Ask the Readers: Do You Keep A Travel Journal?

As I am currently on vacation (in theory) and scribbling in my travel journal, I wondered where all of you Kaizen Warriors stand on travel journaling.

Travel journal is different from a regular journal. Usually, when you travel, you are immersed in new experiences. Whether it’s first time in a new place, different language, different culture, meeting strangers, trying new food, or simply sightseeing – you are usually doing things you don’t do at home.

The newness of these experiences means that you are sometimes feeling it all at a super-speed and have no time to process anything. Journaling can give you time and space for that. Though often, after you have experienced a whole day of amazing newness, you may just want to go back to the hotel and collapse on the bed. Some of my best travel memories have been the hardest to write about for that very reason.

In a regular journal, you may write about your day or you may write about your thoughts – all of which you still do in a travel journal – but because you are in a new place, in your travel journal, you also need to put emphasis on the setting. Unless you are a particular descriptive writer, chances are you don’t do that in your daily journal. I certainly don’t. Getting used to doing it in a travel journal may require deliberate practice, but the result is rewarding and gives you a better keepsake than any souvenir money can buy.


Have you ever kept a travel journal? Do you intend to keep one? Do you want to keep one but don’t know where to start? Share your answer in the comments below, and if you have some experience (successful or not) tell me all about it.

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8 thoughts on “Ask the Readers: Do You Keep A Travel Journal?

  1. Hi Kaizen! Happy vacationing :)

    I got into journalling through travel-journalling.

    I have a journal for each place and each big event I’ve been to and it was doing this at Witchcamps that got me into doing it for myself on a daily basis. It took me ages to work out the difference between journalling and a ‘dear diary, today I did…’ style and I’m much happier using my journals to process and ponder than I am to record everything… though when I travel both processes are handy.

    I do find that I tend to get home with blank pages that just have placenames on them and the first few I did I didn’t fill them in soon enough when I got home. But there is space for photographs then! Recently I’ve discovered that I’m happy with just a ten minute bullet point list of what happened, rather than trying to write detailed chronological reports, to record events. Much easier.

    I have found, though, that having a journal per event/trip, means I end up with lots of half-full journals, which seems like a waste, so I do try to revisit the ideas in them at a later date and write a bit more about where I’ve gotten to in myself since writing the original journey and what came up from then. My travel journals often end up becoming themes starting from the trip…

    Happy Thoughts,
    ~Halo x

  2. I have a travel journal. I call it Road Trip. It is a loose leave notebook. I also have one for being grateful and quotes that I started when I had my second round of chemo/radiology treatments for cancer. One bad days, I would read it to help me feel better.

  3. My husband and I try to keep a travel journal when we travel because memory is fleeting. He does most (OK, all) of the daily details every night at the hotel and I fill in the things I remember (like what we ate). This is a great addition to our photographs. Many of the little things that we can remember that day are usually end up being more important to us that the big thinks. To say that we visited the Coliseum in Rome is nice and we enjoyed it (so did thousands of others) but to say we watched people walking their dogs one day while having lunch at a street-side cafe is a wonderful memory, too.

  4. Interesting enough, I don’t normally keep a journal about my travels, but I always journal well traveling.

    it is like the noise of my brain is quieter so I can dig deeper into how I am feeling.

  5. When ever I travel for family vacations I journal. I have many years of them. What we talked about, what happened, what sites we visited, etc. I keep crib notes every day so that when I get behind I can finish my journal. Works out well, the last 4 years I have been able to include photos (printed wallet size). My sister call me and asks who did what on such a such because she knows it was written down.

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