Before I went travelling I had never kept a diary in my life. Believe me, I had tried. I wanted to be one of those girls like many of my friends at school who wrote the thoughts and meanderings down for various reasons, but I just couldn’t do it. I would either forget or think ‘what’s the point’? But before I left for my round the world trip I was given a diary, and for the first time, I kept it. And thank god I did! Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t enjoy keeping it; I literally had to force myself to write something in it every single day of my trip, but since I started NST I have never been so thankful I did.
If you’ve been following NST you will know that I actually went backpacking round the world 4 years ago. 4 YEARS!! Can you remember what you were doing on this day 4 years ago? Nor can I, but thankfully I have my diary to help me remember! The poor thing is well a truly knackered (as you can see in the photo) with nearly all the pages stuck in with sellotape, but it’s done some serious mileage and I was pretty knackered by the end too! But I love it and the memories it sparks, and if my house was on fire and I could only grab one thing, that would be it.
As you can see, mine is jam packed full of what I did, what was annoying me, who I met, how I was feeling as well as little mementos like ticket stubs, beer mats, flags that you get in food, EVERYTHING. So you can understand why the pages had to be taped in. All of these bits and bobs are personal to me and from them, I can remember the most random things.
The beauty of keeping a diary is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. I kinda think of it as the opposite of Instagram which is full of the most perfect views and the most exotic of adrenaline filled experiences. A diary is for those memories but also for the realities of travel like when you’re bored or stuck in some shit hostel. Just because it’s not picturesque, doesn’t mean it’s not important!
Here are my tips for keeping a travel diary:
- Find a diary that you like. If you like it you will more likely to write in it and not just use it as scrap paper.
- Take some nice pens to write with to make it easier.
- Bring sellotape, scissors and glue to cut out things and stick them in, or of course to tape pages back in like I had to!
- Don’t write it like someone else is going to be reading it. It’s YOURS for you to do what YOU want with it.
So my advice to anyone about to go travelling is to take a diary and do what you want with it. So much is shared with the world electronically on social media today, that putting pen to paper is forgotten. Make it be what you want it to be and enjoy reminiscing years down the line!