Never kept a travel journal? It's not too late to begin!
I never kept one either....until I retired and found the time. The time to both travel and to record my impressions. I'll repeat this quote from a writing institute I took years ago--"How can I know what I think until I see what I've written." Besides keeping a record of your travels, it's also an exercise in personal reflection. You learn a lot about yourself. And if your grandkids peek into your journal after you've gone, they'll learn much about you. So just do it!
Learning the value of keeping a travel log~
Years ago when my husband taught in high school, we had the opportunity to travel abroad. He became a chaperone with Foreign Study League, a travel/study tour group for high school students. We traveled with a counselor from the high school where he taught. She had taken high school students to Europe for several years. She always kept a journal, and encouraged us to do the same. And not just for personal reasons; she said she recorded favorite restaurants and museums and shops so she would know which places she wanted to return when she went back to that country. I've never forgotten that lesson. And I've been able to see the value now.....in the age of Facebook. When my Facebook friends travel, I notice that other Facebook friends often ask--what are good restaurants? What tours are good? So keeping a travel diary has practical implications as well as personal reflections and self-discovery.
Some items you can include in a travel journal:
I always do research for my blog, and this week was no exception. Some people really jazz up their journals. Some of them I found online almost look like a smash book! They are full of sketches, fun clip art, personal photos, stickers, small keepsakes, postcards, and tour itineraries. They are just plain FUN! Fun to create and fun for others to read! To my way of thinking, it's like living the travel experience at least three times: 1) the real time travel; 2) the recording of it at the end of the day or when you return home; 3) the reading of it after you've got it all in your journal.
One gal whose travel journal was pictured online said she takes all her stickers with her when she travels, as well as various colored pens. I'm not so industrious, but I have come to discover that at the end of the day when I'm back on ship or back in the cabin in the woods, it's a perfect time to record events in my journal. And I can embellish it when I get back home.
Add the travel stickers to your journal before you leave home.
That works too, especially if you record just basic things like a list of restaurants or museums that you visit.
A favorite section of my journal~
Another section of my journal that I often include is, "I want to remember." This came about when my husband and I were in Atlanta. We were riding the MARTA from the airport to downtown Atlanta to do some shopping. A sweet grandmother-type and what appeared to be her grandson got on our car. They sat in front of us, and she patiently told him about all the sights they were seeing from the train. She would say things like, "That's where your daddy went to school." Or, "That's the factory where your grandpa worked." I loved her descriptions for her grandson--it just really touched my heart. It might seem a trivial thing to you, but I wrote about it in my travel journal. I've never forgotten it.
And don't forget to add favorite photos when you get home--those are really treasures.
When I travel with my grands, I'm always sure to include a photo or two. One such experience is when I took them to an outdoor musical in Palo Duro Canyon in my home state. As luck would have it, a favorite aunt was able to join us. For sure I've included that picture in my journal.
Grandparents and grandkids! I really recommend keeping a travel journal. A narrative of your day is fine and very important. But embellishing it with some of the items above makes it really fun, and a delightful project after you get home! Try it!
Favorite travel quotes:
"Stop worrying about potholes in the road and enjoy the journey." Babe Heffman
It is not the destination where you end up, but the mishaps and memories you create along the way. Unknown
Fun blog with ideas for creating a power-packed travel journal:
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!