Do the words “travel journal” bring up images of grade school essays, “What I did on my summer vacation?” Are you a person who groans at the thought of keeping a trip journal, claiming that you are on vacation? Are you one who believes writing is an assignment rather than a pleasure? If so, perhaps it is time to look at writing with new eyes.
I have a friend who professionally writes, and she loves to write. She keeps a daily journal, taking it with her when she is on trips. As soon as the flight attendant gives permission to use the plane’s drop-down trays, she takes out her journal and begins capturing her her adventure.
However, within a few days, the excuses creep in. She tells herself that she’ll do it it tomorrow . the excuses keep adding up, and before she knows it, the trip is over. On the plane ride home, she struggles and struggles to remember all the details, however all but a few big ones are already lost.
Anotherexcuse she gives is that she doesn’t want to just jot down things to remember, or scribble in her diary, but that is PRECISELY what she needs to be doing if she wants to capture those memories.
Can you relate to my friend’s story? If you are stuffed] with excuses, it is time to free yourself from them and find your inner writer. Take that choke-collar off, please!
Here are some tips to combat those excuses and to keep you on track:
* Keep it simple. You don’t need to write a novel-just write a few words about your trip.
* Blank pages don’t count;put something down. For example, list keywords about everything you did.
* Don’t worry about penmanship. You are free to scribble or doodle in your trip journal.
* The same is true about grammar. No teacher is going to grade your work.
* Remember a picture is worth a thousand words. If you don’t want to write, then draw. You are not in an art class — stick figures are cute.
* If you do not want to draw, then paste. Capture memories with postcards, ticket stubs, postage stamps, etc. Have fun scrapbooking!
* Just do it. Firmly but gently, tell that “I’ll do it tomorrow” voice to go away.
Remember the goal: you are preserving the memory of your extraordinary travels.
You, and you alone, get to decide what to say, how to write it, and how much to record.
For many of us, getting started is the hardest part. Even the best writers often havea challenge getting started. Here are some ideas that may help you to start the fun:
* Start with a good quality journal and a favorite pen.
* Jot down what comes to mind; do not over think.
*Any idea or words that pop up, write down.
* Resist any urge to censor your words. Resist the urge to cross anything out.
* Imagine you are telling your story to someone.
* Highlight times of your trip that are fascinating to you – what you ate, who you met, the scenery etc.
* Be playful with your writing. Your travel journal doesn’t need to be serious unless you are feeling serious.
* If you are really stuck, open your journal, and write, “I can’t think of a single thing to write.” That will quickly seem ridiculous, particularly since you are on vacation.
Do you like everything to look perfect? Are you worried that your trip journal will end up with a messy look? If you can’t let go of that notion, then, get a pad of sticky paper that is the size of your journal pages, stick it to your entry page in the journal, and write on that. You can transfer your word on the plane ride home. (You’ll only do it this way once, I suspect. From then on, you’ll go for the real journal pages and be so playfully confident.)
Remember my friend who thought she would surely remember all the details of her trip?
The main lesson to remember from her mistake is to capture the memories every day DURING your trip — not on the way home. Or, the fatal mistake of hunting and pecking for memory details AFTER you unpack your bags!
The words will flow once you get started recording the high points, the low moments and all the extraordinary times in between. Before you know it, you will have created a lasting legacy filled with your own wonderful travel memories.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Wirth
Now that you see you can unhook the leash that has been holding you back from trying out a journal to capture your trip memories, you are now ready to find one that suits your style. There’s a new kind that invites your words as well as your souvenirs right there during your trip. Go to http://www.TravelLegacy.net to see what will become your best friend on your next trip or event. The author of this article is Barbara Wirth, also known as the Journal Sage. With a passion for travel, her motivation to inspire you to capture your memories with words and mementos stems from first-hand experience. Her motto is to “Live it. Capture it. Keep it forever.”