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Should I Keep a Travel Journal?

Updated on November 23, 2020
Stella Kaye profile image

Stella has published a selection of travel articles and destination guides, accompanied by a wealth of photographs.

Keep a Record of Your Travels


Hold on to Your Precious Memories

There's perhaps a Michael Palin or Alan Whicker in everyone who enjoys travel and with this often comes the urge to write down your experiences, either to serve as a personal record or to be published eventually. As a keen traveller, if you wish to keep account of your travels, both at home and abroad, it's never been easier to do this. Nowadays you can even publish your adventures online at the end of each day of your trip if you have an Internet connection available at your hotel or you can visit an Internet cafe virtually anywhere. No longer do you have to rely solely on a notebook and pen to record your travels. Many folks don't bother with travel journals as they think they will never forget such profound experiences but unfortunately, with the passage of time, memories, even the best ones, do fade. A travel journal can serve as a gentle reminder and will help jog your memory so it can only be beneficial. Your family will also be grateful for a record of your experiences too, especially if they wish to travel to the same places you have visited.

Good to Go!


A Journal of Journeys

Keeping a travel journal is a great way to preserve your travel experiences and together with a photographic record, you'll have an excellent method of keeping precious memories fresh in your mind even after many years have elapsed. If you're a frequent traveller to obscure regions you'll soon find you can write with an authoritative voice and easily advise other travellers less familiar with such places. Trip Advisor is one Internet portal where you can do this as it's an excellent vehicle for posting reviews of virtually anywhere in the world whether it's a hotel, resort or attraction. You can use the information in your journal to post reviews on your return. There's a wealth of Internet writing sites and forums where you can add your completed travel journals and if you have travelled widely why not start your own travel blog to share your accumulation of knowledge with others?

When you're on a guided tour why not record the words of your tour guide or coach driver? This alone can give you valuable insight into the place you have visited and when you play it back at home this will assist you in writing up your journal. There is nothing more helpful than the knowledge and advice of a local but remember to verify your facts if you wish to publish a travel article based on your individual experiences.

A travel journal is always best recorded in a rough format when you're still on vacation rather than waiting until you get home. To completely capture the essence of place so your writing evokes the sounds and sights that surround you, you can at very least jot down a few poignant keywords that'll help to recreate the atmosphere you experienced.

Anyone can keep a travel journal and children too can be encouraged to keep a personal account of their vacation; this sets the scene for future travels as an adult. Even children too young to write can keep a scrapbook and mount entry tickets, maps and pictures from brochures etc.

All travellers should ideally keep a journal but don't get so engrossed in your writing that you let it spoil your enjoyment of the destination. Living for the moment is part of a truly enjoyable travel experience too. If you're constantly viewing everything through the lens of a camera, mobile phone or video recorder, pen and notebook in hand, then you may just as well have stayed at home and watched a travel program on TV. Take a few moments to just walk around and observe with no camera and no notebook to hand. Merge into the crowd and take in your surroundings. Travel itineraries nowadays are so full that you might not have as much time in one place as you'd like and you'll need to prioritise at times so you don't miss anything. Travelling in itself is only part of the experience of being elsewhere and you will also benefit from those profound moments to actually enjoy being where you are with no other distractions.

For those who don't have the inclination to keep a journal or choose not to for whatever reason, why not just send yourself a postcard from each destination you visit? If you remember to scribble down the date of your trip, who you travelled with and where you stayed, just those few lines will trigger memories at some future date and you'll soon be able to amass an enviable collection of postcards to bear testament to your travels.

You Can Still Keep a Journal When Travelling Light!


Creating a Travel Journal

Equipment for Your Travel Journal

After reading this article, are you inspired to write a travel diary?

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© 2015 Stella Kaye


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