While we love our pictures and videos of our travels, sometimes we want to try something new to create memories. Looking for something new and intriguing to capture those moments? Start a travel journal!
Keeping a travel journal or diary is not just for seasoned travelers or professional writers. It doesn’t have to be fancy or sophisticated, either. You can write it just for yourself, or share it with others (via a community forum or friends & family). Your travel journal gives you the ability to reflect upon the thoughts and feelings you experienced on your trip, page by page.
The thought of starting (and maintaining) a travel journal may sound intimidating, but it’s actually quite easy. Since there aren’t any hard and fast rules to making one, you have complete freedom to create and design your journal any way you want – do what works for you!
Here are some basic tips to jumpstart your travel journal:
- Make your travel journal one of your necessity items on your packing list. Remembering to take one with you is already a step in the right direction. Keep it with you in a carry-on bag so that you can start documenting the experience as soon as you head out.
- Write about the first thought or feeling that struck you when starting each journal entry. If you were amazed at the sight of the Eiffel Tower, write about it. If you were confused about an item you saw while touring the Smithsonian, jot it down. If you met he nicest flight attendant ever, or encountered particularly rude customer during your bus or train ride, write about it. Documenting what you first felt or thought during a particular experience gives you the chance to capture the essence of that moment while you’re still in it. It helps solidify the memories of the experience in your mind, and gives you a point of reference to return to time after time.
- Write in your journal daily, and date each entry. Even during a full day of tours and excursions, writing something in your journal (even if it’s only a couple of quick notes) helps you to keep the flow going of chronicling your travel experience. Dating each entry is simply just to keep track of each day and the experiences you have.
- Use pictures or other memorabilia to attach to each journal entry. Your travel journal can double as a scrapbook when you attach items like pictures, ticket stubs, theme park wristbands, or other items of importance to each entry.
- Use your free time to write in your travel journal. Maybe you have to take a cab to get to your destination, or wait 15 minutes for the next shuttle bus to transport you from the theme park to the parking lot where you parked your car. You may even have to wait a few minutes to be seated for dinner at a restaurant in town, or you’re admiring the skyline as the cruise ship pulls away from the pier. These and other instances provide great writing opportunities for your journal. You can really get into writing about your day, and pass the time while you wait.
Whether your travel journal will be for your own personal use, or you plan to include it in a magazine or a blog, be sure to write down however it is you’re feeling in those moments as well as what you experienced. It’ll prove to be one of the best ways to share your experience and relive the moment. Once you get started, you’ll likely ask yourself why you didn’t start one sooner.
Happy trails (and happy writing)!