Create your own Travel Diary (Journal)
A travel journal is probably the best physical souvenir you will have of your travels because it can gather all kinds of information taken on the moment: thoughts, feelings, pictures, drawings, city maps, countries, continents, etc. So when you will re-open it years later, all your "archives" will awake those moments you spent alone or with others people.
And there are no rules for creating a good travel journal!
Above all, it must be like you. You have writing skills, write. Drawing skills? Draw! You don't have specific talents for a notebook? What does it matter? Here's a list of ideas to help you create your own travelogue.
1) The journal itself.
There are a lot of models and sizes nowadays, with hard or soft covers, colored or not, blank page or with lines. Personally, I went for the simplest and cheaper : a small notebook with a strong cover, such as we use at school. However, avoid a too big size so that it can be easily stored in the bag and not too small either, if you decide to stick postcard on it.
Your thoughts : reflections on an event, a poetic sentence, a one page text or just a quote. Don't force yourself to look for the magic phrase, write what comes to you. Go for the real thing. This is your personal notebook, not a novel ;)
It can also be the program of the day, the visits made, the place of the hike, the moment that has just passed...
Whether or not you have drawing skills, doodle on your notebook. A sketch, a diagram, a man, a shape or even the flag of the country you are in. It can both liven up your page and fill in the blanks depending on the composition of your elements.
Use color to make elements stand out, whether it's a drawing, a date of arrival, the name of the city or country, or a phrase or expression that stands out to you. You can have your own color code throughout the notebook or use, for example, the colors of the country's flag for the pages you dedicate to it. (ex: Brazil: green, blue, yellow)
- Plane, train, boat tickets
- Tourist city map, country map, continent map
- Business card: Youth Hostel/Hotel where you slept, Restaurant/Bar that you enjoyed, a book or record store, a store, an acquaintance during your trip...
- Tickets for museums, buses, trains, movies...
- A picture of you and your friends printed (even on a classic paper)
- A bag of local tea (like coca tea in Bolivia), a label from a beer, a bottle of alcohol or a bottle of water
- a small bracelet that broke
All this will not cost you anything because it is either free at your hotel or an information point of the city, or it is included in the price of what you have bought (a tour, transportation, drinks...)
As you can see, there are so many "things" to get so keep them if they fit inside.
6) Get your friends to write!
On a trip you meet people. Sometimes for an evening and sometimes we keep in touch for life. In any case, if the vibe was good, make these new friends write a note or have them scribble something, even if it's not important. Just to have a trace of this magical moment.
These are just a few ideas of what your travel journal could include and it will be pretty full by then. Make it something that looks like you, but don't be too serious. Make it with a child's soul: color, drawing, diagrams, tape and glue, jokes, craziness and passion. Just like your journey.