I recently mentioned the concept of keeping a diary when you travel, mapping out the special moments and experiences. Keeping a record of the trip. But this was more in a diary form. Discussing this with a wellness professional put this in a different perspective. she discussed the concept that every day is an adventure and how keeping a daily journal could help you grow and seek out new adventures, even if it is something as simple as walking the dog or taking the mountain bike to nearby Delta Park.
She advocates writing down things that you are grateful for which on a trip or outdoor excursion could be a meal, scenery or even the braai at night.
She feels the habit could start on the next trip and will soon become a way of life. You develop a greater understanding as you encounter people and places out in the real world.
And you learn to appreciate them.
A mindful journalling practice becomes an exceedingly powerful tool. It’s also a quiet opportunity for one to explore the day and the trip, be it with friends or family.
It also turns negatives into positives, that puncture you had was not a great experience, but the fact that you were able to change the tyre and get to your destination on time is a positive.
Then the next day when you had the tyre repaired is another positive. All things to be grateful for.
I remember travelling between Sutherland and Kenhardt when we were all hungry and the most amazing restaurant appeared on the horizon. Complete with all the decor dedicated to Elvis.
Some tips to keep your journal alive;
- Seize the moment, don’t leave it until you get home, and take 10 minutes at the end of the day or before falling asleep.
- Keep a small notebook to make notes you can transpose them to your journal later in the day.
- Remember how ‘great’ and “beautiful” experiences were.
- What stirred your emotions? Even if is a pizza in a local park.
- Be dynamic and colourful, add stickers, postcards, maps and even leaves. It’s meant to remind you of an experience. Even if it is a visit to a local dam.
- Don’t forget to include memories of memorable meals.
- Develop a list of prompts to help you. For example; a new dish I ate, what I appreciated, a new person I met, today’s highlight etc. The list can be endless. And include the weather, it may have been lovely, miserable cold or very hot.
- And then did you learn something new? write it down.
Turn it into a creative outlet, there is always something to say. And always remain true to the experience. Even do your sketches, you don’t have to be an artist to capture a memory. Remember it is your journal. We live in a digital age but make space for the odd photograph which you can print when you get home. Even get a small camera that prints, there are a few versions around. Lastly, write three “grateful” moments for each day and try not to repeat them.