Planning the perfect trip can take months, especially when coming up with the perfect itinerary. You plan out every moment perfectly. But once you arrive at your destination, it is easy to whiz through your list of “to do’s” without truly enjoying the experience. An easy way to slow down and enjoy your trip is by keeping a travel journal!
Journal - find a journal that sparks your creative thumb, or buy a composition book and decorate with stickers, photos and memories of home.
Glue stick - a key supply for your journal, glue sticks are great for adding special details.
Paint or colored pencils - add color and creativity. Block letters, drawings and blasts of color are always fun.
Writing pen - an essential, bring your favorite pen to add personal notes and stories.
Optional - photo printer, film camera, stickers
A travel journal inspires and motivates you to pay attention to the little moments and details. Things that can easily be forgotten are the best things to jot into your journal. Maybe you saw a man in a culturally unique outfit, or you ate an especially delicious meal. Write it down for yourself later! You can elaborate on the memory, or bask in it. Even more fun, making observations about your surroundings. Taking in the scenery or pondering over the historical context are great things to include. Using creative thinking to describe a piece of architecture or explain the scenery using smells and sounds.
Another key piece to include are souvenirs and stubs. Keeping bus tickets, train slips and maps to make creative backgrounds are a great way to remember the trip and add detail to your journal! What was once trash is now a creative piece in your forever travel memoir. Souvenirs such as stamps and postcards are another great addition. Letters from friends or favorite restaurant business cards can be included too. If you’re in a more scenic area, glue down pressed flowers or seashells.
Not sure what to write about? Write what feels natural, or if nothing comes to mind, use pinterest to find inspiring prompts. Include daily itineraries, ask new friends made along the way to add little blurbs or take notes on your phone while you're out and about to add to your journal later. Doodle while you’re on the plane or train. Wander into art stores for supplies or fun additions. It’s all yours so make it your own, there's really no wrong way to do it.
Plus, writing down experiences allows you to reflect and truly appreciate where you are. So many great lessons are learned from either stressful situations or wise friends, both of which come from traveling. Having it written down allows you to apply what you learned to other areas of your life or just reflect on past times in a different phase of your life.
Whether it's an ongoing journal of numerous places, or the first journal in a series of masterpieces, looking back at your adventures as a creative masterpiece will be amazing. You’ll have the memories for a lifetime, all written down. Even better, you can show friends and family your collection of stamps and stubs upon your return home.
Reference for ideas
A senior Business Administration Major, Courtney is based out of San Diego California where she attends Point Loma Nazarene University. She often seeks tropical, island countries for a vacation in the sun, surf trips with locals and taking photos.. She also has a passion for Global South (or developing) countries and hopes to pursue a career in economic development after college.