Do you love the idea of reminiscing with a travel journal but after missing a few days feel all is lost?
Take inspiration from Megan’s method of sporadically sorting, sifting and sticking mementos in her travel journal.
This is one in a series of interviews with travellers who share with us their fun and varied travel journaling techniques –
1. Why keep a travel journal?
Keeping a journal is my way of capturing the aspects of travel that I can’t photograph – the ideas, thoughts, emotions, friendships, fleeting moments that can make a whole trip. I feel much more connected to the memories when looking back through a travel journal than when I just look back through the photos. My journal really takes me back to where I was and how I was feeling throughout my travels.
2. What do you include in your travel journal?
Along the way I collect and stick in anything that documents the journey I am taking:
- – plane, train, bus tickets
- – tickets for the sights I see and activities I do along the way, such as museums, exhibitions, tours, concerts, festivals
- – miscellaneous things to jog my memory, such as the business card for good places to eat and stay or a good company to hire cars from
- – maps of the places I have been either as a city map or a road map with my journey marked out
I also print out select photos that I feel particularly show the special people I meet, places I love or moments that are captured.
Note: Megan prints off only small thumbnails of her photos for inclusion.
3. How do you keep your journal?
When I stick it all in my journal I keep it in chronological order and add any notes about the tickets or photos, any thoughts, ideas or tips I have about a place, plus any recipes or foods I have particularly enjoyed.
4. How often do you update your journal?
I try to keep it as up to date as possible without putting too much pressure on myself. Generally I try to update it after each ‘section’ of my travel, while it is still fresh in my mind and when I can use the time I have on the train/plane/bus to the next destination to update about where I have just been.
5. What is your favourite piece of travel journaling equipment?
A bulldog clip.
As I collect the tickets, maps, passes, etc. along the way, I clip these into my journal with the bulldog clip so I don’t lose anything before getting the chance to stick it all in.
6. Why does this type of travel journaling work for you?
This style of travel journal works great for me as it’s not something I need to do daily and it doesn’t matter if I fall a bit behind with the updates. Without the constant guilt I have felt with other styles of journals I have kept, I actually look forward to and enjoy creating it, and also looking back over it days, weeks or months later.
Note: This spread covers a month – You don’t have to make daily entries to have a fun journal.
Megan Evans has been travelling the world and keeping travel journals through Australia, the Americas, Europe and Asia since 2001.
Do you keep a travel journal?
How do you do it?
Would you like to share your ways and means to help other like minded folk?
Leave a comment below to tell us how you keep your travel journal
Let me know if you’d like to feature your journalling techniques here as part of this series 🙂
Our gift to the kids this christmas is going to be a journalling kit each, so that when we head off on our indefinite Aussie travels next year, they’ll be able to record their own journey in their own way and look back on it. I’m going to be trying to do my own too, because even though we’ll be blogging, I think it’s nice to have something to physically look back at. It’s amazing how much you forget in a short while!
Loreena @ Little Aussie Travellers recently posted..Swimming With Dolphins on Kangaroo Island
“It’s amazing how much you forget in a short while!” is just so so true!
There are so many ways to keep a journal (other than just in words) so I’m sure your kids will have a ball drawing, colouring, cartooning, painting, cutting and pasting…
Such a great opportunity for them to express what they see and feel in any which way that comes to them –
It may be fun to interview them here this time next year? 🙂
I keep a journal but I don’t stick tickets or photos. I only take a note of prices from tickets for further reference and that’s it. I also don’t develop any photos from my digital camera. Journals are great on long trips when time is of great value and you don’t get access to the Internet.
I’ve been like you Ele in not developing digital photos for my journal –
For some reason I always tend to think of printed photos as being the postcard size that take up too much room –
So Megan’s idea of printing off just a few small thumbnails to add some personal visual images was a real take away for me 🙂
What a lovely idea. I keep all the things of which Megan writes, but end up putting them into trip folders (or boxes) when I get home, to be done at a later date. And, of course, you know when that date will be…. one day.
I loved the way Megan doesn’t commit herself to making entries everyday, and is happy to do a round-up (if she’s been too busy spending a month hiking!) in between destinations –
No pressure, just pleasure 🙂
I tend to have a trip folder in which I put the types of things Megan collects, but by the time I arrive home from a big trip, they are out of order and I’ve already forgotten a lot. I like the idea of bringing along the journal and clipping in items until they can be formally added to the journal. I also like the idea of thumbnails. Back in the day (before digital cameras—I’m THAT old), we would have photos developed and then put them into photo albums with captions.
Maybe having several bulldog clips would be the go to keep bits together on a weekly or place basis until there’s time to collate them?
And I liked the idea of printing off those little thumbnails so there’s no having to find the digital file or wade through a whole photo album to have a quick whiz down memory lane!
But you’re right about forgetting a lot (even by the time you get home) if you don’t jot or doodle a few squiggles to jog your memory –
I think there’s a feeling that if you’re going to bother to put anything in a journal it has to be a full blown tome affair, which is where I believe we have it all sooooo wrong!
The trick, I think, is to simply make a few marks each day, odd details, which will be the key to unlocking the bigger picture when you get home 🙂