Travel journaling can feel very overwhelming when you think about having to write every.single.day of a trip. With the Pack This Journal – or any travel journal – I want you to think less about how much you need to write, and instead fill it with objects and ideas that matter to you. You should always make your journal what you want.
But if writing more in your journal is your goal, I’ve compiled 5 of my favorite travel journal prompts that help get me started when I want to write on a trip but don’t know where to begin. Sometimes it takes extra effort to extract the details from a trip, and that’s ok! Take a moment and really examine your surroundings. Ask questions you wouldn’t normally ask. Try to see things from someone else’s perspective. That’s where the real stories are hiding. Keeping a few prompts on hand makes this process a whole lot easier!
“Do a before and after comparison”
Before leaving, what are your expectations? What do you THINK a place will be like? Afterwards, thinking about how were you right or wrong. You. can make this really special by starting to write before you even plan the trip, even if it is over a year away. Same thing on the flip side, writing more thoughts long after a trip. Is anything that happened on the trip and how you felt still affecting your life today?
“What are other people happily eating, talking about or excited to see?“
I tend to write the most detail in my journal about what I am eating or interesting things I find that I am gluing into my journal. Turn that view around and look at what other people (especially locals) are excited about in that moment. Even if it is something well known to you, it may be rare or special to other cultures. I’m not talking about stereotypical “the French like baguettes!” Imagine a booth at a farmer’s market is selling something you have never seen better.. What is special about that object? Why do people seem so excited about it?
“What is going on in the world?“
I was in the UK a few years ago when the people were about to vote on Brexit. It was a really interesting time to be there and hear one side versus another. Even if you’re not visiting somewhere with a major political debate raging, take notice of what is happening in all parts of the world and how it affects the people around you.
“Describe the best and worst thing that happened each day“
Yes, it’s easy to only write about the good parts of travel and ignore the bad. I’ve been guilty of that. I mean, who wants to remember getting pick pocketed or losing your luggage? The thing is those bad days are still part of your story. In the end they may be the stories you tell the most.
“Do you feel more or less like yourself here and why?”
This one has really been a game changer for me on past trips. I always like to think about how I am feeling at a particular location, and if I could see myself there for the long-term. It’s almost like a game I play, “Could I live here? Do I feel like myself here?” In some places, it has been a resounding NO. I could never be myself and live the life I want. But in other places, its been a strong YES! I feel so much like myself and like I could live there so easily. It interesting to pull out this particular feeling in each place you go and write it down so you remember it.