Journaling is a great way to start or end the day. Having a notebook to keep your thoughts in helps to get them off your chest in a perfectly anonymous way and makes for a great keepsake for reminiscing to later on in life. This concept is even more important when you’re off frolicking through the forests of Germany or wandering the streets of Tokyo. You’ll get so absorbed in taking in as much culture as you can that you’ll end up forgetting half of what you did on your trip. This is where the idea of the travel journal comes in.
Keeping a travel journal is feasible even for people who don’t enjoy writing, or on the contrary for people who write all day every day and have no desire to do so outside of their working hours. Sure, you could get fancy and start writing poems about the pastries you sampled in Paris, but a list of what you did is a great place to start. It can be nice to elaborate into things that smelled interesting and people that you encountered while miserably lost, but don’t force yourself into anything that doesn’t feel comfortable and organic, otherwise you won’t bother after a couple of entries.
If you want to go the multimedia route, you’ve got a couple of options. To be old fashioned, you can carry a glue stick with your journal and periodically pop in bus tickets and interesting leaves. If the idea of writing by hand really gives you the hives, take notes in your phone and print them out when you get home to stick in a notebook. Even though it will not have the same effect as writing something by hand, even in your horrendous penmanship, the material will be there for you and your children to enjoy years after your journey.
Similarly, investing in a Polaroid camera and a Sharpie pen is a great way of capturing moments sparingly. Taking notes on the picture itself is an easy way of controlling your word count while practicing your handwriting skills. Glue the pictures in a journal and add as many captions and your heart desires. This is a fun way of sharing your memories with people that enjoy reading even less than you like writing.
Making audio recordings of interesting sounds or of your impressions as you go is a possible approach if you’re more of an auditory person. Use the record function on your phone, then transfer the files to the computer for something that won’t yellow over time. The only problem with this option is that the recordings themselves can be of mediocre quality, so you might have worked so hard to perfectly phrase your experience exploring the Luxembourg gardens, only to find out that the noise of screaming children passing through completely overpowered your voice.
Whatever your style of journaling may be, being able to express yourself while in transit is crucial. Even if your trip is going poorly and you can’t wait to get home, making a list of the terrible things that are happening to you is quite therapeutic. Who knows, you may even find yourself amused at this horrors later on. Regardless, it will help you keep your travel stories straight.
If you aren’t the type of person to make friends with the first person sitting next to you in a coffee shop, traveling can get lonely. Having something that allows you to communicate, even if it is to a worn-out notebook, will be greatly beneficial.