I love keeping a journal, and although I’m not always great at being consistent with it in my day to day life I always put the effort into daily journaling when I’m traveling.
Well I started at as the best way to remember specific details of where I went and what I did. That way I could look back at my journals and tell everyone about my trips in better detail than just relying on my memory.
But, it’s also so much more than that. Journaling while travelling can be an anchor of sorts, making sure you always in check with your own emotions, thought, and worries. Travelling can be stressful and draining, as well as exciting. Making sure all those thoughts have a safe place to go after a long day means you can start every day fresh, with new excitement and optimism about the journey ahead.
Going back to old journals always make me reminisce about trips I’ve gone on in a different way than just looking at pictures.
So if you want to keep a journal but need a little help I have a few tips on how to keep on top of it.
- Make it a Habit
I like to write at night, that way I can reflect on the day before having to plan or think about the next one. No matter if plan for the morning, or at night set aside a specific time of day to do it. That way it becomes a part of your routine while traveling. You can always catch up in your down time if you get behind (See #3)
- Keep Short Lists
My biggest problem with keeping a travel journal is falling behind. Once I miss a day or two I have a harder time remembering which things I did which days. I found writing a jot note list of what I did for the day was always important, even if I had less time to write a full page entry, and if you’re not really into to writing you can use that as your main way to journal. Are you a foodie and want to remember every restaurant, the food you ate, what it cost and how it made you feel? You can easily put that in a list form rather than a full page of writing and not stress about elaborating much.
- Journal in Your Down Time
When I was in Europe I travelled from city to city by train and found this to be the perfect opportunity to catch up on journaling. It was relaxing watching the German countryside while reflecting on the previous day. If you’re on a long trip, there is usually no shortage of airport waiting time, bus travel, and delays where you need to fill time. So rather than being frustrated you can’t connect to the wifi, use it as a way to catch up on journaling and reflex on the journey you’ve had so far.
- Keep the Maps and Pamphlets
I know this makes me sound like a huge tourist but love pamphlets and maps! I love the pictures and information they give you on a landmark. I also love having the correct spelling of the museums and landmarks I visit so I can write them down in my journal. Again this is a great way to be able to accurately talk to other about your trip, keep a blog or scrapbook and learn more about the history of a place after you visit it. Most major tourist attractions offer maps and pamphlets in a variety of languages.
Bonus: Taking a pamphlet in your first language, and the language you are planning on learning
- Keep a Digital Journal
Personally, I’ve always loved keeping a hand written journal on most of my trips I’ve gone on because my thoughts flow better that way but for many who are too afraid to start journaling because they don’t like the permanence of pen to paper this may be a great way to do it. If you get behind a few days you can start from your current days and work your way backwards so that you aren’t missing anything important from your trip.
There’s lots of value in journaling with you travel, and lots of ways you can keep one. Since I know how important it can be, I want to make it easier for you. I’ve created two different travel templates, a printable version, along with a fillable pdf version. To get the download for these, just sign up to my e-mail list below. Happy Journaling!