All of the trips I’ve taken for the past fifteen years, whether for fun or for work, have been documented in a travel journal with the form of guided prompts like, “What I (We) enjoyed most,” and “Most memorable event.” I purchased this spiral-bound Journals Unlimited travel journal in Duck, North Carolina on my first vacation with Chris back in 1999. I’ve been using the book for every single trip ever since, and filling it out it has become a huge tradition with Chris and me, and also with friends when we travel together.
I think I misunderstood the layout of the book when I first bought it – I’m pretty sure each page was meant to cover one whole trip, but from Day 1 I used a single page to represent each day of a trip and have continued that format for the past 15 years (except for short weekend getaways). For that reason, I’m actually on my second copy of the spiral-bound journal and it’s nearly full.
While traveling, I wrap up the day by turning to a fresh new page in the book and answering each of the guided questions about the day’s events. When I’m traveling with someone else, I read the questions out loud and we answer them together. Now that I type it out, it sounds cheesy and maybe even painfully dorky, but somehow it ends up being a really fun way to recount the funniest, craziest, and most memorable moments of the day.
You might wonder why I write in a journal when I also write blog posts, but there are things in the journal that don’t make it into the blog posts and vice versa. The books are filled with odd inside jokes, hilarious quotes heard throughout the trips, along with accounts of travel shenanigans and unforgettable memories. I’ve always loved documenting in various formats and I want to remember as much of my travels as possible, so for me there’s room for both in addition to my photos and more recently my videos.
The hardcover journal with its giant spiral is heavy and awkward to pack and I wish the company made a more travel friendly design, but I still love the format and I’ve brought it with me on almost 60 trips. The last couple of times I’ve printed out the questions on a few sheets of paper and brought that instead to save space, but the tradition continues and I can’t wait to add 60 more trips!
What about you? Do you write in a travel journal or keep record of your trips in another way (scrapbook, blog, photo book, etc.)?