Top 8 Reasons Why You Should be Keeping a Travel Journal
Time flies and life can get the best of us, especially when we’re travelling and always on the road. No matter how centered you may feel in your “normal” life, it always seems much harder to be present and mindful while travelling. Ironically, though, travelling is a time when we should most want to remember every last detail – every view, every taste, every sensation, and every thought.
While our memories will never quite compare to the joy of actually being in a place, one of the best ways to make the most of your travel experiences – both pragmatically and emotionally – is by keeping a travel journal. Though it takes time and effort to do so, you’ll likely look back one day and be glad you did. Here are eight reasons why you should be keeping a travel journal:
1. A record for travel logistics
In the pragmatic sense, keeping a travel journal is wonderful for remembering what you did during your trip. For the occasional traveller, this may be unnecessary, but for someone who is trekking across the globe or moving abroad, specific details about every little trip can start to get hazy. By writing down the details in one place, you won’t find yourself searching your email for hours for the name of that great hostel or tour group from your trip.
2. A way to navigate emotions and thoughts, as well as any impact the trip had
Because travelling is an emotionally all-encompassing experience, it can be quite draining – regardless of how much you love the adventure. A journal can help really internalise the experience and how it’s affecting you over the long haul.
3. A way to make notes for future visits
One of the most functional parts of a travel journal are the literal “reminders” you can give yourself of your experiences. Maybe you learned that staying in another part of the city would have been more enjoyable, or maybe you visited one attraction but ran out of time to visit another. A travel journal allows you to concisely organise your past trips to make future return trips much more effective.
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4. A way to remember good and bad experiences / do’s and don’ts in that country
Have a great story about taking the underground in another city? What about that delicious dinner or amazing sunset spot? Again, these are details that (believe it or not) can be difficult to remember after a while. Take a moment to jot down your experience and “tips” for yourself for future visits.
5. A written scrapbook or memory holder
In the same manner we take pictures, we should also consider keeping a journal as a way to reflect on and remember our time in a foreign place. Journals can even go one step further than pictures, since you yourself give the narrative.
6. A great reference tool for making travel recommendations to friends or family
Family and friends know you travel, so they ask your advice – and, probably really often at that! Why not make giving travel advice much easier on yourself by having all your arrangements and itineraries in one place? The person seeking recommendations will appreciate it, too.
7. A relatively safe travel item
Unlike phones or laptops, which are huge theft targets, a travel journal is not a typical victim of theft (unless it happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time). This makes it a safer choice for documenting travels than, say, photos taken by expensive phones or cameras. Obviously, we want to get great pictures too, but if something does happen to get stolen, our travel journals can help retain some information about the trip.
8. A personalised souvenir of all travel memories
By the time you’re done journaling your travels, you’ll realise that you created the world’s cheapest souvenir of your trip – one that’s completely personalised to your specific experiences. Then, you’ll have it for years to come. You can refer to it during special occasions and holidays, when friends visit, or even when your wanderlust acts up.
A travel journal is one of the best things you can do for yourself, both now and into the future. Consider starting one before your next trip!
How do you best remember and reflect on your travels? Share with us in the comments!