Why you should keep a travel journal

Make memories last longer by journaling!

With apps like Instagram and VSCO all the rage, you may be tempted to make your experience overseas more photo-focused. However, you might consider a travel journal as a way of documenting your trip. Whether you think it’s a little old or tried and true, here are a few reasons to break out the pen and paper during your volunteer experience: 

1. Remember the details: 

Remember the name of the café you’d always go to? How about that charming store that served all of your alpaca sweater-related needs? Of course you don’t. There’s so much going on during any trip that it’s impossible to retain all of the specifics. Commit all of the names and places to a page and you guarantee yourself an 'Aha' moment later when you want to recall the little things. You’d be surprised how many memories can come from one word (and you’re going to need them when telling every person how your trip went time and time again). 

2. Reflect on your time:

Journaling is as much about thinking as it is about documentation. You would be surprised how sorted your thoughts may feel after just one entry. If there were blissful little moments, you get to savor them. If there was a rainy day or some homesickness, use your travel journal as an outlet. Travelling (especially if you’re volunteering abroad) will always have its ups and downs. Do them justice by fully processing them. If done right, a travel journal will index feeling more than it does anything else. 

3. Get in a groove:

If you’re like me, it can be hard for you to keep to a routine. It’s easy to get sidetracked even if the task at hand only takes a few minutes. Journaling gradually encourages you to stick to a schedule and make a habit; whether by evaluating patterns in your day or making your time writing one. Start small and you’ll find that checking in with yourself via journaling is easy to fit in. Pretty soon, you won’t be able to go to bed without that entry in. Don’t be hard on yourself if you miss a day, it’s better to just move on and get back at it then.  

4. Get creative:

There’s a billion ways to go on this one. Get a disposable camera and paste in some of your favorites. Clip in tickets, notes, and even the business cards of your favorite clubs or restaurants for each week. Don’t like paragraphs? Write five bullets of things you enjoyed today, five "throwaways" and five goals for tomorrow.  Write about a person you met that day, a conversation you had with them and why it was special. Nobody can tell you how to journal so do it in a unique way. 

Journaling and our vision:

Introspection is a crucial part of the Globalteer experience. Cultural exchange and service learning cannot take place unless a traveler has the support to work on their own growth; whether that begins in the travel journal or at the project of their choiceTo learn more about our values and our service options, get in contact.