Tracing your Trail

A trip is exciting! You get to see new places, explore new activities and have loads of fun! But did you know that you can capture these experiences forever? Not only in photographs, but also in travel journals.

What is a travel journal?

In a travel journal, you can document the trips you’ve taken. From short city tours to week-long adventures, you can note down everything about the trip. You can record your experiences daily and note down what you saw, when you saw it and how you felt. And whenever you open your travel journal, you get to relive the experience!

We spoke to Noorain Ahmed, an illustrator who has been documenting all her trips since the past 10 years! She gave us some cool tips on how you can keep a travel journal and document your memories!

“I started keeping a travel journal because I liked to write about everything I saw when I travelled. Now, whenever I read my journal, I feel very happy as I remember everything I did on my trip. It makes me want to travel more.” 

Brooklyn Lopez, 7 years, Dubai

  • One for one

Keep a dedicated book for one particular journey and give it a title. For example, if you’re travelling to Manali, the title could be ‘Manali Diaries’. Mention the date so that when you look back you remember exactly when you took that trip. It’s best to make your own journal by stapling pages together, otherwise, you can use a small drawing book as it is easy to carry around.

  • Mapping fun!

One of the first things you could do is draw a map of the place you’re at. It could be the street you’re living near and the shops or landmarks around you. Just draw what you see. You could mark the street name, stores you visited, junctions, eateries or restaurants, places you hung out, or anything you noticed on the street. If you’re doing a tour of an entire state, then you could outline the state and mark places you visited in the state. Drawing maps should be done on the first day of the trip as you can keep adding to it throughout the journey. You can also add symbols to your map to remind you of the places you saw.

  • Do it Daily

One of the things about travel journaling is you do it on the spot, while you’re on the trip as that’s what makes it special. Make an entry every day as your memories are fresh and you will be able to remember every single thing you did. If you make a note and think of putting it down later, you won’t be able to capture how you felt. It makes it special to do it right away because then you have two memories—one of the moment you are capturing and the memory of you drawing or writing about it.

  • Date it!

Whatever you’re capturing every day put the date in one corner or a title for each entry summarising your day.

  • Pen it in!

To ensure you maintain your journal every day, use a pen. If you use a pencil, you won’t be able to complete it as you will keep erasing. Use a pen and ensure you finish your journal.

  • Pick, stick and go!

It’s not necessary to only write or draw in your travel journal. You can also stick pictures, bills, tickets or something you found, or anything that describes some part of your trip.

“My travel journal is full of pictures, drawings and tickets to the museum and every single place we went. I even stuck the label of this juice I drank, which is the tastiest juice I ever had.”

Nikhil Singh, 10 years, Pune

Travel Journal Checklist

  • A title for your trip (it could be funny, quirky, adventurous or simple)
  • A map (that includes places visited, street names, important locations/ spots, north direction, distances, major landmarks, etc.)
  • People you travelled with
  • Where you stayed
  • People you met and the interesting things they said
  • Places you visited and memorable moments
  • What you ate
  • How you travelled (cab, car, auto, train, flight, bus, rickshaw, by foot, etc.)
  • Signage that is unique (welcome to…, 10 km to .., metro ahead, etc.)
  • Stickers, tickets, stamps, wrappers, fallen leaves, flowers etc.
  • Things you bought
  • Do’s and don’ts that you can share with your friends later