One day, we might want to look back on our cultural experiences. Life is short and it is also unpredictable, which is why having documentation of your trips is important. I’ve witnessed several family members of mine go through memory loss, but the sound of music or photos will bring back good vibes. I also relish the photos and notes my parents have shared with me from their earlier days. I’ll admit, I’m not the journal type, I had to make an immense effort to write an entry every evening on my Expedition. These days, I make sure to type up a few sentences and keep those notes in two or three separate places, I’ll also snap a photo and save something from that trip; a coin, coaster, sticker, etc., to always remind me.
Techie. I’m a huge fan of journaling on Word or Pages. I feel more comfortable knowing that it’s all in one place and easily accessible and if I need to look up the name of a place I visited because I couldn’t remember, I can just Google it right then and there. The good thing about documenting my travels on my laptop is that I can also input photos and videos into the doc to help me remember. I can also text notes on my iPhone while I’m in transit and speak what I plan to document using Siri, making things easy and quick, and the best part is that I can just e-mail those notes to myself or connect them to the cloud. If my phone gets stolen, it’ll all be backed up and I lose nothing!
Old school. Some people enjoy the old pen and paper form of documenting. My brother, for example, is one of those people. The good thing about this route is you can have people add hand written notes to your journal which feels extra special later down the road, you can add flower petals or glue certain things on there. It’s fun! The only issue is if it gets lost. Which brings me to my next point.
Make copes. Whether you choose to journal online or on paper, make copies. Keep a copy of your diary on an external hard drive then place it in a safe. E-mail entries to yourself. If you’re writing it all down, take pictures of each page so that in case you do lose your book, you at least have photographic evidence of it.
Keep safe. My journal from the Expedition is kept locked up in a safe. I don’t know when I’ll need that journal, but someday, I will need to refer back to it, and I don’t want a flood, fire or break-in to take all of those memories away from me. Whether it’s a journal or keepsakes from your travels, lock them up in a safe place. They’re your memories, take care of them.
Create something of it. Whichever way you choose to document your travels, I think it’s fun to make something of it, if not for anyone else but yourself. Write a little book, make some vlogs or blog posts, or just create a scrap book of your travels to have as a coffee table book for a great conversation starter. Let’s be honest with ourselves, we forget and move on, but if we can create something right when we finish our travels while it’s still fresh in our minds, we can be content and happy knowing that we have subtle reminders of our favorite moments around us.
Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up into your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter. And lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.