Traveling is a great way to escape the rat race and experience new cultures and places. Alas, your experiences can fade with time. The best way to prevent this is to keep a travel journal for your trips.
Take a minute to give some consideration to your most recent trip. What sticks out in your mind? Now think about the first trip you ever took. Undoubtedly, you remember few things about the trip. The experiences you’ve forgotten are lost to time. If you had kept a journal, this would not be the case.
There are famous instances of people keeping journals throughout time. Of course, Anne Frank’s Diary is the best example. In her diary, Anne kept a running commentary of the two years her family spent hiding from the Nazis. While your travels will hopefully be more lighthearted, keeping a journal will let you remember them as the years pass.
A good travel journal combines a number of characteristics. First, it should be compact so you don’t have to take up unnecessary space for other things. Second, it should have a case to protect it from rain, spills and so on. Third, the journal should contain blank areas to write your notes. Fourth, the journal should contain cue spaces to remind you to keep notes on specific things. Cues should include:
1. Who you traveled with,
2. Where you stayed and if you enjoyed it,
3. Who you met and contact information for them,
4. Places to eat, and
5. Things to see and if you would visit again,
At the end of the trip, you should be able to get the following from your journal:
1. Contact information for other travelers and people you met,
2. Enough detail to provide you with a guide if you travel to the location a second time.
3. Memories to reflect upon years later, and
4. Something to give you children and grandchildren later in life.
To get the most out of your travel journal, you should spend a few minutes writing in it every day. Every day of a trip brings new experiences even if you’re just sitting on a train or bus. If you get writers block, you can note whom you met, what you saw, etc.
Traveling is a chance to experience new things and meet new people. Don’t lose these experiences to time.