The joy of keeping a travel journal

Have you ever thought about keeping a travel journal? Meggie Williams takes you through how to get the most out of your adventure journalling

Meggie Williams
22nd November 2019
Paper World Geography Notebook Brochure Pen Map

Coming back home from an incredible travelling experience can be sometimes be a little underwhelming. You build up the moment so much in your head and, of course, for a few days, it is exciting however you quickly fall back into the same old routine and everything seems pretty much normal once more. Your trip feels like a distant dream and although there are certain bits you will always remember, like with all memories, some fade. It’s moments like these were you’ll never be happier you kept a travel journal, the power mine has to transport me back to places, people, emotions, tastes, smells and views is incredible. It is something I’ll always treasure. Here are a few pointers…


I actually spent the first month of my trip not touching my journal, the prospect was too taunting and I didn’t know where to begin. My advice? Begin. Don’t be too precious with it and instead jot down whatever comes to mind, even if it’s just a sentence, doodle or a couple of words. If you’re anything like me and sadly not gifted with the artistic gene, forget how it looks and trying to make it look pretty, mines’ a scribbly mess but I love it for that.

Be honest

I know this sounds simple but it’s important not to get sucked into the trap of only writing down the good bits, no trip is flawless. Not only is it therapeutic but it also makes your journal more authentic and powerful when reading it back. Who knows? It may even teach you something or maybe you’ll eventually be able to see the funny side (like the time I got head-butted by a buffalo).

Image Credit: Engin_Akyurt from Pixabay


Instead of throwing away receipts, playing cards, tickets, maps, notes, food wrappers, notes, beer stickers and any other aesthetic scraps you collect along the way, stick them in! They will bring your journal alive with colour and help illustrate so many thoughts. Photos are also great, so remember to leave space to stick them in once you’ve had them developed. Another idea of something beautiful to scrapbook are pressed flowers and plants.

Songs and books

It’s amazing the power music power has to transport you back to certain memories so write down the songs, playlists, artists and albums you are listening too. Writing down books you read at the time is also interesting to looks back on.


Even if you can’t... It makes a great break from writing and will add a whole new element to your journal whether it’s a cartoon of a funny story, time-killing doodles, portraits or views.

Guest entries

Some of my most favourite journal entries aren’t actually by me; they are place recommendations by other people, goodbye notes and doodles from a bored travel companion.


Travelling often leaves you inspired so write down every idea, reflection, revelation and plan for the future. These can be important and insightful to remember long after you’ve returned.

A bucket list

It wouldn’t be a travel journal without a bucket list would it?

Here are just a few ideas to hopefully inspire your next travel journal; the list is by no means exhaustive… like with anything creative there are no rules so go wild. I promise you won’t regret it.

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