Picture yourself in a French bistro, coffee in hand, thick notebook on the table, looking out to the sea.

Around you is the sound of everyday life, busy and relaxing at the same time. What if you could capture this moment? 

I don’t mean in a photograph. Anyone can take a photo, but does it really take you back to those little moments? Mostly we snap photos of the sites and tourist traps, happy moments with friends and family.

But those little moments of quiet when all you can smell is freshly ground coffee and cigarette smoke as it wafts through the open door. You sit by a window, hearing the chimes of bicycles as they pass by.  

Surely, you’ve felt a moment like this when you’ve been on holiday. Perhaps your experiences, the ones you cherish look, sound and feel completely different from this. And yet what do we do with them, we forget them.  

It’s a shame to think how many tiny memories like this I’ve forgotten over the years.  

So, in today’s post, I’ll be discussing a solution that the writer in us will hopefully appreciate – keeping a travel diary.

What is a travel diary? 

A travel diary is a way of recording your memories and experiences when you’re out and about on holiday or otherwise.  

Plenty of people rely on photographs, which are great, but a travel diary has the potential to give you more. It will record how you felt during these experiences – something that photos can’t always capture accurately.  

How do I keep one? 

There are no rules here. You could use notes on your phone, on an app like Penzu or you coud use the tried and tested method of writing in a notebook.  

When it comes to journaling, I usually do a mixture of methods but there’s nothing quite like opening your favourite notebook and pouring your thoughts onto the page.  

When will I have time to write in one? 

One question you might have is – when will I have time to write one when I’m busy having fun? 

It’s understandable, especially if you’ve got a highly active holiday filled with canoeing or paragliding. In cases like these, I would probably wait until the end of the day or early in the morning before you go out.

What are the benefits? 

So, what’s in it for you? We’ve already touched on it a bit but here are the key benefits I think you could gain from keeping a travel diary. 

Record your memories 

We’ve already gone into this a bit at the start, but recording your memories in this way is a fun and unique method. Alongside holiday snaps, you’ll make sure you remember every little detail.  You might even want to make a scrapbook of it – with your own thoughts alongside photographs you’ve taken.

Wind down 

If you love writing, you’ll know all about the benefits of it to your health and wellbeing. Writing can be fun and relaxing or a great way to wind down for the evening.  

Noting down your thoughts at the end of the day will also help you fall asleep. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I’ve had a busy day, my mind is still spinning at the same rate when I try to sleep. Jotting all your thoughts down before you go to bed is a great way to both clear the mind and also record your memories.  

Give yourself something to do in quiet moments  

When you finally get a minute to yourself in a café or a bar or next to the pool, what better way to spend this time than to reflect on your experiences of the day/week just gone. 

Have you ever kept a travel diary? How did you organise it and which method did you use? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.