Keeping a journal when you are travelling or taking a trip might seen like a bit of a drag. But done regularly and with thought it can become one of your most valuable souvenirs of an amazing life experience. Sometimes if you have never done it before it can feel a little overwhelming, but here are some simple tips to keeping a memorable journal of your epic trip! Even those who don’t enjoy writing can give it a go!
Update it regularly
Strike whilst the iron is hot they say and when writing your journal the best time to reflect on the day is straight away! Try to keep regular updates every few days to avoid it feeling like a mammoth task and also so you don’t forget what you have done! Each night before turning in dedicate half and hour to getting those memories down on paper!
Your journal doesn’t just need to be a collection of diary entries, make a collage or a mood board and do some sketches. There are plenty of other ways than just writing to express how you think or feel and some might feel more intuitive if you are not a great writer! Scanning is also one of our favourite ways to make a journal with all the bits we collect!
Train tickets, maps, leaves fallen from a tree! There are loads of quirky souvenirs you can collect for free that will allow you to visualise your trip more ad also remember the local details in more detail too. These little things are what got you around the city and they can really make a journal that much more meaningful!
Take the time to reflect
Use long journeys or those sleepless nights to really not just report on what you did that day or week but on how you felt too, who you met and what felt different. Think about the sights, smells, sounds and emotions you felt too!
If you are in a hurry or maybe you are not a great writer then you can always jot things down in bullet form or as notes. You can then go back and add some more detail later or expand on what you have written. The important thing is to get it down before you forget!
Make it personal
from a blog in the main part, you are not writing a guide to somewhere (although your journal will help in compiling that), but you are writing a diary of your experiences from a very personal perspective. Be brutally honest, let rip and don’t just write down a list of where you have been. Your journal is about allowing you to relive your journey again and again through the little things that make sit special, or emotional, the mixtures of emotions which comes with travel, the culture shocks and honest realisations! This isn’t a tidied up blog post, but an account of the craziness that is life on the road!
Try to get some of those digital photos printed off or take along a polaroid of something similar.Sometimes we become a bit snap happy with how many photos we take but if we occasionally print off a few to use in our journals we become selective again about which represent the most important moments of a trip. As a visual person myself those photos become so important to transporting me back to that time and place, and as they say: a picture is worth a thousand words! Don’t forget to caption it either with where it was and who was in it!
Whether you are a great artist or not sketching is a great alternative way to capture the essence of a place what I love about it is how personal your interpretation of something is, what details you choose to include and what to leave out. It becomes much more about your experience with that place than a photo can capture. It also means you have to sit back for a while and really look at something instead of just snapping and walking away. This can be a great time to reflect on where you are and what you are doing, slowing down can always benefit your mind, body and soul! It is also a great communal activity to do!
Make sure it is portable
We have back at home some rather large and heavy scrapbooks for documenting our travels once we return home. We love these and they have become something of a labour of love, but they are totally impractical to carry around with us! Take something lightweight and portable so that it doesn’t become a burden. It is easy to store or carry in your hand luggage so that you can grab it any time and write something down! That way once you fill it up you can always send it home without it costing a fortune either!
Blogging is also a great way to record what you do and where you go. We do it of course and what started off as a simple online journal has grown into a business that we love! Blogging for fun however is very different to blogging as a job and although it is about being honest and sharing your experiences with the world there is also so much you leave out too. Blog posts are more about information and helping others to get the most from their travels. We love sharing our perspectives too but keeping a journal at the same time is also a good way to keep some of the more personal stuff to ourselves!! Although, posting your journal online is a great way to share with family and friends whilst you are away!
Keep hold of peoples phone numbers, names and contact details who you meet on the road. Write down tips you are given, ideas for things to see and do or recommendations of where to stay! Your journal can be a great way to keep all that information stored from when you need it and to all you to keep in touch with people too! You can also use it to plan out what you want to do on your next trip or destination as those ideas come to you!