A Girl and Her Journal

27849521_10215672051744660_1136821295_n.jpg

A Girl and Her Journal

Keeping a Hold on Your Travel Memories

Keeping a Hold on Your Travel Memories

Keeping a journal while you travel is a fantastic way to document your experiences on the road. Even if you aren’t big on journaling in the sense of filling pages upon pages with words, you can still keep journals that will make great keepsakes. Here are some ideas to help you figure out what kind of journal-writing interests you the most.

1.) Personal Journal

The personal journal is my favorite for both traveling and daily life. I have been consistently keeping personal journals since I was 12 years old. This doesn’t mean writing every single day, because that’s not realistic. Checking in sometimes and locking in as many memories as I can spare the time for. While I was living abroad in Europe during 2015, I did write every day, as I wanted to document everything I was experiencing. Personal journals are an open-line of consciousness. Everything you’re feeling, seeing, doing, and thinking. When you read back through personal journals years in the future, you’ll be transported back to those exact moments, and it’s incredible to be able to re-live them.

2.) Travel Journal

I also kept travel journals during my trips abroad. Travel journals focus specifically on the places you’re exploring. In writing these, you take a step back from that open-line of consciousness and instead document what you’re doing in a specific city, or what your travel plans are. I used my travel journal for directions, hand-drawn maps, and other miscellaneous notes about where I was going. If something particularly interesting happened on a trip, I would document it in my personal journal instead, because I could go in depth on those pages. Travel journal pages are full of scribbles of street names and hostel locations.

 Journaling is a form of self-love. The more I journal, the better I know myself.

Journaling is a form of self-love. The more I journal, the better I know myself.

3.) To a Friend Journal

The To a Friend Journal is written as a letter to someone you care for. Anytime you’re writing in that journal, you imagine a one-way conversation with somebody you wish was there to share your travel experiences with you. I’ve written these for months at a time, each to different people I was close to. It may seem unrealistic to write an entire journal as a letter to someone who isn’t with you, but I find it emotionally healing to write as if I am speaking to my dearest friend. In today’s times, where it’s a gamble to even get a text back, receiving a hand-written journal from someone sharing their travel experiences specifically with you is a special gift. Wouldn’t you love to receive one?

4.) Benefits of Journaling

Many of my friends marvel at how many journals I have filled already and am still managing to keep completing throughout the years. It is easy to get lazy with journaling, as it is a big time-commitment. While I was traveling, journaling was easier for me to do than any time prior or since. I would journal at different moments for different reasons. Sometimes I’d be stressed, unhappy, lonely, anxious, or bored, so I’d journal. If I had the best day of my life I couldn’t wait to sit and write it down. Journaling is also a great way to be social even if you have social-anxiety, which I do!

Journaling is social because it’s a conversation-starter. Many times in hostels while I was journaling, people would approach me and strike up a conversation about my journal. “Wow, you wrote all of that?” Or, “What a beautiful journal! Where’d you get it?” Truth is, journaling somehow makes you cool. You seem interesting. I never did journaling to be artsy or hipster. I journal because I need to release my thoughts, or else they stay bottled-up. It was an added perk that people found me intriguing because of it, but I didn’t do it for anyone but myself.

 Keeping my journals safe is a big priority! No one is allowed to read my personal journal.

Keeping my journals safe is a big priority! No one is allowed to read my personal journal.

5.) So You’d Rather Be Typing?!

Hand-writing an entire journal can be physically and emotionally taxing, sure. It usually takes me over a year to fill a journal, writing consistently, mostly because of my tiny-handwriting. Plenty of friends have shared with me that they’d rather type than hand-write because typing is so much faster. Sure, it’s faster, but in fifty years when you’re showing your grandchildren what you did on your travels so many years ago, isn’t a hand-written journal going to be much more poignant than words on a screen? Your handwriting is a part of you. It’s your character. The physical journal will grow old and delicate as time marches on, but whomever is left to read your journals will appreciate that they’re not printed Word documents.

6.) Moral of the Journal

Even if you aren’t big on hand-writing anything, I suggest you give one of these journal ideas a try! Even if you only keep a travel journal and leave out the personal stuff. That way you can look back over your notes, first impressions of a city, who you met, where you ate, and so forth! Social media tries to rob from us the simple experiences that have mattered to us for centuries, such as the importance of documenting our lives on paper. I say, keep your phone full of pictures! But write about your travel experiences in a journal. In the future, you will look back, and be glad that you did.

Journaling Pinterest

Like it? Pin it!