1. You'll forget more than you might think
Let's face it, our memories aren't always great. In fact, sometimes we can forget some pretty amazing stuff. How old is the Colosseum in Rome? What was the name of that delicious sushi restaurant in Tokyo? What did you learn about yourself backpacking South America solo for 3 months?
Considering all of the excitement around new experiences while traveling, it can often seem like a specific travel experience would be impossible to forget. However, we know that's not the case. You'll be so frustrated later when you're trying to remember those memories that you didn't write down.
2. It helps you better connect to your destination
Have you read any books about your destination? A travel journal is the perfect place to take notes. Heard a song you like by a famous musician from your destination? Write it down. Taken a tour of a monument and learned about its history? Take some time to write about your experience.
Not only will you better remember this information, but you will feel more connected to your destination. We often travel because we like experiencing cultures different from our own to learn and grow. This is a great tool to do just that.
3. Store practical information
A travel journal is a great place to record all of the practical information that you want to remember -- the email address of that friendly backpacker at a hostel in India, the name of your favorite restaurant in Mexico City, or that artist that you discovered at the Louvre.
You'll be glad you have all of this information to refer back to when you are returning to a travel destination or are giving advice out to fellow travelers.
4. Learn about yourself
Traveling can be a practice of self discovery. As you learn about your destination, you can now apply that perspective to your own life. What better medium to discover yourself than to write down your thoughts and emotions into a travel journal and get the most out of your new insights.
5. Creative Inspiration
Traveling often seems like a never-ending source of creative inspiration. Adding your own spin to your travel journal will not only make the practice more pleasurable, it will increase your connection to a location by adding your personal expressions. Drawings, lists, maps, recipes and even including postcards and ticket stubs are ways to liven up your entries for a dynamic view into your own unique travel experiences.
6. A place to call your own
Amid new places, people and cultures, its nice to have an outlet that is uniquely your own while traveling. By keeping a travel journal, you have a place to reflect on your very personal travel experiences and are able to express yourself within the comfortability of your own self expression. Often out of your comfort zone while traveling, its nice to have a place to call your very own.
7. An outlet for travel stress
Sometimes travel is complex -- and stressful. On these occasions, your journal can be a lifeline of sorts. If feeling homesick, anxious or frustrated, writing about it in your travel journal can bring some relief and offers reflection into the situation. You will usually find that things aren't as bad as they had seemed and that you are just as brave and resilient as you have always been.
8. It's a good use of time
Have a 4 hour layover? What about a 7 hour train ride? Eating lunch alone? A travel journal is a great use of time in these situations and more. Take advantage of the minor inconveniences that often accompany travel and use that time for creative expression, self-reflection or recording anything else that you'd like to remember.
9. Helping others when you get home
Ever had a friend ask for travel tips from a recent destination only to struggle to remember the specifics? Recording these practical details not only helps you get more out of your trip but it very well might help a friend get the most out of theirs.
10. It's a great keepsake
There's not much in life that can replace an old travel journal and its charming character from being worn out on the road. Your travel journal will serve as a tangible, and often beautiful, keepsake to look through and reminisce about your many adventures for years to come.