How to Write a Great Travel Journal
Traveling enriches your life in so many ways. So, why not make those experiences more permanent? A travel journal can hold onto your memories and help you revive them whenever you wish. You can’t remember every detail you see, hear, or become a part of during your adventures. But the journal can. Create a collection of thoughts, experiences, memories, and discoveries. Later you can use it as a reminder or write a thrilling blog post enriched with details. The journal will be there to retell your stories. If you are ready to embrace journaling during your travels, here’s what you need to know.
1. Make To-Do Notes
A journal doesn't need to be used only for describing past events. You can use your journal to write down any travel-related information. Include in the journal what you want to do, see, or visit on your trip. This can be useful as you’ll keep all trip-related details in one place. Create a to-do list before you set sail to a new adventure. You can note down the restaurants someone recommended, as well as, the museums, relevant monuments, and so on. Tick off the places and things you've managed to experience. You can also use this as a reflection of how much you've got done.
2. Share Your Expectations
Whether we like it or not, we all have travel expectations. Writing down those expectations can be an interesting starting point of your journey. Use your journal as your faithful confidant. Confess how you imagine the trip would be. Describe your thoughts on local cuisine, what the locals will be like, what kind of feel the city will have, and similar expectations. It will be fun to compare what you thought the experience would be and what it was.
3. Specify Date and Time
Writing down the date and time will help you retrace your steps. Even if your journal entries are scattered, you can use the date and time to put them in order. The date and time will also give you some context. For example, a thought you share can have a completely different feel if it’s written at 2 a.m. or 2 p.m. Small details such as these can give more power to your journal. The power to take you back in time.
4. Make Entries Along the Way
Let your travel journal catch every captivating thought. Save the emotions that overwhelm you while traveling by writing them down instantly. If you make entries periodically, you can lose the raw thoughts and emotions. Instead, keep the journal close to you at all times. Whenever a thought pops into your mind, write it down, right there on the spot. When you are writing on the spot, you can illustrate what you see or jot down a fun dialogue. Such travel gems can be golden when you want to relive the trip.
5. Write Down Fun-facts, Traditions, and Relevant Information
Have you ever heard a great cultural story on a trip, but you’ve forgotten it with time? It happens to most of us. At least to those who don’t keep a travel journal. You can hear wonderful and compelling stories from locals, travel guides, or fellow-travelers. However, those amazing stories can get lost if you don’t find a way to save them. A travel journal can be your treasure chest filled with historical data, folk tales, locals’ traditions, etc. You can combine what you hear from people and what you find online to round up the story about a city or country. Collect the information on your destination from various sources and then write it in the journal. For example, you can visit additional sites to find essay samples on various topics, including history, culture, and traveling. When you combine the information from online sources and live sources, you’ll get yourself a true image of the place you’ve visited.
6. Don’t Edit or Overthink
A journal is for your eyes only. Don't think too much about what you'll write in it. The spontaneity will add colorfulness and vivacity to your journal entries. If you plan to repurpose your entries for a blog or article, you can give some structure to your journal. Just as a guide for what you need to cover. However, the beauty of a journal lies in the freedom that comes with it. You can write about some specific elements but also include a stream of consciousness. That journal can embody your adventures. Don’t edit them or embellish your sentences. Write about what you see or think, and the writing will be more than good enough.
7. Promote a Journal to a Memory Book
Why settle with writing? A journal can be so much more. It can be a real memory book. In addition to writing, fill your journal with photos, tickets, bottle labels, or whatever caught your eye. Not only will you add some color to the pages, but you'll also make the entries more interesting. Pictures and other trip-reminders can give more life to your entries. The journal will allow you to keep all memories in one place.
8. Do Trip Overviews
Once you get back from the trip, sum up your thoughts and feelings in your journal. Just as you shared the expectations, share your overall impression as well. The rush of adrenaline and the unknown can jeopardize your objectivity during the trip. However, when you get back home and reflect, you can give a more objective conclusion to your trip. The expectations, the in-the-moment entries, and the impressions make a powerful trio. You will be able to look back on what you thought the trip would be, what you experienced during the trip, and what you felt when you came back.
Journaling Has No Boundaries
A great travel journal is the one that reflects you and your journeys. There is no right or wrong. What these tips can do for you is to help you create a more complete and diversified journal. However, whatever you choose to share is more than enough. Remember that there are no limits. You know best what triggered you to start a journal. Fulfill that goal by allowing a travel journal to save your memories.