I used to always keep a journal, especially when I’m travelling. I loved taking time everyday to set some time for myself, and write out everything I did, and my thoughts about everything and everyone, knowing that no one else will ever read it (except for this one time when a Dutch guy stole my journal and I had to spend some time chasing him down in the hostel, before finally tackling him down).
I love reading about all my adventures (some I remember vividly, and others not so much), misadventures, friends, loves, heartbreaks, and of course all the many, many firsts on the road. One of my favourite things about re-reading my journals though, is reliving the excitement I felt when I was writing those words down on the pages. I always sound so happy, curious, and even innocent, as I wonder what will happen once I move to that new city or country. Or even I board that plane, bus, train, boat, camel, etc.
Strangely, I brought some empty journals with me to Germany, but only wrote a few pages before I stopped. Once I felt like writing in it a month later, so much has happened since then, that I kept telling myself that I’ll find some time to write everything down. And of course the longer I put off writing it, the more things would happened, and the more time I would need in order to write everything down. Needless to say, I still haven’t written anything on there since August.
Recently, I started reading my journal from Australia, and it’s interesting reading my thoughts from two years ago. There’s so many questions I had back then, which I felt my life revolved around, or things I wanted, and ideas I’ve had. And then there’s me trying to sound all clever and witty. Sometimes successfully, while other times, I cringe and wonder why I’d had written such a thing.
Here’s a few excerpts….
Sydney, Friday April 30th.
“Explored the city a bit. Really busy. Really hot. Lots of people. Went to the kitchen but no one approached me excitedly to be my friend. How am I suppose to make friends now??”
Byron Bay, Tuesday May 25th.
“At that point we all hated Paul. Even the random Brit who just checked into our room and met the guy for 2 seconds hated him. I swear if Canadian tourism declines, it’s all his fault.”
Brisbane, Wednesday May 26th.
“The lady at the front desk upgraded me from the 10 bed dorm to the girls sanctuary, and somehow the only English book I found in the book swap happened to be a Bible. So now I’m reading a Bible, surrounded by girls. God must not have approved of last night.”
Brisbane, Tuesday July 13th.
“Clemont has developed a shy French guy crush on me. I’m certain from the way he looks at me since he’s holding a book in front of him, but he’s not reading it. And I know that because the book’s upside down.”
One of my favourite things I wrote in the journal is my last entry, which I wrote on the flight back to Canada.
“In four and a half months, I feel like I’ve become friends with people from everywhere in the world, I’ve gone on road trips with amazing people, danced and partied hard, sang Wonderwall more times than I’d admit to, been amazed by the kindness of strangers and travellers, snorkelled in the Great Barrier Reef, fell in love with sailing, stayed up way too late almost every night, drank a very unhealthy amount of goon, been to more clubs and bars than I did in first year uni, learned about new cultures, learned about myself, became a more confident and braver person, took dares, been to more beaches than I ever have, lived life with no regrets, woke up everyday excited and happy, made lifelong friends, and fell in love. This may be the end of my journal, but my journey is far from complete. I’m only 21 after all. Great things are still waiting to happen.”
And of course, lots of great things did happen from when I wrote that until now. It’s like I’m wise beyond my years (although I’m turning 24 in a few months, and still struggle to open anything with a child safety cap on).
Do you guys keep a journal with you when you travel?