On extended trips, journaling can help you process and recall experiences. When you return home, you can share these stories more accurately with notes to reference. Although a fun pastime for many, journaling can be hard work. So here are a few ways to make this activity easier and more meaningful.
Choose the Right Journaling Tools
You may like leather-bound notebooks, but paper might impede your writing if you prefer screens. There’s a finality to pen on paper that some find intimidating. While you can use whiteout or an eraser, ink concludes your thoughts more than letters on a screen.
That said, technology is adaptable. For example, blogs let you integrate your journal with social media. Word processors let you edit and backup to the cloud. The web makes research a breeze when learning more about the places you have visited, too.
Write about Impressions over Events
You comprise the audience for your journal, so write about things you find interesting. Entries that read like lists (i.e. “I went here, then did this and saw this…”) will bore you in the future.
Forget about the commonplace and write about impressions—however positive or negative. Since you might not recognize impactful events in the moment, try recounting the day before when you write.
Include Memorabilia to Enliven Your Entries
There are various modalities you can employ to spice up your writing. For example, dialogue can enrichen retellings of daily interactions. That said, vivid descriptions of places do not always conjure up strong emotions. Therefore, bolster your passages with memorabilia—photos, ticket stubs, wrappers, purchased goods and more. This is where apps prove their utility. Most allow you to record video, post photos and track your GPS movement to check-in at local places.
Make or Break a Writing Schedule
Some people thrive on regimented schedules—others not so much. If dedicating a specific time of day to writing helps you regulate your journaling, then go ahead. But if you find that routine stifles creativity, then write more spontaneously. For example, downtime on transit is often conducive to writing because you’re still immersed in the local culture.