The Art Of Making Memories
Travel diaries are just not about travel, they’re about life. As the classic American travel writer Paul Theroux said, “Travel is a state of mind. It has nothing to do with existence or the exotic. It is almost always an inner experience.”
No better way exists to discover and express that “inner experience” than through a travel diary. If you’re planning a trip, grab the moment and get started! Go find yourself the perfect notebook and pen for your taste, and start your journey.
Don't stress about anything - this is meant to be fun, free, and all about you and your memories. Take mental notes of the people you meet, the things you see and do, and any descriptions of the day's activities and anything else that makes you happy. Use images and colors, words, clipping from a magazine, or actual paraphernalia from your adventures like menus, ticket stubs, photos, or maps!
Here are some tips for creating a memorable journal of all your memories:
*** Include The Day, Date, And Location ***
Your future self will thank you! In my early journals, I thought it looked hip thinking I was transcending time by skipping the date. Now, it’s a pain trying to find an entry back in the annals of my history.
*** Develop Your Observation Skills ***
A journal offers the opportunity to notice everything from architecture to wildlife. Focus on all your senses, then describe what you experience. Hearing, for example: When I’ve visited Muslim countries, I’ve been deeply moved by the haunting tones of the call to worship. Texture? The feeling of cobblestones under my shoes. Or taste — whether you’re describing a gumbo in New Orleans or a risotto in Sicily, putting down your impressions of a dish you savored will help to keep the memory alive.
*** Write About The People You Meet And See ***
Did you learn something new from a stranger? Were the local people welcoming? In my 1976 travel journal, I describe Ellen, the young woman from Michigan who I met in an Amsterdam hostel. She always wore a pink sweater and told me hair-raising stories about hitchhiking across Europe. A few years later, on the island of Crete, I met Ty from Alberta, and my travel journal from that era describes our walks to monasteries on dirt tracks lined with olive trees, and how she listened to me as I poured out my grief about the loss of my mother a year earlier.
*** Use Your Journal To Boost Your Creativity ***
On trips away from home, I’m often inspired to try different writing forms, like rhymed verse, haiku, and limericks. Many people sketch. If you don’t want to draw, you can still collect ticket stubs, museum passes, bus tickets, currency, and other local memorabilia and then create collages in your journal. All you need is a small pair of scissors and a glue stick. I’m not great at watercolor, but I often paint a streak down the side of a journal page for a burst of color.
Now, this is what we’re ALL ABOUT!
There are tons of ways to do this and you DO NOT have to be an artist (who can draw) to make this. Think flat 2-D memories like postcards, photos, or menus, playbills, or anything else that will jog memories when you look at it.
Add in the detailed memories (like a diary) of what you did, saw, who you were with, and any little anecdotes from your time away!
If you are adding in artwork (which we highly recommend), don’t take it too seriously. Don’t stress over it… This is all meant to be YOUR interpretation of things and documentation of your life :)
Depending on the thickness of the paper in your journal, painting directly into the notebook may not be a good idea because it can get too messy and bleed through the pages.