Midori Traveler’s Notebook, an invaluable tool from Japan

Great article! I totally understand both wanting to have meaningful objects in your life and the fun of traveling to get them! However, this article led me to explore the Traveler’s website, and I’d love to purchase the large brass ink cartridge container they offer. (https://www.travelers-factory.com/topics/brass-items/)

As the article states, they only ship to Japanese addresses.

Anyone know where I might source this from the US, have a friend who would ship it to the US, or know of a Japanese shop that would ship overseas? I’d love to use it as an excuse to get to Japan, but it’s not in the cards just yet!

Thanks in advance for advice!


Try etsy. There will be a markup, but most sellers are willing to ship worldwide. https://www.etsy.com/search?q=travelers%20factory%20cartridge

I fully subscribe to the 80/20 principle for most of life. But trying to apply this to all of life will eliminate utterly irrational joys that many of us feel about the odd “perfect” thing in their life.

I’ve learned never to discount how much happiness (often over decades) that some otherwise mundane, but often outrageously expensive, items can give people, often each time they use it.

For me, it’s wallets. I could get a wallet at literally 1/10th the price of what I paid. But my current one has provided 15 years of quiet (irrational) satisfaction every time I pull it out.


I don’t think spending more for an item you’ll keep for life is a bad thing - I own a Saddleback.

If you flew to Texas from Australia and wandered around a bunch of side streets because literally no other wallet would suffice, I’d question that.

Did you get the impression they were ‘stressed’ about their excursion to buy their coveted item?

Seems to me the article is a classic example of someone following Mr Koch’s advice and doing something that really makes them happy.

I would say this bit of the interview you linked to is most relevant:

Avi: What are “Happiness Islands”?

Richard: I encourage people to think about the small chunks of time - this week, this year, the years during their whole lives - that have given them far more happiness than most of the rest of their time. I call these periods “happiness islands”. Try it for yourself. Ask what the happiness islands have in common - why were you unusually happy then. You can do the same for your “achievement islands” - and for the opposites too, the times when you were least effective (“achievement desert islands”) or happy (“happiness desert islands”).


What happens if he loses his money? Consumerism is a bandaid.

Thank you very much!

Um, then he finds something else? The point of the article is not “Hey, I spent loads of money on a neat notebook”. It’s “I went on this amazing journey to a fantastic place and really enjoyed the experience of selecting and putting together this object which I really enjoy”.

If you think Mr Koch was saying that the OP would have been better popping on Amazon to buy an item that he wouldn’t enjoy as much but took less time and effort to get, I think you’ve misunderstood.

The advice is to concentrate on what makes you happy and he suggests that most people obsess too much about things (including consumer items, yes) that don’t make them happy.

The advice therefore is to really consider whether what you are doing or buying is increasing your happiness or if it’s just stuff.

In this case, the OP clearly thinks that this small side trip and purchase significantly improves their happiness. Buying a moleskine from their local shop would not have given them that pleasure.

That would be expressly the sort of thing Mr Koch suggests is bad.

TL:DR - I think you’re fixating on the object too much at the expense of the journey to acquire it.

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