Travel journaling is a way to enjoy the present while making a record for the future. A little intimidated by the idea? If you aren’t used to writing daily or aren’t sure what you need to begin journaling, check out our tips for keeping a travel journal.
Why Keep a Travel Journal
There are as many reasons to keep a travel journal as locations to explore around the world. Travel journals are great places to keep a record of your trip: where you went, what you ate, and who you met. Beyond the basics, they can add depth to your journey by heightening your senses. How, exactly, did the chimes of Big Ben sound? Did the smell of fried chicken remind you of your favorite dive bar? By describing the small moments of your day, you are engaging more deeply with your experiences.
A travel journal is also a lasting keepsake from your journey. Be sure to record the good days and the bad, because both will be worth reading about again in the future (even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time!). Are you an aspiring writer? Journaling daily is a great way to practice the art of writing, even if it’s for your eyes only.
Get the Right Gear
Having the gear that is right for you is crucial to making travel journaling a part of your daily routine. Start by picking out your journal. Your travel journal will see a lot of wear from being shoved in your bag or purse, so choose one that has a hardcover (such as a leather travel journal) and an elastic to keep it closed. A journal that has a built-in pocket, like the NOMATIC Notebook, is perfect for keeping track of tickets, business cards, and receipts. If you’d like your travel journal to multi-task as a planner check out the NOMATIC Planner, which features blank pages perfecting for journaling on the go.
Once you’ve found the right planner for you, purchase a nice (but not too nice) pen. You’ll want a pen that can write fast enough to keep up with your thoughts. Have you ever noticed that inexpensive pens let out ink slowly? Get a pen that can glide over the page with ease. Don’t get such a nice pen that you are scared to lose it on your journey, though.
Learn to Make Journaling a Habit
The main reason people stop journaling is they simply haven’t made it a habit. When you were young you were trained in the habit of brushing your teeth before bed, and learning to journal every day is no different. Begin by dedicating yourself to journaling once a day for 30 days. It doesn’t matter if the journal entry is short or long, poetic or ranting. Pull the journal out of your travel backpack at the same time every day and jot down a few words. By forcing yourself to journal, you’ll get into the habit of doing it until it feels like second nature.
If you ever get stuck, or question why you are journaling, take a few minutes to read back through entries you’ve already made. Would you have remembered exactly how the rain smelled on the cobblestones in Montmartre if you hadn’t written it down? Did you forget about that perfectly cured cheese you ate at the little farmhouse in Istria? Looking back at the memories you have captured will help fuel your writing when it feels sluggish.
Move Beyond Words
A travel journal doesn’t need to be confined to words. Grab a postcard from the Sagrada Familia and stick it in with your entries from Barcelona. Press into the pages the wildflower you picked on the trail in the Alps. Paste in ticket stubs and napkin notes; make an imprint of your bright purple thumb after you do a color race. Doodle. Paint. Ask the new friend you met to write you a note inside. Be creative in whatever way feels right to you, and you’ll look back on those memories with pleasure.
Journaling opens the door to experiencing your travels in a whole new way, and for creating a record that you can look back on in the future. By choosing the right gear, making journaling a habit, and being creative, you’ll make your travel journal a lasting keepsake for years to come.
Get started on your journey by buying a NOMATIC backpack today!