I get it. When you’re on vacation, all you want to do is bask in the moment. Live in the moment, take in everything around you, the sights, the sounds, the smells, everything. And while you’re in the moment, it feels as if the feeling will never go away, but if you really want to be able to remember everything your best bet is to document it through a journal. Not only will a journal help you remember the details, but it is proven to be good for your mental state as well, seeing as it helps you destress and reflect on the experiences you have had that day. I always find time to journal while on a trip for those reasons exactly, and here are some of my tips to keeping one (and staying motivated.)
GET A NEW JOURNAL
In my case, the journal I was using for this whole year actually accurately depicts traveling and my perspective on the world, so I didn’t feel the need to get a new notebook for the trip. However, if you’ve been using the same plain notebook for the past few years, it may be time to change things up a bit. You might think that you enjoy all plain and simple things, including the same old notebook, however having a new notebook, preferably with a design on it that inspires you, can be the most energizing and motivating force there is to keep writing in it. If you see the journal and you feel happy inside, it will make you more inclined to write in it and bring it with places.
START WRITING A FEW DAYS BEFORE YOU LEAVE
If you aren’t a regular writer, it can be kind of hard to get into the mindset of journaling and setting aside time in your busy day to write. To make sure you don’t chicken out because you’re having a hard time with the schedule adjustment, I suggest starting to get into the routine a few days before you leave. Even if its just a few sentences or a whole page on what happened that day, it will make you more comfortable writing and expressing yourself before it comes time to leave.
DECIDE WHEN ON THE TRIP YOU WILL WRITE
Though many vacations seem that they are over too soon, and there wasn’t enough time to complete everything, there always is some leftover time that can be used for writing. I almost always write before the trip while on the airplane or in the car heading to our destination. Usually, this entry encompasses how I feel prior to the trip, how the transportation is, and what I am excited to do at our destination. Then I start to write more regularly as the trip goes on. Oftentimes, I make my goal to write at night once all the fun of the day is over and I’m reminiscing while I upload pictures. However, depending on the vacation there may be other times more suitable to relax and write instead of doing it at night. If you are on a beach trip, or on a cruise, you can take some time while sunbathing by the pool to write. Or if you are on a road trip or a trip that requires a lot of driving, you can set aside some time in the passenger seat to write. Either way, there will always be some downtime in which you can take ten minutes to write about your day. You won’t regret it!
DONT ELIMINATE THE SMALL STUFF
Obviously, you are going to want to write down all the main things you did that day. Except if you are on a sightseeing trip where you are taking a lot of pictures, you will remember seeing something like the Eiffel tower whether you write a whole page on it or not. What you may not remember is the small cafe you ate at, or the other vacationing family at the park you met. If you really want to get the full experience when you read back through the stuff you took the time to write, it’s important to include the small stuff and descriptions of the places you went, not just a laundry list of what you saw that day.
USE ALL YOUR SENSES
Traveling isn’t just about seeing new things, it’s about experiencing new things. When you experience something you use all your senses to do so. So why would you leave them out while writing about it? Not only should you write down the things you saw, but also the things you heard, whether it be a funny dialogue from a couple sitting near you, or the chirping of birds outside your room. Write down the things you tasted, were they any good? The things you felt, from your inner emotions to the soft grass you sat on in your favorite park you visited. Writing down all of these things will make your journal less of a list of the things you did, and more of a captivating story of your adventure.
YOU CAN USE MORE THAN WORDS
Keeping a journal isn’t all about writing, it’s about documenting memories and reflecting on them. Sometimes that can be more accurately accomplished when you include other things such as illustrations and scraps from your trip like stickers, receipts, tickets, and pictures. It will add another layer to your journal that will help you visualize and recall memories from the trip that may have been overlooked in your writing.
ENJOY WHAT YOU’RE DOING
Keeping a journal is easier for some people than it is for others, so if you are dedicated to doing it but find it becoming a chore, try and think about what you can do to make it more enjoyable! Maybe you just want to turn it into a photo diary, or maybe it’s too much physical writing and you want to turn it into a travel blog instead. Either way, they are your memories and you can do whatever you want with them! Make it enjoyable!
I hope this helped a little bit to everyone that just needed some help getting started with their vacation journals. Sadly summer is coming to an end, however, and before we know it vacations and sunbathing will be over. Except that just means that fall time, Halloween and sweater weather is right around the corner! Hope you guys all have an amazing week!