I’m a big fan of writing while travelling, it’s now even my job. But long before I was blogging I was writing a daily recap of my adventures in a travel diary. It helped me in a lot of ways and I know it can be just as helpful for you. These are all the reasons I still to this day keep a diary while travelling (not so much when I’m at home).
An honest recollection of your adventures
Memories are a fleeting thing, and they can be influenced by the words of others. The only way to really remember your experiences is to write them down as you remember them at the time. I mean photos are great, but what is the point of the 1000 photos you have of that fun night out if you can’t remember the names of anyone in the photo. A travel diary allows you to relive that night years later, in vivid detail.
It’s something for you to reference when friends ask you for travel advice. Or as a memory jogger for when you’re telling that funny story from your year backpacking in Asia. A travel diary is the perfect place to store all your adventures, to go back to everytime you want to relive them.
Someone (something really) to confide in
This is a big one if you’re travelling solo. As we all well know travelling comes with it’s up and downs. When we’re up we want to tell everyone about our epic adventures! But we also need someone to confide in when we’re down. I’m not the greatest at telling strangers about my deepest insecurities or roughest days so when travelling solo it can be hard to find someone close to talk to. And calling home to talk to close friends can also be rough. It can be hard to admit to people that your great adventure isn’t as great as you had imagined it would be. Or maybe it’s just a problem of time zones and busy lives. Whatever the reason, finding a confidant can be a mission when travelling. For me, this is the biggest reason I keep a travel diary. It’s a place for me to get out all of my disappointment, heartbreak and joy. I don’t write for anyone else, and even I may never read the sad entries again. But getting them out on paper is often enough for me to put the crap behind me and move on.
A coffee shop companion
Going to a coffee shop, or any other public place, alone in a foreign country can be an intimidating experience. You may get unwanted attention or just feel like you stick out. If you’re writing though, you can escape into the memories you’re recounting and look occupied enough that no-one will interrupt you. It’s also a familiar activity that can give you a break from the traveller life. If you’re in need of one.
The best travel keepsake (and storage for all your other keepsakes)
My travel diary becomes a sort of all-in-one souvenir. A collection of my thoughts and experiences, and also of notes from new friends, postcards from places I’ve been, weird food wrappers, museum and transport tickets, photos and even sim cards. A fat travel diary is a symbol of a great trip. One that was full of experiences, new friends, excitement, culture and nature – just like the diary. Whether you read it again or not, it’s a big fat reminder of just how good a time you had.
When we return home from a big adventure abroad the adjustment period can be rough. It may seem like you experienced so much, but those at home just stayed the same. After you slip back into the routine day-to-day it can be hard to believe that your wild adventures really happened. Lucky for you, if you kept a travel diary you’ll have your own perfect recollections of your experiences. An escape back to your time on the road and a great motivator to book your next trip!
Do you keep a travel diary or blog? Let us know how you use it and what you love about it in the comment section below. Tag us @bambaexperience or #bambaexperience on your best travel photos for your chance to be featured on our blog.