Sorry I’ve been MIA. I’ve been taking a vacation from my vacations hahah
This will sound ridiculous to all of you who are out there working or going to school or whoever is just not out there traveling but I swear I just needed some time off traveling. Time off to disconnect from social media, from friends and family that are away, from the internet in general. I lost my flight out of Sri Lanka so I decided to stay for another week in this amazing country and I took as an opportunity to rest, to stay at one place for a while and to think but at the some time to not think if that makes any sense. I’m sure many travelers can relate on for those of you that haven’t been able to have this experience YET know that it is an experience that simply can be told it must be lived.
I have been keeping a journal religiously, and it is as detailed as they get; I write about things I see, the people I meet and most importantly to me all the emotions I have been feeling and the different things that have gone on my crazy mind. Now that I am resting I took the time to go back to my initial chapters, to when I started traveling and I can already tell how much I have changed. You are moving so much from one place to the other, onto the next adventure and thrill, meeting people that I hadn’t realized to what extent traveling long term has changed me and has made an impact in my life. It’s helped me appreciate the life I had and the life I am living right now and it feels like I am in a movie I swear. These four months of my travels have been all sorts of genre; rom-com, drama, thrillers, horror (yep that too), romance, you name it! It’s amazing how the universe works and how it gives you the experiences you need in your life and not the ones you necessarily want but every single thing I’ve seen and done and every single person I have met in the trip have had a purpose in crossing paths with me and I am forever grateful that it has all happened the way it has, even the terrible moments and negative experiences I have been in. At the end of the day they have been experiences and they are neither good nor bad they are experiences period.
I hadn’t realized much of these things until I started reading my journal and until I finally gave myself some time to not think and just be. Which is why I wanted to highly recommend all of you out there traveling to keep a journal, to make the time to write about things you feel, think and see. Here are my top ten reasons on why you should keep a journal when traveling long term.
1. You will have documented your trip
Having a journal is also a way to document the places you have been to and in what order, the restaurant you loved in that small town of Hikkaduwa in Sri Lanka, the name of that Italian you met at the coffee shop for three seconds, the street where you saw the most creative door (I have a thing for doors). It will help you remember the logistics and the details of your whereabouts.
2. It allows you to help other travelers
By keeping a journal and jotting down your logistics like your route, your mode of transportation, your “gone-wrongs” and what you should’ve done instead, your awful stays and your amazing ones as well of course, the place the party, the place with awesome food.. You get the drill. Pay it forwards kids.
3. You make good friends
By documenting the people you meet; their names, their locations, their story you become closer to the people you meet and it will help stay close even when you part ways. After you read your chapters on them you will appreciate their friendship even more and understand why it was you were supposed to meet them particularly.
4. You can point out what kind of adventures you enjoy the most
You don’t know what kind of things you like doing until you actually try it. By writing down what you did during the day and the fist time you experienced zip lining or scuba diving and add your thoughts on it and how you felt after that experience, you will be then able to point out what it is you love doing the most and can then redirect your energy towards those adventures that challenge not only you physical skills and capabilities but your mind’s as well.
5. A way to keep friends and family posted on your trip
I don’t know about you guys but I am very close to my family; siblings, aunts & uncles, cousins, grandma and friends of course and I can tell them everything! They are always writing to see what I am doing, what have I seen today, what’s the next destination, etc. Writing about it and sharing it with them makes them feel they are here with you and it makes you feel you miss them and want them to be a part of it. Sharing is caring!
6. You appreciate an experience even more
When you write on your journal you are forced to reflect on a certain experience in a detailed manner and it will open your eyes to see beyond the surface of the experience and actually tie down your feelings towards it making it all a richer and unforgettable experience. It makes you feel the experience rather than just being a part of it.
7. Some stories for the grandkids
You can never have enough for this and when people ask me one of the reasons I travel it is to have some stories for the grandkids of course. The stories that even after thirty years from now you can still remember, fell and even taste sometimes. I want to be a cool grandma, the grandma that motivates her grandkids to go out and explore and live their lives. To fall in love and out of love all the time and to challenge themselves to become a better person each day. Maybe I will even let my grandkids read my journal one day, the PG version of course!!! But it will be nice to share the things I did and thought when I was their age.
8. The world will make a bit more sense
Sometimes you arrive at some place where you simply just can’t understand why people do certain things or why they believe in certain things. When you write it down you learn to understand that you are in a different world out there traveling, you are experiencing different cultures and you are not meant to analyze or grasp why, you are just meant to live it and be a part of their culture in order to understand that everyone thinks and lives differently. It also makes you appreciate your own country the most and be grateful you were born into it. By appreciating other cultures and lifestyles you become a much more tolerant person and that will make you understand the things that happen around us and the different human beings that surrounds us on our daily lives.
9. Keeps you sane when traveling solo
Writing for me has helped me keep my mind sane specially because I am traveling alone and there’s not a girlfriend to talk to all the time. And even if you were with people you can’t always tell them everything you are feeling and thinking. Writing will let you rant and vent, it is always there for you whenever you just need to talk to someone. You learn to talk to yourself and not NEED to talk to someone else. By talking to yourself you will understand your mind the more and that will let you keep a clear mind, a positive vibe and smile even more.
10. It helps you become a better person
By writing down your experience and your feelings you learn things about yourself that you weren’t able to see before. You are living so many new experiences that there are always new emotions towards everything, it will let you know how you emotionally react to a negative experience and how you can overcome it. It will help you understand how you feel, who you are and what makes you happy. Verbalizing your emotions allows you to see more clearly and once you understand exactly who you are and the kind of person you want to be you will learn to embrace your inner you and make you not only a more confident person but a better person, a happier person that loves himself /herself first in order to give love out to the world.