By Jim Haigh, Keep Me Posted

The story began with a quest for meaningful connections early in the global pandemic. Now, more than half a dozen paper diaries are crisscrossing continents, vanquishing isolation one shared story at a time.

Weeks into the initial COVID-19 lockdown, New Jersey native Kyra Peralte knew that she couldn’t be the only person feeling physically isolated and longing for tactile connections that the shift to all things digital was not providing. She wondered what other women in other cities, states, countries and cultures were experiencing. How were they managing family, work, other responsibilities and emotions?

“As I imagined listening to these stories, I wanted the experience to be as enjoyable and engrossing as listening to a vinyl record played on a record player with a nickel delicately placed on the needle to keep the songs from skipping,” Kyra said. “Hearing their stories through interviews streamed online in a manicured setting did not interest me at all. I wanted an experience that felt authentic, safe and open,” she recounts on her “The Traveling Diary Tour” website.

A timeless black and white composition book, the kind we’ve all used in elementary school, just resonated as the ideal vessel for capturing people’s thoughts, hopes, dreams and ideas. It could beckon for pen or pencil, serve as an invitation to intimate storytelling, and create community in tactile, meaningful ways.

“Storytelling is key to our survival as human beings,” Kyra shares. “And it is what has helped us further the human race. I wondered what other women were experiencing, but I didn’t want to read it on social media or listen to it on a podcast. I wanted an uncurated account as if I was a fly on the wall in the homes of women across the globe who were alive.”

For the inspiration to become a reality, each person adding memories to the handwritten story vessel would be responsible for ensuring the precious cargo made its way to the next destination on the diary’s tour. Repackaging, providing postage and enlisting the help of postal services across the globe.

As it turns out, Kyra was not the only one longing for tactile connections that digital communications do not provide. Before the original traveling diary eventually made its way back home to her, others began their own unique journeys collecting stories along their own tours.

If you are interested in participating in this inspiring global phenomenon or would like more information and a sampling of stories from The Traveling Diary Tour,  visit https://www.thetravelingdiarytour.com/.

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