This year I decided to write a holiday journal. I wanted to record my experience of America whilst I was there. I found it to be a really fun tool for capturing my memories and all the memorabilia I had collected.
There were several things I learnt that I thought I would share:
I decorated and set up my journal before I left the UK. I knew I wouldn't have time to do this abroad. I avoided any bulky embellishments on top as I thought that these may get knocked off while traveling.
I also made sure that I brought some small supplies. This was a godsend as the house we were staying in didn't even come with a pair of scissors. I simply packed a glue stick, scissors, a roll of decorative tape and a fountain pen. All amusingly squeezed into my wash bag!
I think it is important to remember that journalling isn't scrapbooking. At least it wasn't for me. I knew I couldn't bring bags of patterned paper so I kept it simple.
I bought a journal from paper chase and it turned out to be a nice size. Don't go too small as I found that leaflets and brochures are quite big and only just fit in my book which was 9.5" tall.
Write each day
This sounds like a really silly tip, but I found that my memories were far clearer when I wrote them up at the end of the day. Try and find a piece of time when things are quiet, before supper in my case, and write what you remember from the day.
I finished off each entry with a simple "today I am: thinking, feeling, listening etc" It helped me add a personal touch to my journal and break down my day into emotions and senses.
After each journal entry or before in some cases I stuck in things I had collected through the day. Wherever we went I tried to pick up at least one brochure or leaflet. I also collected things like tickets or gift tags or wristbands. I even stuck in receipts after a visit to the outlet mall. The more you collect the more you can play around with in your journal when you get back.
I found that collecting things made a great form of evidence in my journal. I also liked how interactive it made my journal. Many of the leaflets and maps had to be unfolded to see properly.
I told my family what I was doing right from the start and they were great in collecting things for me. They would often see a leaflet on the side and ask if I could put it in my journal. Involving them also meant that there was more than one brain behind the journal entries. I wrote them all myself but they were invaluable when I forgot a place name or detail!
Don't stress about the photos.
At first I didn't really know how my photos would fit in with the journal. I mean they were all stuck on my camera, did I leave space for them each day or put them at the back?
I think this really is personal preference but I opted to put them at the back and order them online when I got home. Although it means that the journal entries and the photos will be a little bit disjointed, I didn't want to leave space each day and then find I had more photos than could fit in.
Either way I think it is important not to stress about where the photos fit in. At the end of the day the words and the pictures go together, each as important as the other. The taking the photos is the important part, not the sticking them in.
I ended up really looking forward to writing in my journal each evening. It was satisfying to see it get fatter over the course of the holiday, knowing that it was full of thoughts and memories.
Have you ever written a holiday journal?
What tips do you have?