When trying to fit ideas into an A-Z format, sometimes I must take liberties. In this case, travel becomes “journey” to meet the need for a letter J focus.
I wrote a lot about travel journaling in Journaling Toward Wholeness: A 28-Day Plan to Develop a Journaling Practice. Much of my inspiration came from my favorite travel writing books, Globejotting by Dave Fox.
Travel journaling can relate to a physical trip to somewhere else, or travel journaling can also refer to the metaphorical journey through life.
When I travel overseas, or to any new location, I spend a lot of time researching. I want to envision the place, the people, the culture as much as possible. By building anticipation, I enjoy the trip even more.
The same principle holds true in life. As we anticipate the joyous moments: our wedding day, the birth of our children, the start of a new job — journaling our emotions and expectations can help us prepare.
Conversely, we may be apprehensive about other life experiences — the impending divorce, the parent in hospice, the inevitable bankruptcy. Journaling our worries and fears gives voice to the internal struggle.
Pre-journaling investigates those dark crevices and discovers a glimmer of hope.
During a milestone moment with specifics to consider and emotions to handle, there isn’t much time to write.
Fast journaling focuses on details rather than events. Don’t focus on complete sentences and a thorough summary of the moment, Instead, jot down as many observations as possible. Focus on the senses: what do you see, smell, hear, taste, and feel? Your full memory of that event will be locked within those details.
Just get words on a page so you can experience the present moment. Later, you will have the opportunity to write more about it.
At this point, the “journey” was a few weeks ago. The high points are still vivid in my mind, but the low points have tempered. Now I have the added benefit of perspective. Distance from the event allows me to view it more objectively.
Sometimes I am able to do this after a few weeks. Other times it may take several months or even years. Remember to give yourself grace and not rush the process. The right time will present itself.
Often during this phase, I not only gain an objective perspective for myself, but I also gain the ability to see the experience from others’ eyes. The passing of time allows me to put myself in their shoes, walk around a bit, and recognize an alternative point of view.
(Photo credit: Jan Vasek from Pixabay)