together. I've also got the matching Pan Am zipper pocket so I can tuck away things in there until I get back to our Air BnB. We're excited! There will be no wifi access on the train, which is giving Jon a bit of grey hair, but I think will be a nice break. I'm thinking I will still be able to write blog posts, and post them whenever we get into a station and I can hook up to wifi for a few minutes. I mentioned before that Jon and I took the train from Russia through Mongolia to Beijing, which was a crazy adventure, but also quite an experience in the train itself. The VIA rail is going to be a train ride, but I think a completely different type of ride. There will be showers, and our family will have its own little cabin, and we'll also have tasty meals! Everything I've seen and read about taking the VIA has talked about how wonderful the food is, so my expectations are high! The views, and the glass-top car when we get to the western provinces, time for reading and explore the cars with Caleb. I can't wait to share with you all how it is.

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Beth Martin

Beth Martin said:

Best wishes for a wonderful trip- perhaps you have already left! A couple of years ago my partner and I (Americans, but living near Detroit we are practically at the border!) took Via Rail from Jasper (I think) to Toronto after several days touring through the Canadian Rockies by coach. It was a lovely trip and we especially enjoyed visiting Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island. I do
hope to visit your shop some day!


wonderpens said:

Thank you for your good wishes! That sounds like a great trip – on the last leg of our journey we got to spend a very quick hour or two in Jasper, and the scenery was beautiful. I think next time we might go at it a bit slower to be able to spend a few days here and there, it all passed by so quickly. We unfortunately didn’t get to visit Butchart Gardens, but we will also put that on our list for next time. And I will have to look forward to your visit one day :)


wonderpens said:

Thanks so much! We had a great time in Vancouver, and we did indeed get a chance to visit the Regional Assembly of Text and Paper Ya – beautiful shops, both! I’m hoping to share a bit more soon :)


wonderpens said:

I’m hoping to share lots of details on my travel journal and the mementos we keep from our trip! I’ve brought along a few items just to help me keep track of everything that’s happening along the way, and I can’t wait to show you everything we’ve done :)


wonderpens said:

Hi Ken – that’s a wonderful habit, and we sent ourselves a postcard from our weekend trip to Kingston, and we’ll definitely be sending more along our travels. I’m hoping to keep these postcards along with our single volume travel journals of each trip! Thanks so much for sharing :)


Christine said:

Have a great trip! Thanks for the inspiring photos. And welcome to Vancouver :) Regional Assembly of Text on Main St. Is a great local stationery store, if you’re in the area. Paper Ya on Granville island is fantastic as well.


wonderpens said:

Thank you! We can’t wait for our adventure, although a little nervous about how the little guy will handle it in small spaces and “being quiet.” We will be sharing lots of photos from the road!

ken walker

ken walker said:

Hi Liz and Jon,
Thought i would pass along a tip i read somewhere and tried on winter vacation in Florida. When purchasing postcards along the way and in locales throughout Vancouver, etc buy extras to write and mail home to yourselves. Arriving back in Toronto you will have an interesting & unique record of the holiday (as they appear in your ‘snailmailbox’) to combine with your travel journal.
ken w
P.S. – to be on the safe side during the unsettled postal situation i recommend photographing the front and back of each postcard before mailing it . . . have a wonderful time :)

Romano Klomp

Romano Klomp said:

I, as others will be very interested in your journal entries of your trip. It will enhance your writing experiences and enlighten all of us with products used. Take lots of pictures.
Best wishes.
Kitchener, ON


wonderpens said:

It’s on our list! We’ve heard such great things about it :)


wonderpens said:

We’ll wave to you as well! We can’t wait for the adventure, and the food! :) I think they may be attaching the panoramic car somewhere in Alberta just for the mountains, I can’t even begin to imagine the view!


wonderpens said:

HAHA! Actually, we will have a short stop in Winnipeg! But I don’t think long enough for a visit – it’s just a short stop at each station along the way, major cities of course, and a lot of 5-10 minute stops at smaller towns on the route. We will sure be thinking of you when we’re there in Winnipeg! :)


Lily said:

Be sure to visit the Vancouver Pen Shop while you’re there!


Sola said:

Liz, your goatskin Hobonichi cover looks really… pale. Mine got browner. Surely Toronto gets its share of the sun now that it’s midsummer there?!

And wish you all the best on your train trip! That was one of the things on my wish list that I never got around to before we left. I will be looking forward to the pics :)


wonderpens said:

Hmmm! I mostly use my Hobonichi indoors, and when it’s not in use, it’s on my shelf, so maybe that explains why it hasn’t gotten a lot of sun? Here in Toronto it sure is hot and humid and sunny!

We’re planning on sharing lots more pictures as we get going – stay tuned!! Always so nice to hear from you:)


gg said:

Well if you stop in Winnipeg on the way and need ink I have a couple bottles……

Susie Gourlay

Susie Gourlay said:

Train travel is quite an experience indeed and you are right about the food, it’s very, very good! I’ll wave as you pass through Saskatchewan. You will love it through the mountains, enjoy!!


Harry said:

Have a fantastic time! We look forwards reading all about it!

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