How do you remember past adventures? Do you log them on social media? Do you keep a blog? Maybe you have a photographic memory and can recall every second of past travels perfectly (though for most people that’s not an option!)
Personally, my favorite way to preserve travel moments is by journaling.
Not to be confused with blogging, journaling is much more than just writing your crush’s name over and over again like you did in middle school (at least I did!). It’s actually a very therapeutic practice that allows you to reflect on your experiences, and record observations of things happening in the present.
It is in a way, very similar to blogging, though the main difference is that with journaling, you use a pen and paper (yes I know – what are those?!).
Keeping a journal in your daily life can be an arduous task, but it’s a great habit to get into when you travel. Here are a few reasons you should consider keeping a travel journal with you during your next adventure.
4 Reasons to Keep a Travel Journal
When you’re in the middle of an unfamiliar area, you’re exposed to many new things, such as food, history, art, and nature. And your senses are often overloaded.
With so much new stimuli around you, most people find themselves inspired. And inspiration is incredibly important in life; it awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations.
Travel is often quoted as a source of inspiration; when you’re out on the road you often have killer ideas without even trying. But how many times have you had a killer idea, only to forget about it later when your clarity is over?
That’s where journaling comes in. Even if you just keep a small notepad and pen with you while you’re out and about during the day, to record your ideas and inspiration as you have them in the moment, you can add them to your journal later.
Whether you’re a writer and you’ve had a brilliant idea for an article, had architecture ideas for the piece of Cincinnati real estate you just purchased, or thoughts on how to make your business better, journal your inspirations so you can reference the ideas when you get home.
One of the biggest reasons for journaling is to keep your memories alive, because it doesn’t matter how epic a trip was, details will start to fade from your mind over time.
Great journaling is about bringing an experience to life; how a destination made you feel, perhaps how something smelled, and often it’s the small details that really transport you back into the moment in time.
When you’re constantly on the go it can be difficult to recall those small details a week later, so that’s why we love documenting experiences and taking notes as we go. If you’ve got your phone with you, you can make vocal notes in a sound recorder to include in your journal when you sit down to write.
They actually say that journaling helps keep your memory sharp too – once you get into the habit of recording your days, it boosts your memory and comprehension, and increases working memory capacity – you’re essentially exercising your memory by journaling!
It’s a great idea to keep a glue stick with your journal, and paste in important things from your adventures. This could be anything from concert tickets, boarding passes, photos from your journey, or even receipts from a great meal you ate.
At this point, journaling then becomes a cool scrapbook over time; pick a travel journal with folders and pockets inside so you can secure memories of all shapes and sizes.
If you’re more of a type-A person, a journal is a great way to organize your thoughts, plan for the future, and keep important information together in one place.
It can be a great resource for recording important flight information, details about your lodging, lists of places to visit (and to avoid), and phone numbers of the friends you make along the way. So in this sense, journaling can be a great way to stay organized.
If you see things more in an analytical way, think of your journal as a log of your journey for reference during your trip and in the future.
Travel is often quoted as being a journey of self discovery, though journaling is too.
It allows for reflection and the ability to record thoughts and memories in whatever way appeals to you, whether that be visually or with words, whether you write train-of-thought paragraphs or record information in bulleted lists.
You’ll be able to see what you record as important in your travels, and by paying attention to what resonates with you and what you choose to remember, you can learn a little more about what you hold important in your life.
With that type of enlightenment, you can come home with a better understanding of how you see the world outside of your comfort zone. And this mindfulness helps you remain present while keeping perspective.