Notes from My Travels

Original Release: October 1, 2003 (US)
Written by: Angelina Jolie

Published by: Pockets Books
ISBN-10: 0743470230
ISBN-13: 978-0743470230

From the ever-intriguing and appealing actress Angelina Jolie comes the personal journals she compiled while performing humanitarian relief efforts in such countries as Sierra Leone and Tanzania, Pakistan and Cambodia.

Three years ago, award-winning actress Angelina Jolie took on a radically different role as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Here are her memoirs from her journeys to Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Pakistan, Cambodia, and Ecuador, where she lived and worked and gave her heart to those who suffer the world's most shattering violence and victimization. Here are her revelations of joy and warmth amid utter destitution...compelling snapshots of courageous and inspiring people for whom survival is their daily work and candid notes from a unique pilgrimage that completely changed the actress's worldview—and the world within herself.

Notes from My Travels is a collection of journal excerpts kept by Angelina Jolie in 2001-2002 detailing her experiences travelling to troubled Third World regions in her role as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The book was published in 2003, concurrent with the release of Beyond Borders (2003), a film in which she plays a character who eventually works for UNHCR. It was also during the timeframe of writing these journals that Jolie adopted her Cambodian-born son, Maddox.

Notes from My Travels details Jolie's visits to Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Pakistan, Cambodia, and Ecuador. The book also featured a lot of candid photos of Angelina and they were taken by Czech photographer Liba Taylor. She told us, "We spent days traveling through the refugee camps, I took photographs and Angelina Jolie spoke to the camp population and those who helped them, and they were intrigued by the problems, and they were really sympathetic to them, and she spent hours listening to their life fates and soon decided to help them."

Angelina donated her proceeds from the book to the UNHCR and it has been published in English, German, Japanese and Russian so far.

Introduction by Angelina Jolie

I was asked to write an introduction to my journals, to explain how my journals came to be, why my life took this direction, and why I decided to start it.

As I try to find the answers, I am sure of one thing: I am forever changed. I am so grateful I took this path in my life, thankful that I met these amazing people and had this incredible experience.

I honestly believe that if we were all aware, we would all be compelled to act. So the question is not how or why I would do this with my life. The question is, how could I not?

Many nights I saw awake reading stories and statistics about national and international tragedies.

I read about UNHCR:

More than twenty million refugees exist today.
One-sixth of the world’s population lives on less than one dollar a day.
1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water.
One-third of the world has no electricity.
More than 100 million children are out of school.
One in six children in Africa dies before the age of five.

I read about different organisations that d humanitarian work. I had been reading about Sierra Leone wheN Iw as in England. When I got back to the States it was difficult to follow the stories, so I called USA for UNHCR and asked if they could help me understand the situation there and similar situations elsewhere in the world. Three weeks later I was in Sierra Leone.

I don’t know how this will be as a book, how readers will find it. I am not a writer. These are just my journals. They are just a glimpse into a world that I am just beginning to understand, a world I could never really explain in words.


Jane Goodall, Ph.D., CBE Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace
Angelina is living proof of the power we all have – every one of us – to make a difference. I was deeply moved by her descriptions of individual refugees struggling to live with dignity and hope, and found her personal commitment to be an inspiration. Angelina’s journals document her awakening as a humanitarian activist and I hope they will move readers to act. I look forward to my continued work with Angelina on behalf of the United Nations.

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