Hi Guys and a happy Wednesday to you. Yesterday I took a break from the blogging world and took some personal time off. It was wonderful catching up with an old friend at a local cafe and attending a free lecture presented by the SETI institute (See HERE and HERE). It really refreshes my soul to connect with people and learn from them. I encourage everyone to take that “break” from the humdrum of everyday life and do something different with people you don’t hang out with regularly.
On that positive note, today, I decided to do something fun on the blog that is educational as well. What is it? Today, I am teaching my readers how to keep a travel diary! I have suggested keeping a travel diary as a way to commemorate your travel experiences in a previous blog post (See HERE). Some people like sending postcards to themselves, but I find that a huge hassle to deal with in a foreign country. A travel diary is just as a great way to document not only the sights you see or the experiences you have on your travels, but also to preserve what and how you think and feel each day you are away from home. It is so telling to read the words that describe the enthusiasm and sometimes frustration when you are out and being adventurous. And it is super imperative that you write an entry at the end of each day when memories of the day are fresh in your mind no matter how tired you are. So today, I want to give you some pointers on how to write a travel diary DURING your travels:
Yes, nice penmanship is encouraged, but it is more important to be yourself. Don’t censor yourself, reflect your true thoughts whether you think people will like them or not. Some people will even go so far out by saying that plan your trip in that travel diary. That means, include your bucket-list and to-do lists of sights, experiences, tips, notes, or anything you deem important to remember. It is great to go back to this section and reminisce about the purposeful thinking during your planning process.
Some other memories to include in your travel diary are:
I love trying new food cuisines when I am traveling. Food is a crucial part of learning about a culture, whether you have food allergies or are vegan or vegetarian. With all the cultural culinary options available around the world, especially in the United States, going to a McDonald’s shouldn’t be on your agenda when you are traveling. Some of my most memorable food experiences was having authentic Pakistani BBQ, Italian pizza, Spanish tapas, and Peruvian ceviche. Be sure to add a food bucket list on your travel to-do list and write down what you thought about the cuisine in your diary.
This is a no-brainer, but all the sights you see on your travel must be noted in your travel diary. Again, plan ahead the sights you want to visit by researching their history and current cultural significance. This will help you notice things when you are on location. I notice that when I have a little background about the place, I lean in a little closer to notice the architecture, the brush strokes, the smells, etc. Like I used to teach writing to my students, use all your senses so the memories you make are clear and deep enough for you to learn something and they get imprinted in your long-term memory.
Any fun experiences:
This is the time to jot down any off-the-beaten path experiences you’ve had. A gondola ride in Venice, zip-lining in Costa Rica, a flamenco dance in Spain, or something as non-cultural as an ATV tour in Mexico are some great memories should be preserved in the pages of a travel diary. People tell you to mingle with the locals, go hiking, biking, or participate in a local cultural festival so you have varied experiences you will cherish forever. How about writing down those experiences in your diary? Notice the thoughts you were having, the smells you smelled, the colors you saw, the feelings you felt and don’t forget about the advice you would give yourself or any lessons you learned.
To make the diary writing more fun, make sure to carry tape and colorful pens and markers with you. Draw maps, cartoons or drawings, use colorful headings and sub-headings, tape museum ticket stubs, map cutouts, and even photographs to make the whole process fun and the end product more aesthetically pleasing. But remember, you are journaling your trip in a travel diary, not creating a scrapbook. A travel diary is a place of penning down words, the rest doesn’t take precedence.
Well, guys here are some tried-and-true tips on how to keep a travel diary. I hope you pick and choose the tips that appeal to you and document, document, and document your travels. Be consistent and be yourself! Who knows your kids will learn something about you 50 years from now through reading these diaries? Happy Travels (and journaling)!