Hands up if you sometimes keep a travel diary on your trips? I think lots of us do, because we want to remember those great moments when we’re in a different place and experiencing something new.
But hands up, too, if you find your travel diary SO boring when you reread it later on? Sadly, I think most of you who put your hands up the first time have still got them raised now!
5 Ways to Make your Travel Diary more interesting
Amanda Kendle loves to travel, and as a social media consultant and blogging expert she knows a thing or two when it comes to writing and keeping a journal. She runs online and offline courses and is kindly sharing some great tips with us today to help anyone who’s ever thought about writing, or anyone who’s written a travel diary which they might feel is well, a bit boring, a few years later after the great adventure itself.
Over to Amanda …
For a long time, I thought it was just me. I love to write – heck, I get paid to write – but when I went travelling, my journals were filled with just “blah blah blah” that I never wanted to read again, let alone share with family and friends. Fortunately, I then got asked to teach a “travel writing for travel lovers” course here in Perth, and I was forced to make the effort to fix this problem! So now, let me share the love by helping you with some ways to make your own travel diaries more interesting on your next trip.
1. Pick and choose your details
One reason my old travel journals were so boring were that I wrote down every single detail of every little thing I’d done each day of my trip. I was scared of forgetting stuff! But I realised that it’s not actually necessary to remember everything – just highlighting the memorable, interesting, thought-provoking and life-changing stuff is enough.
2. Remember the people
The locals and the fellow travellers I come across on my trips are often the most interesting part of the day, so if you remember to write about the characters you’ve met, you’re more than likely to make your diary far more interesting.
3. Add some visuals
There are lots of ways to add some visual spice to your travel diary. Even though I’m an absolutely terrible artist, I sometimes sketch something as a memory – usually a really interesting building, or something else too large to capture well in a photo, or even a story map about my day. Alternatively, you can stick in some pretty tickets or part of a brochure that shows a place you’ve visited.
4. Be sensitive to the senses
If you read back on old travel diaries, you’ve probably used the sense of sight a lot; if you’re a food-lover, the sense of taste probably got a mention too. But I’ll always remember how sweetly the birds sang in Europe (our Australian birds sound kind of out of tune); I remember writing about the feel of ice when I went ice fishing in Finland. And smell is often the most memory-evoking sense of all.
5. Don’t describe the sunset
Well, you can describe the sunset if you really want, but try to avoid cliches. Sunsets, mountain views, oceans – these kinds of places often suffer when we try to describe them but use the same worn out phrases that everyone has used a billion times, and they come out not sounding particularly special at all.
A bit about Travel Journal School:
I’m so passionate about helping people create travel memories they appreciate and look back on that I’ve started an online course called Travel Journal School. We have lots of fun looking at different ways to write down your memories more beautifully, as well as exploring various ways to do it – a traditional written journal, a blog, social media, scrapbooking, digiscrapping and more.
Find out more at the Travel Journal School website or join the mailing list to hear when enrolments open again for the February/March session.
And thanks, Jo, for letting me pop by Lifestyle Fifty!