How I Travel Journal

Friday, January 16, 2015

Travel Journaling used to feel like a foreign concept to me. I would normally get so caught up in taking in wherever I was - especially if the place is brand-new to me - that I completely forgot to write it down. In short, I'd be too busy.

However, I gave travel journaling a shot last summer when I went to Italy...and I had a blast! I found a method that worked the best for me, and it was fun to keep up with it. I enjoyed it so much that I intend to travel journal again on the next trips I have coming up.

So, how do I travel journal? Well, I'm glad you asked! :)

What Tools I Use

Blank notebooks have been my jam. Lined notebooks are fabulous, too, but I like to doodle in mine, and it's fun to just get my experiences on the page immediately without worrying about lines. (I think it's the former art student in me.

I highly, highly recommend Moleskine notebooks. They come in so many sizes, colors, and varieties, so chances are high that you'll find the best one for you. I have used Moleskine notebooks to sketch, report (back in my college newspaper reporting/interviewing days), and - of course - journal. Plus, they're great quality, and will last a really, really long time. :)

poppin. Ballpoint Pen Set

From there, I'd just recommend using really fun pens. I have a penchant for colored pens (ask anyone I know), so I use those to title journal entries and doodle. Then, I'll use a black pen to actually write my entries out.

How I Actually Journal

So, here's how I put pen to paper and write out a travel journal entry. This is the method I personally use, so feel free to tweak whatever steps you want to fit your style and/or schedule.
  • Use bullet points. This was the best way for me to outline all the landmarks I saw in Italy, and it's very handy when you just want to say what you did and where you went. If there's a place that really struck your fancy, you can write about it in greater detail. I just really liked having all of the names of the places/landmarks I had seen in one, immediate place.
  • Write out the fond memories. Did anything particularly memorable happen? Any crazy stories that you have a feeling you will laugh at later? Anything so amazing that you know you'll remember it for the rest of your life? Write those stories down in as much detail as you possibly can. Those will be the ones that will make you say, "Yeah, I remember that!" and/or burst out laughing when you look back at your journal months or years from now.
  • Feel free to write multiple entries at once when you have downtime. I did the most travel journaling on the road, so if you're going to be chilling for awhile, feel free to knock a few entries out over a few days. (Another tip I have is to ask a travel buddy - or two, or five - to refresh your memory if you can't remember what you did on a specific day. I did this a LOT in Italy.)
  • When all else fails, take ALL the pictures, or Instagram everything. Pictures really are worth a thousand words, and you can use these to reference if you do want to write your adventures down later.

Do you guys keep a travel journal? If so, how do you keep it?

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