I asked myself this question 2 years ago, when I started traveling Australia. Back then, I decided to don’t keep a travel diary. Personally, I thought it will take up too much time, writing about everything I experienced. I’ve met a lot of people keeping a diary and a lot of them were far behind, I just didn’t want to make myself this stress, always thought somewhere in your head, that you have to keep writing. And the more you fall behind the further you push writing. I wanted to have a stressless time and just focus on making the best of my trip. Actually, I didn’t want to think much about anything. My intention of doing this trip in the first place, was to just live from day to day, you know, take things as they come. Make new experiences every day, meet people, have fun, live life. Afterwards I can say, I did all that, I mean there were also some not so good times (when my car broke down, or I had a shitty job and didn’t earn money to continue traveling), but generally speaking, reflecting on the whole trip, this was the best decision I’ve made in my life… well, so far 😉 So, yeah, I didn’t keep a diary of my travels. But I should have…
On my trip I had the fortune, to meet amazing people from all over the world. I’ve spent a lot of time with some of them, we went together on road trips or worked together. Some I just talked to one or two days, but they were all part of this adventure, they truly made it special, every single one of them. Well, not so much the guy, who stole my GoPro, though… but that’s a different story. A fair bit of these people kept a travel diary, an actual book, where they’d write down what they did during their trip. Others were writing a blog online. When I met some of my friends I’ve made a couple of months later, we would read through their diary and I was wondering how much of the things we’ve experienced together I already forgot. It was all written down, black on white, and as I was reading it, the memories came back and I’d be like: “Ooooh yeah, this day was so funny!” I didn’t exactly say that, but you get my point, right? Right? Right!
The reason, I should have kept a diary, is to don’t forget. I mean, of course you remember most of your trip, you remember the “highlights”. I still remember the day we were driving through Kakadu National Park on Australia Day and had a flat tire, it was so hot, some shit under the tire started melting. We managed to put on the spare tire and continued driving. Literally two minutes later the tire on the other side was flat… But you easily forget stuff and mix up dates, especially when you’re traveling for a long period of time. I’d love to have a little overview of my trip, where was I at what time, what happened when or where. As I said, you still know the most, but not everything. It’s hard to remember what happened at what day. What did I do at the 24th of May 2015? I may find out by going through thousands of pictures and videos, but I just don’t know. I could look that up on my blog or in my travel diary. You don’t have to write day by day, but it’s nice to have a rough overview of your travel. Also, after some time passed, you grab your notes and still go through those memories with a smile on your face. And, of course, with some nostalgia.
So, travel diary, yes or no? Two years ago I said no, I wish I’d have said yes. I definitely recommend anyone, to keep a travel diary of some sort. If you’re not a writer, you can take a picture every day and write down some keywords of this day on the back. You can make a vlog, a video travel diary. There’s not only one way to keep track of your travel, to collect memories. You also don’t have to do it every day (except if you take a pic every day :D), you can do it every week or after road trips or after finishing work. It’s nice to know that your memories and your experiences are some sort of backed up. You can always go back to this amazing time you had. At least in your head.