Have you ever had the feeling that too many things are happening, and you’re not as alive to every one of them as you would like to be? We want to enjoy every drop of our vacations, but the time goes by so quickly. Experiences tend to get jumbled in memory.
Even in the moment, it can be hard to be 100 percent “present,” taking everything in with clarity and proper mental organization. Most of the time, we return home from a trip with a vague sense of having enjoyed ourselves, but we seldom pause to specify what, exactly, was impressive or fun.
You worked long hours to afford your vacation; don’t let it slip past you into oblivion. Journal your journeys, and you’ll find that not only do you end up with a record for the ages, but you also enhance your daily appreciation of the experience as it’s happening.
A few tips for your travel journal:
1. Start writing in your dedicated travel journal at least a couple weeks before you depart. Note your plans, your emotions, fears, expectations.
2. The trip itself may afford many a moment for journaling, depending on whether you’re driving or riding. If you’re the one piloting the forward motion, write a line or two about your progress and the environment whenever you stop for a break. If you’re riding, try journaling a few lines every hour on the hour.
3. Once you reach your destination, make journaling part of your settling-in activities. Take a shower, order a drink, and tell your journal all about the new surroundings.
4. We tend to be such creatures of habit that we quickly identify routines that we prefer even in a brand new place. As you enjoy your holidays, find that perfect moment in each day to reflect on your experiences in your journal.
5. Wherever you go, collect mementos that might be pasted into your journal. Bits of nature, paper, photos, postcards, tickets, ribbons, buttons… you’ll develop a keen eye for these small reminders.
6. When it’s almost time to go home, devote a special journaling session to listing highlights of your trip. Ask yourself questions as if you were being interviewed: What did you enjoy the most? What was beautiful, awesome, fun, strange? What was difficult or distasteful? How are you feeling emotionally, spiritually?
7. As soon as you can after returning home, make a final entry in your travel journal, and include your present thoughts about the vacation as well as how you are feeling now that you’re back to everyday life.
It’s obvious that these practices will produce a deepened appreciation for travels as they unfold and a book of memories that will serve you for a lifetime. In light of these facts, journaling while journeying is a no-brainer!