An Argument For Travel Journals

June 07, 2016

There are three things that I know, beyond a shadow-of-a-doubt, about myself:

  1. I adore traveling, or maybe I should say in more inclusive terms, exploring. Whether it be the newest, abstract mural that no one quite understands that was just added to my small college town, the happening coffee shop with latte art that will rule over all other Insta coffee posts, or the radically wonderful times when I’m able to stroll along the Pacific Coast Highway or the renowned Wall Street, I live for seeing new things in new places with new people.
  2. I am the ABSOLUTE WORST at daily journaling. Countless times I have reminded myself of the multitude of uses for it, but apparently, the commitment is too much for me. This fact leaves me with my only documentation for my day-to-day experiences being my sporadic social media posts which display only a small portion of my day and are far less thorough for remembering special moments than I’d like.
  3. As a result of the two preceding facts, I have begun a travel journal. For some reason, my brain accepts a travel journal much easier than that of a daily log and so, I have done it.

There are also reasons why I am such a huge fan of my travel journal, and why I think that everyone who ventures outside of the realm of their house should join this fandom. So here’s another list (sorry):

  1. It helps me to remember. As life has progressed, and by progressed I mean changed, I have begun to realize the importance of remembering, not just remembering the scenery or the faces through a picture, but remembering the way that I felt. How did it feel when I reached that summit and with what little breath I possessed in my lungs, I breathed in the smell of alpine and earth and viewed with awe the skyline of a city to my right and rolling hills to my left. Remembering is more than just a snapshot, it’s the emotions, the sense of the moment that make up a meaningful memory and those are things to catalogue.
  2. It motivates me to do more. If I walk into a new place knowing that I am going to write about it later, you better know that I will make the most of that experience so that I will be able to describe it in the most interesting terms. I will force myself to notice the people that surround me, the background music that is being played-I absorb the moment in such a way that can be expressed in ink.
  3. It provides an outline of my life (the high-points at least). In a completely non-morbid way, I often think about growing older and what that entails. One thing that noticeably sticks with me is that I want to have something tangible to share, something that generations following mine will be able to flip through and see a life, though maybe not as glamorous as some, that was lived to the fullest capacity.

And so this is my argument in support of travel journals; I sincerely hope that it has convinced, or at least inspired you in some way.