I got the idea for a travel journal when I was in Thailand. I met a girl in Bangkok who kept a travel journal. She carried it with her on her trips and took time to add to the journal while she was traveling. I absolutely loved the idea, especially since I’m not a fan of souvenirs. A travel journal seemed like the perfect way to honor and remember my time spent abroad.
So when I was at the Suvarnabhumi airport, I browsed some of the gift shops. I was looking for something to send home from my parents, but I also found the perfect journal to use as a travel journal. It’s a cloth-bound journal with blank, unlined pages.
As soon as I got home and caught up on sleep I made it a point to start putting my travel journal together. In the beginning, I’ve included a list of states and countries I’ve been to. The following pages are dedicated to the places I’ve been.
So what goes in my travel journal?
Anything and everything. I’m not very good at art, so I tend to glue more things into my journal than drawing things I saw and ate. I save ticket stubs, bus tickets, boarding passes, even food wrappers of unique foods I eat abroad. I glue all these things into the journal and I wrote notes about places I went, people I met, and things that I want to remember. Each page is a collection of memories, meshed together like a scrapbook.
While journals are usually a place for private musings, I love sharing my travel memories with others. It helps me to remember small details about places I’ve been, and the things I usually keep have a story behind them. Like the milk tea Kit Kat wrapper. It was the worst Kit Kat I’ve ever eaten, and I knew it would be bad. But I had never seen one before, so why not try it?
What do you need to start a travel journal?
All you need are some mementos, stories, a journal, and your favorite things to write with. I personally love Staedtler Triplus Fineliners and use them almost exclusively in my daily life I also carry a small glue stick in my pencil case. You might be able to get away with a child’s craft scissor depending on your airline, but those are a no-go in Asia, so I took to tearing and ripping anything I wanted to keep.
When I was choosing my journal, I wanted something with unlined pages. Mine also happens to be from somewhere I traveled, so it has a nice elastic band that says “Thailand” but you can also get one in your home country. I was just so excited to start travel journaling that I didn’t want to wait to go shopping when I got back to Korea.
So if you’re someone who travels a lot, I definitely recommend ditching the souvenirs and starting a travel journal. After all, the keychain will break, but a handwritten account of your memories will last for years to come.