With the end of our summer vacation I find myself reflecting on all of the time that we have spent traveling the past few months. While we didn’t have a lot of specific things on our agenda I did want to be able to document our time away from home. I find it very helpful in my memory keeping to write in a daily journal.
You too can keep a travel journal. One thing you should know is that there are no set standards for journals. Your journal can be something that you create before a trip. It can be a fancy leather bound book or an inexpensive composition notebook. Whether purchasing or creating a journal you might want to consider something with pockets. Another option would be to bring an envelope to tuck away those collected mementos like tickets, receipts, postcards, brochures, and even foreign currency. You will want to bring something to write with.
Here is a great example of a hand made travel journal created by thunderdragon. Click on the image to visit the O’Gallery and see full credits.
You might find yourself at a loss for what to write about in a travel journal. Maybe these tips will help!
Are you a messy hand writer? I don’t particularly care for my own chicken scratch. Don’t worry too much about keeping the pages pristine. I personally like the lived in look in a journal. By the end of a trip the pages are usually dog eared, filled with scribbled notes and lots of doodles.
There is no need to be critical of your own handwriting or worry that your words are not novel worthy. No one is judging your journal. It is for you! Let your personality shine through on those pages.
Now that we have set pen to paper, what about the when and the where to journal? When traveling there is not always the perfect time for writing. Take advantage of down time during the day. Try jotting down a few thoughts when you are standing in a long line, stopping for a meal, riding a train or during other idle times. I generally take a few moments at the end of each day and recap the highlights. It is not necessary to try and capture every minute of every day, but when you write during your travels you are able to capture those precious memories as they are happening so they are fresh in your memory.
It might help to ask yourself questions about the things surrounding you. What was the weather like? Did you visit everywhere listed on your itenerary? Did you see something spectacular? Did you eat a new food? Did you meet someone new?
I have already mentioned that you don’t have to be a best selling author to keep a travel journal but sometimes there are just no words. Photographs are of course a great way to document your journey. You might also consider sketching in your journal. I’m not talking about Michaelangelo artistry here, just a simple drawing to capture the essence of your journey.
Write out details about the photos you have taken. Who was in the photo? Where was the photo taken? Is there history behind the location?
If you are not feeling particularly wordy you can always write in list form. Make a list of your favorite places of the day. Jot down a memorable conversation.
Not all of our travels are happy times. Let’s face it, there are bad times. Did you have a flat tire? Did someone get sick? Was there an injury? Did you miss an exit and end up in Albecurque? Things don’t always go as planned now matter how hard we try.
Hand over the pen. Let someone else share their thoughts about your journey. It is great to get perspective from another person.
The best thing about keeping a travel journal is having the wonderful souvineir once you return home from your trip.
You will find some amazing traveling inspiration in the O’Gallery here and even more here.
I hope these tips help you in documenting your next trip and inspires you to create a treasure from your journey.