How To Journal While Traveling

And then I found my own way to journal.

schuyler journal write
PHOTO SCHUYLER ARAKAWA

I was always really overwhelmed by the concept of journaling. Especially because everyone tells you that you have to do it when you travel: “write down every detail!,” “how you’re feeling!,” “what you’ve learned!” In the past, I would get so overwhelmed with trying to write down every aspect of my life that I would end up not writing anything at all. I was too focused on writing that I’d forget about living. So I’d end up with a notebook full of an extremely detailed account of my first 7 days, followed by an abundance of blank pages.

And then I found my own way to journal. I bought a cheap daily planner from Carrefour (the Wal-Mart of Barcelona) and wrote down everything I did every day. Nothing long. Just restaurants, stores, museums, parks that I went to, someone new I met, and maybe two or three key words about the place. For me, this was perfect. Going back through my planner, I can remember the emotions I associated with each place and the experiences I had there. Now I can look back through my journal and give people recommendations and advice on places to go too. It took me two minutes at the end of every day, and still when I read it, I’m flooded with the memories of these places. That coffee shop that had the cool art on the wall, the vegetarian restaurant I would go to in between my Monday classes, the night club we stumbled upon and stayed at until closing. It’s all there, all of my experiences, in my little blue planner.

journal write
PHOTO SCHUYLER ARAKAWA

Don’t be overwhelmed with journaling. It doesn’t need to be this daunting task where you spend hours writing every detail of your life down to the color of the socks you were wearing. Or it can be. That’s the beauty of it. You can write down as much or as little as you want. Journaling is all about you. It’s writing down your experience, your thoughts, your dreams. Write down things that will help you remember, while not forcing you to think so much about how you’re going to reminisce in the future that you’re not living in the present. One of my friends didn’t even mention places in his journal, he just wrote down his thoughts, what he was thinking about. Whereas for me, writing down the places brought back all of the thoughts and feelings I had while I was there. A journal is blank so that you can fill it with you. So find out what works best for you, get a cool notebook, planner, sketchbook, post-it note, blog, newspaper, old napkins, and create you.

journal write traveling
PHOTO SCHUYLER ARAKAWA

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