Journaling is this neat little therapeutic exercise some people partake in on a regular basis – it helps them process complicated situations and complex feelings, solve problems, interpret dreams, and probably most often, encapsulate memories.
I am a terrible diary-keeper. If anyone wants to know my secrets, they’ll have to ask me directly, because I’ve never been able to keep a steady journal going. I’ve gotten through a day or two of consecutive writing, but I always end up losing discipline and my journal inevitably falls by the wayside.
The reason I bring up journaling is because it is a super handy practice to have while traveling! It’s also a practice I don’t have – but wish I did! Don’t get me wrong, I always bring a little pocket notebook along when I travel because it’s useful to have, but I rarely keep an actual travelogue.
You might be wondering, then, how I know journaling to be useful. Well, I had the pleasure of keeping a journal as part of a school assignment while in South Africa – and now, friends, I know what I’m missing when I don’t keep one. There’s no better way to preserve memories and thoughts than by writing down your reflections as they happen. Now, I’m not saying that journaling trumps photography – I know photos can do a lot to capture where you’ve been (I love my travel pics!) – but it’s an entirely different experience to go back and read your travel journal than to flip through a photo album (both equally fun!).
I’ll be honest, I kind of forgot about my South Africa journal until I was cleaning out my room this summer. I am quite obsessed with stationary and have a collection of pretty journals that are rather untouched – but one was more used and worn than its fellows. I remembered this journal as the one I had along with me in South Africa and began to skim – in no time, an hour had gone by. Wow, what an experience to relive a trip from four years ago – the journal brought back so many memories and experiences I had forgotten.
I went to South Africa with a group of graduate and undergraduate students, and at the end of our trip, one member of the group decided to combine photos and quotes from our journals to create a photo book. Honestly, I have never had a more precious keepsake from a trip!
If you’re planning a trip in the near future, I highly recommend keeping a journal or travel blog – trust me, you won’t ever regret having a record of what you’ve done and where you’ve been.
What else can your journal do for you?
So, you aren’t as in to keeping a diary when you travel? That’s okay! Travel journals come in handy regardless of how you use them. I always bring along a little journal when I travel because that’s where I keep a list of emergency contacts, passport info, embassy info, flight itineraries, useful websites, and a list of expenses (handy for Customs at the end of the trip!). I’ve also met people who glue city maps into their journals so that if technology fails them, they have a back-up at the ready (brilliant!).
Where can you get one of these fancy journals?
You don’t have to go far to find a good journal to bring along. Chapters and McNally Robinson each have an excellent selection (the journals in the pic above are all from Chapters). I’m also #obsessed with Tiny Feast and Rifle Paper Co.
Have you ever kept a journal on your travels? Hit me up on social or write a comment below. I love when you share your travel stories with me!
Until next week, stay well!