6 Advantages of Keeping a Travel Journal
The endless memories you make when travelling the world will change your life for the better.
You'll feel overwhelmed with the opportunities that arise when travelling to another country. The thing is, how on Earth are you meant to remember it all?
I don't mean the time you did a sky-dive over the Great Barrier Reef or gazed down from the Empire State Building. I mean the little things too. Like that stylish coffee house in New Orleans and the way you smiled on the Sydney river cruise. There's a perfect way to capture these memories, and that's by writing a travel journal.
Keeping a journal is a fun hobby to keep whilst you're running around the world, and you'll be able to read back on it in years to come.
1. It's an incredible tool for self-development
Keeping a journal has long been an accepted tool in self-development circles.
If you’re honest in your writing about yourself and your journey, it can be an invaluable tool for self-reflection. It can help show what you truly value, things you love and where you are directing your gratitude. Yet on the other side, it can also highlight areas of your journey where you’ve felt down, stressed or even angry. You then learn what sparks these moments and how to deal with them.
At the end of it, you see that these moments are but small hiccups on a journey filled with incredible experiences, destinations and people. The good far outweighs the bad and it allows you to accept each, hand in hand, in getting to where you want to go.
Being honest and truthful within a travel journal can be tough. But you will look back on your journey, both physically and metaphorically, with a sense of accomplishment of your development.
2. You can write wherever (and however) you like
Keeping a travel journal doesn't mean you have to write for hours on end.
You can spend a few minutes a night writing about your favourite parts of the day. It's a shorter version of a diary, and it's very flexible. You're keeping this travel journal for your memories, so it's your choice when you want to write them down.
The cool thing is, you can write your daily journal entry wherever you are! Whether you're leaning against a train window or grabbing a late-night bite in a cosy corner of Seattle, it's a chance to write. It also helps you pass the time that you spend waiting in airports or bus stations. You can set a reminder on your phone if you're likely to forget to write in your journal every day. You don't want to miss a date and regret not knowing what you did.
Most prefer the touch of a pen and pad, dedicating a moment to writing. But if this doesn’t work for you, don’t force it! This is an incredibly individualistic process, which is personal to each person. If you feel more comfortable in technology than pen and paper, you can download various different journaling apps, or use the likes of Evernote to collate your thoughts.
3. It's a great way to stay organised
You can use your travel journal for more than logging the daily magic you make when exploring new places. It's an ideal way to jot down what mode of transport you used, timings, and keeping a financial track of things.
By keeping a note of your spends in your journal, you can figure out what you need to prioritise. From accommodation to food, it's better to be stress-free when keeping on top of your travel spends.
Of course, keep an eye on your notebook if you're going to include this type of information. Make sure you don't disclose anything that you wouldn't want anyone else to read. In the rush of hopping from one San Francisco tram to another, you could end up misplacing your journal. I'd suggest keeping it tucked away in the same part of your bag, that way, you know where to find it!
4. Store, recollect and share stories
Imagine having all your irreplaceable memories written down in one place!
You can pick up the journal, and share your whole adventure with someone who wants to hear all about it.
When you go travelling, one of the hardest parts about coming home and sinking back into reality is having to answer the question; 'How was your trip?'.
It's so difficult to get your words out about how eye-opening your travels were. This way, you can easily access your memories without struggling on where to begin! You can talk about your visit to an Orlando waterpark or the sunrise on Bali's Sanur beach. With your journal to back you up, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to share everything with your loved ones.
5. You'll realise how much you've accomplished
Trying to piece together your travels can be impossible if you've been doing it for a long time. You'll have done so many remarkable things, and you may have even forgotten some of them. Keeping a travel journal is a heartfelt way to reflect on the amazing time you've had. It may even surprise you with how much you've done.
They say that ‘the eyes are the window to the soul’, but I say travelling is the window to the soul! You will grow so much, create friends for life, and experience a love for new things. Through visiting and enriching yourself in other cultures, you'll grow as a person. Why wouldn't you want to make a note of it?
The best part is, it'll remind you of how good it felt to get out into the world.
6. You'll inspire yourself (and others!)
If someone came to me with a book full of reasons on why I should see the world, I would read them without hesitation.
This is your chance to use pieces of your immense adventure for the rest of your life. Your memories of hiking in the Grand Canyon can be useful in a motivational speech at work. Roller-blading along Santa Monica Pier could create a new personal hobby. You can inspire others to go further, and take on their dreams without worrying about how to do it - you can show them. You'll influence people to write a travel journal as well. Awesome, right?
You can buy a journal before you set sail, or when you arrive. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Any notebook or pad will do. For those of us who are more technologically capable than others, or who prefer to use their phone, then make the most of the plethora of apps out there As long as you write down your memories, it'll be priceless.
You won't regret keeping a travel journal!