If you’re like me, then you probably have a ton of small scraps of paper, tickets, coins, flyers, maps, and the like, from your travels. I hated returning home with the daunting task of organizing and “filing” all those small tidbits into a scrapbook. I found a neat and fun way to keep those things in one place, while also documenting my travels and my personal experiences.
I began keeping travel journals in the form of a scrap book since my trip to Israel and Russia in the summer of 2012. Since then, I have incorporated the travel journal routine into all of my travels. I always pack a wire-coiled notebook and a small pen case with ten colourful fine line pens, two regular black pens, and a glue stick. Recently I have purchased a FujiFilm Instax Camera, so I could glue in personal pictures as well.
I made it a goal to document my adventures daily, simply because of the amount of things that I did every day, and because of all the stuff I accumulated throughout the day (e.g., bus tickets, tokens, maps, beer labels, etc.). With my recent discovery of the bullet journal, I might try to do the same but in point form to save me from all that writing.
Here are a few of my suggestions for keeping a travel journal that you would be happy to look back on:
- Use a wire-coiled notebook. They are best for gluing multiple pieces of paper into them. I don’t like the way the bound notebooks fan out after a while.
2. Pack extra pens and extra glue. Especially if you are traveling to a destination where you’re not confident if you’ll be able to buy your supplies. I have run out of pens, and was stuck using my coloured pens instead.
3. Try to set a goal for yourself. Perhaps writing in your Journal every day can be excessive. Set a reminder to write in it every other day, so the amount of stuff you collect doesn’t get overwhelming, and you don’t feel like you’re forcing the writing.
4. Make it personal. I’m guilty at forgetting this one. I am very analytical in my description of my experiences. You will enjoy reading your jounral in the future if you describe HOW YOU FELT during your adventures, as opposed to WHAT YOU DID.
5. Make it fun and colourful. Nothing is more eye-catching than a colourful recollection of your travels. That means adding some of your own flares, quotes, decorations, etc. Make it your own.
6. Don’t be hard on yourself. If you miss a day, or get a bit behind on your writing, don’t beat yourself up. Simply glue the items you have collected and write short descriptions about them. You don’t have to have a full ten-page entry about every single day. A page dedicated to just your souvenirs would be just as fun to look back on and remember.
I hope these helped you out. If you use any of these tricks, or are simply a journal afficionado like me, please use the hashtag #luckytraveljournal .