May 10, 2018 in Inspiration, Traveltips by Sunny Jansen

Traveling and journaling

May 10, 2018

Earlier this year I traveled to the Dutch Waddenisland Terschelling with my niece and nephew, 10 and 13 years old. When I had their age, I also visited Terschelling and in preparation for our holiday I showed them the photobook and the journal I kept back then. I also decided to encourage them to keep a travel journal about our time on the island. I gave them beautiful journals and new pencils. My niece was enthusiastic right away, but my nephew thought it was a terrible idea. ‘That’s school,’ he said. ‘While I’m on a holiday.’ Despite some grumbling and protest, he made notes in his journal and after a few days he told me it was fun to sit down together every evening to discuss and document our day. At the end our trip, my nephew and niece both decided to record their future trips.

Since I was a child I journaled to document my travels. And now as I travelblogger I obviously still do. I start a new journal every trip well in advance. It helps me to document my research, to determine which places I would like to visit and what experiences I can’t afford to miss. I use my journal to plan routes and to write down things  I have to figure out and arrange. Also during the trip I take many notes: the route I have traveled, beautiful places, nice encounters, good restaurants and many experiences and tips that others can benefit from. I also write down feelings and emotions, sounds and smells, things that are the core of the country to me.

For me, traveling is a way to understand the world in which we live, to educate myself based on first hand experiences, and to open my eyes to new sights, sounds, tastes and experiences. The same goes for life in general. Over the years I discovered that it’s also rewarding to journal in everyday life. On a travel or a road trip you need a map and for your everyday life the same is true: iIf you want to get somewhere in life, you need a map, and your journal is the map for the road trip called life. Journaling is a priceless tool for self-reflection and self-improvement. A journal can have many functions. It’s a place to reflect. It’s a place to capture important thoughts and feelings. It’s a place to sort out where you’ve been and where you intend to go. It’s a place where you learn from your life experiences. Journaling helps you to design your  journey every step of the way. It helps you to find out what is truly worth focusing on today and to decide what is not.

You’re not the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or a week ago. You are always growing. Life is always changing  and experiences don’t stop. Reading back in your journal you will see this more clear. So, even when you are not happy with your life, take your journal and write down what a new beginning means to you right now.  What is the first thing you will do with it? Grab a journal whether you are traveling or at home, and ask yourself: what am I going to do with this one wild and precious life?

Dream. Attempt. Explore. This moment is the doorway to anything you want. Fill your life with lots of experiences, not lots of things. Live life to the fullest. Have an eye for the beauty in every day and in every experience. Document your journey and have incredible stories to tell.

 

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