I’ve been on the road for 14 months now.
That’s a pretty long time! And, recently, I’ve been getting worried…
Worried that, one day in the future, I’ll look back on this incredible period of my life and it’ll all be a blur.
I mean, days pass crazily fast, and my memory is shockingly bad. I’m scared I’ll remember barely any of what I’m doing in the years to come…
It’s the small things I’m most concerned about forgetting.
You know, the little details that make the experience so special:
The feelings, thoughts, chance encounters, random conversations, unexpected moments of beauty…
It’s those sorts of things I love most about travelling. But they get so easily lost to time- locked in a part of my memory I have no access to.
So, I’ve been thinking about starting a travel journal to help jog my memory.
Having failed to find the motivation to commit to the task so far, though, I decided to put together some travel journal prompts to get me started!
Want a record of your travels, but need some initial ideas on what to write about?
Keep reading for a list of travel prompts that I hope will come in handy (for both of us!).
22 Travel Prompts to Spark Journal Writing Inspiration
1. The day started with/by…
Write about how the day began.
What time did you wake up? How did you sleep? What was the first thing you did?
2. Today I went/did…
Next, detail the key points from the day.
Go through what your day looked like from start to finish- in as little or as much detail as you fancy. This can get a little time-consuming and prosaic at times, so you could even bullet point this part.
It’s important to do, though. This is the stuff you’ll want to remember in future!
3. My highlights of the day included…
Out of everything you did, what were your favourite bits?
Aim for 5 or so highlights. Even if the day was an unprecedented failure, you could still try to find the silver linings!
4. The worst part of the day was when…
I don’t like the idea of travel journals being sugar-coated.
I want to look back on my time and get an accurate idea of what happened- the good, bad and ugly.
Talk about the parts of the day you found difficult, or didn’t like, or that went wrong. Often, it’s these situations that help you grow; remembering them will be fun in future.
5. As I sit here, I can see/hear/smell…
Don’t just look to the past in your entries.
Focus on what’s going on as you write as well. What sights and scenes are unfolding before you? Describe the people, the places, the sensations in detail.
You’ll read them in years to come and be transported right back to the moment.
6. I met someone called…
Talk about the people you met during the day.
What were their names? Where did they come from? Where did you meet? What did you do? What are they like? Talk about them (and then add them on Facebook so you can stay in touch!).
7. I spoke with/to…
Did you call home? Speak to family? Chat with people in the hostel?
What did you talk about, and for how long? Was the conversation easy and free-flowing, or stunted and strange?
Write about the conversations you had today.
8. I think I’m missing…
What are some of the things you’re missing about home?
Have you longed for anything in particular today? Creature comforts? Certain foods? A hug from your mum? Write it all down.
9. Today I’ve been feeling…
I’ve kept travel journals in the past.
And I almost always find it more interesting to read about how I was feeling than what I was doing.
Both are important, of course. But the point of the journal is that I want to look back and remember my days! A big part of that is the emotional side of things.
Make sure you give it a mention too.
10. I ended up buying…
Did you purchase anything cool today?
Imagine reading this journal in future next to the mantelpiece full of your travel souvenirs.
It’s always cool to read an entry where you describe seeing and purchasing one of those things! You have a very real and tactile reminder of the events you’re reading about.
11. My mind was taken up with/by…
You’ve covered what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been feeling.
The next logical step is to write about the things you’ve been thinking about!
What’s been on your mind? Were you thinking about home, friends and family? What caused these things to enter your head?
12. Today I struggled with/to…
What did you find difficult about the day?
What tested and pushed you out of your comfort zone?
13. I discovered that…
Write about the things you’ve learned.
This is always awesome to read about in future. You begin to understand what made you who you are; you see the parts of your travels that bettered you as a person.
14. The weather was…
A little prosaic, again, but there’s no harm talking about the weather.
Trust me, I’m English. It’s classic small talk content. If you’re really stuck for something to day, give the weather a mention.
15. The scenery was…
Descriptions of the scenery and your environment might be more interesting to look back upon in future.
What things did you see today? Where were you? What were you surrounded by? What colors were present? How about the terrain?
All those things will help you fix the day in memory.
16. The locals were…
Write about the locals!
Sure, the fellow travellers you meet along the way are great.
But you’re far less likely to add the locals on social media to help you remember them.
…Which is why it’s good to write about them in your journal.
Make a note of their names when you met them, what they looked like, how they made you feel, what you did together, and what you talked about.
17. My first impression of the place was…
I like this one.
It’s another good writing tool to help you step back into the moment when you eventually come to read the entry again.
What did you think of the places you went to today? How did they make you feel? Would you recommend them?
18. My instant reaction to ‘X’ was…
Here’s a similar idea.
However, rather than talking about the first impression of a place, you could talk about your first reaction to anything that happened throughout the day.
What came to mind when you did this, saw that, and met them? You get the idea.
19. I ate and drank…
I guess this one comes under the things you did throughout the day.
However, I think it deserves a special note in your journal (not always, perhaps, but definitely sometimes). I mean, the new foods and drinks you consume while travelling are a massive part of the experience.
What dishes did you try? Again, what were your first impressions? What did you like? What did you hate? What was the weirdest thing you ate?
20. I’m/I’ve been worried about…
What worries, concerns and anxieties have you had today?
Write them out in full.
Aside from being able to look back and realise the neuroses that plagued you on the road, the act of getting them down onto paper might ease the emotional strain as well.
21. If I had to sum the day up in one word, it would be…
This one speaks for itself, really.
But I guess it’s a good way to get the rest of the entry flowing better.
Start with your word for the day and then explain why that’s what came to mind.
22. Tomorrow I plan to…
You could finish the entry by talking about your plans for tomorrow…if you have any!
Enjoy These Travel Journal Prompts
Keeping a travel journal is a great way to preserve the previous memories you form on the road.
But the actual process of writing in it every day isn’t easy. For one thing, it’s a serious commitment. For another, it’s tough to know what to write about.
Hopefully, these travel journal prompts will help you and me both to sit down and get started!
Got thoughts or reflections on this blog post? I’d love to hear them. Drop me a comment below and I’ll be sure to respond.
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