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Keep a journal of your travels

Travel Tip

Keep a journal of your travels.

Willie Nelsons’ song, On the Road Again, and the specifically the lyrics, “Goin’ places that I’ve never been. Seein’ things that I may never see again.”  is so true of travel and why journaling is helpful.

Travel is not only for experience, but also for the memories and your trip starts the moment you plan to go somewhere.  Sometimes, this may have begun years in advance.  It is at the time you confirm your travel that you start day dreaming, planning, telling friends and imagining what it will be like.

This is the time to start your travel journal. It is a great place to record such items as vaccinations, visa requirements and special shopping items such as good walking shoes or sun screen.

I have just started keeping a travel journal and one of the things I asked myself prior to starting was – Who is the journal for?  In my situation it is primarily for me, but I am always amazed at how often I am asked to share with friends, family and colleagues my experience in a specific destination.

Travelling often involves busy itineraries: museums, history and historical monuments, sightseeing tours, boats, trains, local culinary experiences, and more! By the time I return home and begin looking through the photos, recalling a guide’s name, an encounter with a local or a delightful meal, it is all a muddle of memories.  By writing a journal, when I am asked about my experiences I am better able to assist with details and treasured memories.

I think about the things I want to record ahead of time and make a list; the route I am travelling, names of the people I am travelling with, the new and different foods I experience – their taste and smell, special moments such as a sunset, view, or an unexpected interaction with animals or locals.

I also like to make note of local expressions, and funny road or business signs that I hear and see on my travels.

Personal souvenir

Your travel journal is your personal souvenir. It’s cheap – the only costs are the note book and pen or, if you’re a techy, a computer or electronic notepad. For you, the writer, your journal should be fun and entertaining to write.  Do not get hung up in the details of a moment to moment description of the trip and forget to enjoy each moment.

If there comes a day when you are no longer able to travel or your memory fades, your travel journal will take you back to a special time and treasured place on one of your journeys. 

Written by: Joan Niemeier