The Top Reasons to Keep a Travel Journal

The top reasons to buy and use a travel journal for your next trip!
Travel-specific journals are sold everywhere and are on nearly everyone’s packing list, but why? Every article about traveling talks about the need to journal and write down every detail of your trip (you really don’t), but what’s the use of them if you don’t write down every second of every minute of your journey?
I’m always an advocate for a travel journal (I mean, what writer isn’t?), but my journals are often filled with poems, snippets for any writing I’m working on, and novels in the works. I also use them to keep sane:
To Vent:
Sometimes, you go on trips with friends. Sometimes, those friends get on your nerves. It doesn’t mean they’re being terrible people and your friendship is about to end, it’s just because traveling can be stressful and adding in other humans around you 24/7 in tight quarters can ruin your day – quick. Writing down your frustrations, even if it’s just to bitch, can help keep situations from escalating. You can curse them out and say you’re the best person in the world – it doesn’t matter – because no one is reading it.

To Remember Where the Hell you Were:
Trips can be hectic. A lot happens on them and you see a lot in your day. You often come back from a day of sight-seeing utterly exhausted and just ready to eat a hunk of bread and fall into a soft coma. Writing down in your travel journal where you’ve been and what you’ve seen can help you when it comes time to collage up some pictures or make a photo album (does anyone but me do this anymore?). You don’t need to write down every tidbit, but if you’ve been snapping photos all day, write down where you started and ended to help jog your memory down the road.

To Gain Therapeutic Benefits:
I know, we just went over this up top. But, this is different than complaining about the sock that your friend left outside of her designated suitcase zone. This is just for you, and applies even when you’re solo traveling. Writing down your thoughts, dreams, and where you’ve been is therapeutic and can make your mind feel clearer, making sure you can enjoy the entire trip instead of stress over it.

To Re-assess:
It’s happened so many times: you’ve jam-packed your trip full of activities only to realize you really don’t want to do them. You’ve no time for shopping, sipping a coffee or relaxing on your itinerary. Writing down what you did that day, and then gauging your reaction, can help you plan the following days. Maybe you just need a day off, or a full schedule change. Maybe you’re not doing ENOUGH while you’re here. Whatever it is that your soul is craving, you’ll find out.
To Reminisce:
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love to go back through old photos and journals and just see where I was at in my thought process and what I was doing weeks, months, or years ago. Did my memory alter what really happened? Was I really that carefree? Was the trip really that horrible? Reading old memories of trips gets me through the times when there just isn’t a big enough budget for a new one.

2 thoughts on “The Top Reasons to Keep a Travel Journal

  1. The last two points are the ones that are most important to me – I want to remember things accurately, and I want to make sure I’m doing at least some of the things I want to do, even if my companion has other ideas. Jotting down stuff at any opportunity is good – easy in these days of smartphones because most other people are texting or whatever anyway, so you don’t feel like you’re doing something odd.

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    1. Right? Traveling with others – and doing what you want to do – can be one of the biggest obstacles when traveling! Sitting in a crowded cafe or in the street with a notebook never gets easy, that’s for sure!

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