Whether you've got visions of being the next Peter Mayle, or you just want to have a good story to tell at the next party you attend, keeping a travel journal is a great way to preserve your memories. Here are a few tips for helping you to keep your travel journal.
Things You Will NeedNotebook, pen, or pencil, digital camera.
Choose a notebook that works for you. There are many pocket-sized notebooks on the market. A popular choice for many is the Moleskine brand. They're sturdy, small enough to fit into a shirt pocket, and designed to open flat so that it is easier to make entries. Keep your travel journal and a pen or pencil with you at all times.
Remind yourself that you are keeping YOUR travel journal. Don't try to copy another writer's style. What makes your travel journal and your trip unique is you. If you're stumped try writing in a conversational style, as if you were relating your adventure to a friend. Try to be as descriptive as you can. "The lemon tart was delicious" is good, but "The lemon tart's citrusy tang was contrasted by the sweetness of the tart shell" is a little better. Don't worry about spelling or grammar at this point.
Always bring your camera, preferably a digital one. You never know when you're going to have a once in a lifetime photo opportunity, and we've all heard the old saying, "A picture paints a thousand words." If you have a digital camera you can scroll through the photos when you have some quiet time to write. These photos will help you to be a lot more descriptive when you're making entries in your travel journal. Pack extra batteries before leaving on your trip.
Write in bed. On a good trip, it's easy to get so caught up in the sights, sounds, and culture of a new place that you never pause to jot your thoughts down in your travel journal. Writing in bed is a good way to wind down from the excitement of the day, and you'll be able to capture those fresh memories before they are lost to new experiences the following day.
A little diligence when keeping your travel journal will pay off for many years to come as you read of trips passed. All photos (C) Will Atkinson