Why you might want to have travel journal
Journaling - is writing down your thoughts, memories, ideas and plans. It's calming, it helps to slow down your pace and be in the moment. Now, add to this an incredible experience of traveling.
You constantly moving, seeing new things, places, people, got into funny and not so much situations. It puts you out of your comfort zone. It's scary at first, but incredible and addictive later.
Writing on the go - is the perfect way to remain open to the experiences that traveling throws your way. And of course to keep those memories alive for many many years. Photo is great for capturing the moment, but if you also back it up with words of what you felt that moment or a quick sketch - the memory will truly come to life when you'll reread those pages.
When we are traveling - we are going not only on the outer journey but on the inner journey as well. We learn new things about ourselves and people with whom we are. Journaling can bring two journeys of the inner and outer worlds together naturally.
It's so easy to look but not see, hear but not listen when you are in the rhythm of everyday life. Travel will wake you up and bring up your senses and travel journal is an essential tool for that. Put back your camera for a while and interact with your travel journal like you would with a scrapbook.
If you are a digital girl as I am, what I love to do is to take snapshots of plane tickets, receipts, entrance tickets and pin them into pages of my Ipad journal. I like to write down what's happening at the moment, what I saw, draw sketches on the go.
I also have a small A6 paper notebook where I like to sketch when commuting and write down some timetables or key phrases about my experiences. I put those into my digital travel journal when I have more time, along with photos of the sketches I did. Gathering everything in one place 😃
Sketching is an awesome way to slow down and really commit to the moment. It's like meditation and skill practice at the same time. There are so many books about sketching, but I still believe that the best way is just Do it 😃 Start by drawing the object closest to you, then move to sights and scenes around and/or people you see at the moment. I'm not so good at quick sketching, but practice is a gem.
Get creative. You can decorate your pages with color pencils, watercolors, ink pens or if you are going digital - there is practically no limit in materials and colors you can use. There is always stickers if you are not an artsy person. Using stickers, photos, ticket or receipts snapshots and your handwriting - is already enough to bring your travels alive on the page.
Traveling often - brings the child in us and opens that creative drawer we all have within.
When you are overwhelmed with all the new things that going on around you, new people, strange culture etc., grab your journal. Start to write or sketch or pin down your snapshots. It'll calm you down and will help to focus on one thing in the particular moment. It's also a great pass time while commuting or waiting for the transport.
Comment in your journal on how different places or sites makes you feel. Have you noticed that some places have a different vibe to them? Traveling will definitely stretch you out of your comfort zone, which is important experience because it helps to freshen up your mind. Use your journal to notice how you respond to unfamiliar foods and cultures, of another way of doing things. How do you feel and react?
I can look back to my pages from Bali and remember how I was amazed by the beauty of the island, it's waterfalls and beautiful traditions they have. When people dress up and bring donations to the gods in the form of flowers and foods in banana leaves. Or flip through my Vietnam pages and remember how I was astonished by its crazy traffic. I mean, really, there are no rules on the roads there. The horn is in constant use as echo locator when they come to the intersection or just feel like it 😃. It was so unusual and bizarre.
I'm learning a lot about myself during my travels. I learned, that sometimes I might be too impatient regarding other people and that I need to adjust and not be so critical of other cultures. The stuff I'm constantly working on and documenting to get a better understanding of the progress.
Ideas for the travel journal
To sum up, here are some ideas about what to write during your travels to enhance your journey:
- At the start of your holiday, write down what are you hoping to get out of your trip? What are you looking forward to? What concerns you and why?
- Write down key dates and times,
- Commuting and accommodation details,
- Your experience using airlines or public transport in another country,
- First thought stepping out at the airport when you arrived. (You'd think that all airports are the same, but I'll never forget the airports of Bali and Singapore. There was such a DRASTIC difference and feel. In Bali you'll be harassed by the taxi drivers that will follow you even to the toilet in order to get you in their car 😃 In Singapore - there is peace and quiet, tall trees and Modern Metro link straight to the city center).
- Your plans for what you might want to see or experience,
- Strange foods or dishes you have tried,
- Unusual details in architecture,
- Fun situations or interesting people you run into,
- What amazes you,
- Places and cities you've visited, what interesting you saw there,
- Ideas on what to bring home as presents for friends and yourself,
- Invite new people you've met during your journey to draw or write something in your journal,
- If you don't feel like writing down a lot, create a list. Just an entry on the page where you add in a couple of words what stands out most and what you want to remember,
- Add a map to your pages,
- What about foreign currency? You can place a photo or actual banknote in your journal or trace over faces and backs of the coins.
It's just a small amount of possible topics. Travel journals are visual photo albums, but the picture is much more full because you also add your feelings, emotions and ideas.
What a pleasure it'll be to share your journal spreads with friends and family or to post it on social media. I'm always inspired to see someone else travel journals. Each one is unique in its own way.
Also, I found useful to write down the details of the trip. Like, where I get that delicious dinner or coffee, where I stayed or where I found that amazing stationery store. Then, if I return to that place or someone will ask me about those things, I'll have all the needed information. It's nice to pass over the knowledge wouldn't you agree?
Let me know in the comments if you already took your travel journal for a spin and please please share your spreads 😃
Talk to you soon,