Traveling gives you so many great moments and memories that you’ll want to cherish forever. But since the trip is so packed with experiences, it might be difficult to recall everything exactly the way that it happened. People, places, events, and adventures will probably all start to run together once you return home. It’s for this reason that you should journal your trip as you travel. It’ll allow you to keep all of those great experiences fresh and intact.
Some travelers may be somewhat intimidated, at first, by the thought of jotting down their adventures. Remember that this is for your benefit so you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself to make sure that it is perfect. It is supposed to be a reflection of your adventures. Have fun with it! There are no set rules for journaling. You’re not required to write pages of details on every adventure that you undertake. There are no minimum standards here. If you do not feel compelled to write, then don’t.
If you don’t have the time, or the urge to journal right after an adventure, then make a short list of key topics, people that you met, and places that you saw. Later, when you feel up to it, use the list to elaborate further. This way, you are sure not to forget something or mistakenly place it out of order.
Since this is your compilation of your experiences on your trip, make sure to cover everything. There are undoubtedly going to be some bumps on your trip that are less than pleasant. For example, your plane was delayed, your hotel couldn’t find your reservation, and it rained one whole day in a particular town. Your journal is supposed to be a complete detail of your adventures, so don’t be afraid to include everything that happened.
You might find it fun to enclose visuals and mementos in your travel journal as well. It might be a ticket stub, a flower petal from a unique plant that you smelled, or a feather from a rare bird that you saw. These are things that you would otherwise never experience, and now they are forever a part of your memory, thanks to your journal.
When I travel, I carry colored pens and a small composition book. I tend to journal with words and sketch what I see, even though I am by no means an artist. I like to sketch outlines, special views, or interesting angles I see, like a castle in Germany or pottery in Mexico. I try to capture what I see, hear, smell, and feel at that time, including details about people I meet. I also incorporate items I find into my journal like a seashell from the Bahamas or my metro pass from Paris. These things bring back the memory. Later, after I am home, I tuck photos into my journal to create a complete story of my travel adventures.
You can always add to your travel journal later on. There will be times after your return that you may want to elaborate on something in it. For this reason, always leave spaces between entries so that everything flows in sequence and you have the chance to share the full experience.
I also try to bring home some music unique to my destination and play it while completing my journal. This turns journaling into an almost meditative activity, reliving the experiences while finishing the capture of my trip to share with friends and family.