I reckon everyone should keep a journal of some kind when they go travelling.
My main reason for keeping one is purely down to the fact that I’ve got one hell of a scattered memory! I often can’t remember what I had for dinner the other night; let alone what I did over a month ago! So, keeping a journal for the year that I was away in Aus seemed like a good idea! I didn’t like the idea of coming home, to find that I had forgotten almost everything I had just done!
I’ve kept a journal from the very first day that my travels began, from the second I walked through security checks at Aberdeen airport. Since then I’ve written about pretty much anything and everything!
Obviously the most memorable moments are put in there, but every now and then you get those ‘you-had-to-be-there’ moments where you laugh hysterically at something that seems so NOT funny, but you just have to note it down! So that, by the end of your travels, you can look back at those little moments and have a wee chuckle to yourself!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably forget to write in your journal at the end of every single day. Don’t worry, I’ve done it plenty!! In fact, there have been times where I’ve forgotten to write in it for over 2 weeks. Panic?! Just a little! What I’ve done over the past few months is keep a notepad at hand, so when the day is over, and I really can’t be assed with writing, I’ll note down what happened on that day. So, when it comes to writing it in the journal, I’ll have something to jog my memory, tada!!
Another trick – to save you having to buy journal after journal for the amount of time you’re away – is to write as small as physically possible!! My journal would have been well past full by now if I hadn’t written in teeny tiny writing! Simples!
You may be wondering… why did she not just type up her journal and throw it online? Well, firstly, I think it’s more personal if you hand write it. It’s like with receiving letters in the post, I love getting a hand written letter, it just has that personal touch to it, rather than a typed up one. Secondly, what if I can’t charge the battery on my laptop? Dead laptop, means no journal to write up! So I wouldn’t get anywhere with it, especially if I’m on the road! And third, I wanted to keep my journal to myself. I have recently started to put up slots of my journal onto my new blog, but I wanted to keep the bulk of it for me. Cause after all, it is near enough a diary, so I didn’t want every Tom, Dick and Harry reading my personal stuff!!
The great thing about journals too, and I guess about blogs also, is that you can write it in your own personal way. No matter how you write, or whatever style you chose to do it in, it won’t matter, you’re the author of this “book”, do what you want! Personally, I’ve written my journal like a little story, so when I get back home, it’ll be like reading a little book on the last year of my life!
Another great thing about journals is that you can keep your memories with you wherever you go. Not in some hard drive stored away in a laptop at home somewhere. You can slot it away next to all your other books, so whenever you feel like re-living, it’s there in your hands! You can lend it to friends or family to show them all the stuff you got up to, without having to copy and paste or email them some massive file with a year’s worth of words! Again… Simples!!
So, to conclude… if you’re planning to jet off to some sun drenched island, or live in a culture you never thought you’d ever be amongst, take and keep a journal.
As the stories of your travels happen around you, write them down so you don’t ever forget them.
Fill all the pages with words, sketches, doodles, smiley faces, anything you want that’ll re-kindle those memories over and over. Cause you don’t want them to ever fade away.