I am a BIG journaler. I write down almost everything as a way to remember the details of life events, and really work through some of those ups and downs that come with it. I find it not only therapeutic, but also a great way to look back and see how much I’ve learned/grown/changed/evolved/stood my ground/etc. I also started doing it when I travel and I now do it religiously.
It all started back in 2009 when I went to Europe for the first time. I don’t remember exactly how it came to mind, but after buying journals at our first stop in Munich, we also decided to purchase a glue stick. From there, we started gluing every ticket, receipt, business card and coaster we could find in our journals. It became like a game to find things we could glue in over the month-long trip, and I have done it ever since.
It may sound daunting, but I think taking 10 minutes every few days of your trip to sit down at a cafe, glue stick, pen and journal in hand, with a cup of coffee, is not a lot to ask. Most people respect the quite time you are having, and you won’t regret making one of the best souvenirs of all. You will love looking back on your trip years later, and remember the feelings you had when sitting in that exact spot. When you read your entries again, months or years later, you are transported to another time. You will remember all the little things that took your breath away, all the people you encountered, all the thoughts that swirled around in your head, and all the culture shock you experienced. It is magical. I consider my journals my most priceless possessions.
Here are what a few of them look so you can get a good visual of what I do (and please note: I assume you cannot read my chicken scratch, terrible handwriting. That is probably better…)
WHAT TO SAVE
(so be on the lookout for all these items!)
- Food and souvenir receipts
- Plane tickets
- Postcards I purchase along the way to remember a specific location
- Event entry tickets
- Train and bus tickets
- business cards of people or places
- Coasters from bars or restaurants
- Itinerary paperwork
- Visa documents
- Anything and everything that can be glued on paper!
OTHER TRAVEL JOURNAL IDEAS
- Create visual travel journals, which is just saving and gluing all your receipts in one book together.
- Write dot point entries instead of a full spread about your day. Listing can be fun!
- Draw things you see along the trip in your journal. A sunset, a person, a memory. Even with little skill, you will remember that thought you had while sketching.
- Take pictures on your smart phone and actually print them out when you get home! Create a timeline of your trip and write little memories under each photo .