Keeping a Travel Journal

Misadventures-with-Andi-Guest-PostWhat kinds of traveling do you do? Whether you hit the road every weekend or only get out of town once in a blue moon, keeping a journal while you travel enriches the experience. Sending journal-entry “postcards” to yourself supplies many satisfactions.

The moments of quiet writing provide the relaxation and reflection that help you better enjoy the rest of your travel day. By articulating your plans, experiences, and thoughts in your journal, you strengthen your perception, appreciation, and curiosity.

Another benefit of journaling your travels is that you can make lists of supplies, towns, equipment, landmarks. You can make note of what works as planned and what doesn’t, for future reference.

And of course, an important reason to journal is to provide a record of your experience for posterity.

Note that different people may journal their travels in vastly different ways. One might make lists of activities experienced each day. Another might let their stream of consciousness range freely for an hour after breakfast. One describes in detail the open air market visited today, and another pours out love sickness on every page. This person journals about the accommodations and that one explores the local history.

You want your travel journal to be compact. Depending on your particular journaling habit, you may even want the journal to be pocket-sized. Carry a pen that won’t leak.

It’s best to journal when you are comfortable doing so, and not because you’ve committed to it. Don’t force anything. If you are new to journaling, you might have to focus hard the first few times, but the process should become self-motivating before long. Journaling and traveling go together like yin and yang.

That means that some might journal every few days, while some might be making notes all day long. One journaler will whip out his notebook when the spirit calls, while another will dedicate a certain hour to the task. Some may write for an hour every morning; some will scribble a quick ten minutes before nodding out at night. It’s the reliability and not the frequency that matters.

Don’t forget to add glued-in collage elements – bits of cards, photos, tickets, stickers, whatever – that are also part of your travel adventure.

One enchanting way to enrich your journaling practice is to include sketches. This is an especially good idea when you’re traveling, and being exposed to new sights. You don’t have to be an artist to sketch in your journal, either. You just have to do it.

Once you start journaling as you journey, you’ll want to keep it up for the riches it returns to you. Later, you’ll look back through the lens of your journal and know again the full satisfaction of your travel experiences.

You wouldn’t travel without your camera, would you? The same applies to that little journal book!

About  Mari L. McCarthy

Mari is a Journaling Therapy Specialist and founder of Journaling for the Health of It™.  Visit Mari’s blog for more post on creative journaling. In Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life, Mari presents a gentle process for self discovery through journaling.

Mari’s latest publication is titled, Your Money Matters! Use Journal Writing Therapy to Get Financially Fit Now.

And Mari has graciously donated a copy of her ebook, Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life to give to one of my fabulous readers!

To enter for a chance to win, please leave a comment on whether you keep a travel journal or not and how you use it if you do. If you don’t journal, leave a comment letting me know why you don’t!  This could be your chance to get started!

Leave your comment one way or the other by next Thursday, September 8th midnight PST to enter.  I will use Random.org to select a winner.

Good luck!

Comments

  1. I have kept a travel journal for years. It’s so great to back and read them after several years. It’s especially helpful when I don’t retain the names of various places where the language is different, like Norway. I’ve never tried drawing in one. I’ll have to give that a try.

  2. I’ve never tried drawing, either-nowadays I just write down everything happened which I later blog about in my personal blog.
    If the giveaway is international, I’m in :).

  3. I do not keep journals but I have been wanting to start. It just seems like such a big step to fit it in.

  4. When I was a kid I used to keep a journey journal wherever I use to travel,but that was more of my day out on that trip rather describing my views about that place.It used to be like I went here around this hour of the day, we did this and that their and the history of this place says this,etc.I think it was more of a formal journal of what I did throughout the day.Not something which will describe my view point about the place.

    Now as you have come up with this fantastic book about how to keep travel journals and benefit from them, I think it is a fantastic idea and I would really like to learn this technique and use it…maybe for my own good.Right? :)

  5. Amanda Jasinski says:

    I’ve never kept a travel journal or others like it. I just have never seen the point and I’ve always found it embarrassing to look back! However, I love the idea of using journaling to discover who you are and as a form of therapy. I’m going to make a note of this – even if I don’t win.

  6. I’ve been keeping a journal since junior high. I’ll admit, there are huge gapping holes in my journal history and I notice I journal less when I feel the least excited about my life – probably when I need to journal most. Journaling is important, not just for having an outlet but also years later when reflected on how far we’ve come or the turns we’ve made. It’s just an amazing habit and one day your children may stumble upon them after you’re gone and they’ll discover things about you that keep you alive in their hearts, things they never knew, secrets you never told, but that would somehow make those around you love you more if only they knew just how human you are too…

  7. I keep travel journals (and regular ones)- I try to paste in things like room keys and other random scraps from the trip, as well.

  8. I haven’t kept a travel journal! There is not a real reason why I haven’t, maybe being lazy or thinking I will remember everything but honestly I know I don’t! After reading this I think either way I will keep one! Thanks for the great blog and changing my mind about this!!

  9. I don’t keep a travel journal..never have. I do have a personal blog that I write about my travels in later. Your article kind of made a light bulb go off in my head. I don’t use my computer on vacation, so i don’t get to capture my thougts until I get home. Next time I travel, i will either bring a laptop or start writing things down.

  10. I haven’t traveled much, but two years ago I got to travel to Uruguay! It would have been wonderful to journal my 10 days there. You did bring something to light for me, maybe…just maybe my kids would like to read of my travels someday. I guess your journal would be a great jump start for me. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Our family does a very small travel journey when we are camping in the summer. It is a simple idea to help us keep track of the places we have visited and fun things that we have done with the kids.

  12. The reason I don’t keep a travel journal is because I don’t feel like I travel much! But I need to start keeping one for even the small weekend trips so I remember them! That is why i need this!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. After getting divorced, I decided to start journaling, but not for travel. it’s been really helpful and soothing, but i’d love to learn more!

  14. Yessica Saenz says:

    I never tried or tought about it, but sounds interesting I would love to try!