I have never been the type of person to be able to stick to journaling or writing diaries, even when I was younger, but for our trip around Asia I thought it would be a great way to document our journey. I will admit I wasn’t exactly the best at keeping up to date with it and often had to play catch up, but looking back I’m so glad I stuck with it and included as much as I could.
After getting home, and even while we were still away, it was so nice flicking through random pages and reminiscing on what we had seen and done. My memory is pretty rubbish so it’s amazing having a document of the whole experience that I can look back on in future. My journal is by far my most treasured souvenir from my trip and I would highly recommend writing one on your own adventures.
There is no right or wrong way to write a travel journal, as after all it is personal to you, but I thought I would include a few tips and ideas to inspire myself and you guys. I have been pretty bad at keeping up with my own journal (and blog!) this time around so I wanted to come up with a few pointers for motivation.
Who are you writing for?
First of all I would consider who the journal is for, is it simply for you to look over in future or is it something you would be willing to share with friends and family? Also decide which format you would like your journal to be in. For example I keep my personal travel journal the traditional way with pen and paper, but I also use my blog as a journal where I can include photos and share my experiences with others.
Try and be as creative as possible with your journal. This is one thing I regret with my first travel journal, I kept it so simple when really I could have included anything I liked. Often people include sketches, stick in photographs or small mementos like ticket stubs. Obviously this is down to your individual preferences but I personally think the more creative the better. Having an instant camera would be brilliant for this. I had my Instax mini with me the entire journey so I’m kicking myself for not sticking them in!
Decide your own Schedule
Try not to stress too much about writing daily entries. Obviously it is better to write in your journal as often as possible but its better to have fewer, more detailed entries than daily ones that may not always be the most interesting. For example on my last trip pretty much every day was something new and exciting but this time around I am living and working in another country meaning I wont always have something to write about every day. I would recommend writing as often as possible but do it whenever you feel it is necessary or have something exciting to write about.
Bring your journal to life
When writing your entries try not to stick to the typical writing style of simply listing what you got up to. I am guilty of doing this myself but it doesn’t make for interesting reading! Try and be as descriptive as possible and write about how you’re feeling at that time, it will make reading back over it so much more enjoyable and you’ll be able to remember the experience much clearer.
What else could you include?
As well as documenting your days and experiences you could include little extras to help record your journey. For example you could include an itinerary of your trip either written or drawn on a map. Another idea would be to include a list of your top moments or experiences from the trip for a quick round up of your most memorable bits. Lastly another little addition would be to include the contact details of people you’ve met along the way that you would like to keep in touch with.