6 Reasons to Keep a Travel Journal
People have been traveling to and fro for thousands of years. Captains of ships had their logs, Lewis and Clark had a notebook they wrote their discoveries in and now you, the modern day adventurer doesn’t need to write about the stock of your fresh water, but it may be a good idea to write about your daily happenings.
Here are the reasons you DO need to carry that journal with you:
1. YOUR MEMORIES WON'T LAST A LIFETIME
When I was 18, my mother and I traveled to Hawaii as a graduation gift. A little mother-daughter time before I went to school abroad. That was 13 years ago. If you asked me what we did, I would hardly remember. I remember eating fish in a shack by the sea; I remember the Road to Hana was an amazing trip, and I remember being disappointed by the thin strip of sand they called beachfront. But, I know for sure many other things happened and beautiful things I saw and good times probably laughing hysterically with my mother at something stupid. If I had taken a journal, I would have someplace to go to jog my memory, and I know I would cherish those memories forever.
2. MANAGE YOUR STRESS
Travel is a great time, but sometimes the stress and the “surprises” and the circumstances around you can make you want to yell and scream. Take out those frustrations on a piece of paper and not on your traveling partner. Get a hold of yourself while putting pen to paper.
3. TRAVEL GROWS OUR CREATIVITY
Pablo Picasso said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” That problem, I think, can be solved with travel. Travel renews our youth, giving us dispensation to reclaim the original desire for art. Surrounded by the new, we once again have the eyes of a six-year-old, and suddenly we’re handed all the conditions necessary to become an artist again: inspiration, free time, a portable canvas (the journal), and a plethora of material.
4. A WEALTH OF INFORMATION
A travelogue is a vault of information that you wish to save, such as the name of the historic hotel in Banyalbufar, Mallorca, the artist you discover at a market in Jerusalem, the comical couple you met at dinner in Tuscany. A journal can store practical info that you want to remember but not necessarily share with your blog readers or email list.
5. A ROAD OF SELF-DISCOVERY
Travel removes us from our comfort zones, and we are forced to give up all control. In this sort of living, we are sure to grow. Watch yourself change every day by the way you handle the unexpected.
6. TIME TRAVEL
When you get home, you’ll unpack your suitcase, do your laundry and put your notebook in a drawer. It may stay in that drawer for years and become old and dusty, tattered and worn. It’s an amazing memento to come upon one day when you finally have time to sit down and read it. Or it may have to wait to be opened again by hands younger than you, an adventure for their new eyes, a trip into time.