Mark Twain filled some 50 journals before he died, many of which were travel logs. He used his notebooks to record observations of people he met, musings on cultural influence and identity, and write down ideas for books, recording his ideas in the moment as he traveled. His entries in these travel notebooks consisted of the pithy, clever sentences he's now famous for. It's these fleeting thoughts we have during travel—observations, glittering moments of synchronicity, huge feelings of expansion—that make our vacation time truly meaningful.
There's a reason we have such distinct experiences during travel. Immersion in a new culture, even a new environment, can open up the mind and increase cognitive flexibility—the stuff creativity is often made of. Keeping a travel journal allows you to record those valuable thoughts and feelings and make sure they stay with you after you return home. It's one of the best ways to help create, enhance, and preserve the magic of travel in your life.
Here's how to use one effectively to maximize the value of your next trip, even if it's just a visit home for the holidays.