Keeping a Travel Journal

A while ago Clem posted about all of her travel journals.  Clem is so disciplined when it comes to keeping a travel journal.  I remember on our trip to Nepal and Northern India when Clem had to buy a new journal as she has already filled up her first one.  She would write daily and with lots of detail.  I’m sure it is amazing to read back and remember all of the tiny details she recorded.

I’m not as disciplined.  I don’t write everyday when I am travelling but I do write!  But then I realised that it shouldn’t be something that you make yourself do on those days when you just need to go to bed. Instead I get along better with my travel journal when I feel that I can write when I want to rather than forcing myself to do it.  That works for me.

Travel journalling started very early in my life.  When I went on holiday with my family I would always be bought a scrap book and I would fill it with stories of what we’d done that day and stick in all sorts of ticket stubs, leaflets and food wrappers.  Back in those days I did write every single day!  Here is a travel journal I filled up in summer 1999 when I was 11.  Norway…

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Then when I started to do big trips by myself I always took a journal with me.

This journal is from my seven weeks in Nepal and two weeks in Northern India in July-September 2008.

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Then for three weeks spent in Mumbai in August 2009.



Then a huge journal for five months in South America from February- July 2010.

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And, most recently.  Cambodia for three weeks in August 2013.

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Isn’t it funny that we record so many memories when we are on holiday but we don’t (usually) record journals of our everyday life?  I’ve just moved back to London before moving abroad next year so I have begun a new journal called London Moments in which I record the everyday things I do.  A blog post on that is coming soon!

Do you keep a travel journal?  What do you record in them?

And, if you have any travel tips for Geneva, Lausanne or Paris please post them here.  Thanks 🙂

Marcella xx

It’s Travel Tuesday…



Linked with Bonnie 🙂

31 thoughts on “Keeping a Travel Journal

  1. I loved seeing all the images of your journals especialy the cute one from 1999. I used to write when I was younger but haven’t for ages. I keep tickets, maps, brochures etc from my trips but they just end up in a jumble often to be thrown out years later. I should make more of an effort to at least stick them into a pretty book. I try and get my kids to keep travel logs but it usually doesn’t work! #TravelTuesday

  2. Thank you! I also have some of those jumbles! And, just like you I end up then throwing them away. Although, some of my journals are also stuffed full of tickets etc but at least they are safe in there 🙂

  3. Such a lovely post. I always struggle to keep a travel journal, I am just not disciplined at all! That is one of the reasons I started my blog, as a way of recording my travels. I do have a box full of tickets and various travel memories though which I really must sort through.

  4. You’re quite right– it’s so important to keep a journal or notebook at your side while traveling to record the little things. Which reminds me, I just left for a trip today and toooootally forgot my notebook 😦 Sometimes it’s just too easy to record everything digitally that journals take a backseat. But your post is a great reminder to jot them down on paper. Thank you for your great post! (I love the cover of the journal in your last photo, by the way… beautiful)

    • Thanks Cynthia! I agree too, I take way too many photos when I travel but the thing I love about journals is that with time you can forget the tiny details and it’s such a pleasure to re-read them years later 🙂 And laugh and smile at the things you did. I also get my travel companions to write something in there as everybody remembers different things and special moments.

      Thank you. It was from Paperchase; one of my favourite shops and one I have to stay away from otherwise I want to buy the whole contents of the place! 🙂

  5. Oh my gosh your journals are so amazing! I kept travel journals for my big trips abroad but usually stop writing by the end of the trip – I do try to write down funny anecdotes though to always remind myself of the funny things that happened! You’re really inspiring me to write a journal next time I’m abroad! Also, I keep all kind of stubs and memorabilia and never even thought of putting them in my journal! Good idea 🙂

  6. Thanks Camila, that’s really kind; let me know if you end up with a journal for the next trip! Funny anecdotes are definitely the best things to look back at and laugh at all those years later 🙂

  7. I always keep travel journals on big trips. It may sometimes be hard to find time to write, or force myself to stay awake and write instead of collapsing into bed, but I’m always SO glad I did when I want to flip back through my memories!

    Ooh are you going to Lausanne soon?! I absolutely love it there! I’m a huge Olympics nerd so I’m incredibly biased, but I 100% think the Olympics museum is worth a visit. And one of my favorite afternoons was spent on an hours-long walk (complete with a picnic) around Lake Geneva!

  8. This is wonderful! I love journaling during my travels too! It helps me sit and relax, soaking in all the sights and smells of the place I am visiting. And then months and years later, I can reminisce all the memories! It was great finding you through Travel Tuesday!

  9. I love the idea of a travel journal. It’s so fun to go back and read! I kept one when I did a semester abroad and then subsequently forgot on every single trip I’ve taken. Until now… we were given a travel journal as a going away present and we plan on using it during our year in Korea!

  10. I guess everyone is different, but for me a journal should be about not what I did but what I experienced. I was travelling once in Thailand and was sitting on a ferry and noticed a girl backpacker in front of me writing her travel journal, and (yes….. I know I shouldn’t have done it but I couldn’t stop myself, and it’s none of my business…..) but…..I started peering over and seeing what she was writing, I was really quite shocked. It was the most boring information I had read, e.g. got up at 6.00. Ferry left at 8.00. Met John on the Ferry, nice guy. Had lunch. Booked ticket….and so on…..I really wondered what she would think of this when she got back home. Perhaps she had some other reason for writing it, but anyway……yes, it’s none of my business. BUT, I think she should be writing about what is different about this country, what shocked her, what she learned about herself from this adventure….realisations on life!

    Just my opinion. What do other people think?

    • I think the beauty of travel journals is that they are very personal to each person and I don’t think any rules need to be applied to how people use them. I know of people that sketch in theirs, write bullet points, write pages of prose, stick in ticket stubs and leaflets etc.

  11. I love how you’ve collected all the ephemera from your journeys! I started keeping travel journals a few years ago, and find myself going back to them to enjoy forgotten moments, or stories not captured in photos. My husband and I find great value in travel journaling — but prefer digital media — so we built Bonjournal, a simple travel journal app and website. For those of you looking for an online option, please check out our little labor of love!

  12. Whoa your travel journal from back in the day is so elaborate! Love it!

    I always bring a travel journal but I’m only good at writing daily the beginning of the trip- by mid trip or the end, I usually have slacked off on my writing and never finish it. It’s hard to stay disciplined when traveling! But so worth it afterwards when you can reexperience the trip through the journal. Great post!

  13. Pingback: Capturing the Everyday Moments | WhatAWonderfulWorld

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