About this Journaling Series by Eric Maisel

Inspired by Contributors to The Great Book of Journaling

This series of guest blog posts on various topics related to journaling, was created for a series called “Journaling for Men” that appears on the Good Men Project blog. It is designed to help everyone, and especially men who may be unfamiliar with journaling, learn how daily journaling can help them improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It brings together ideas from two of Eric’s recent books, Redesign Your Mind, in which I describe how you can upgrade and redesign “the room that is your mind,” and our co-edited book The Great Book of Journaling, in which we gathered contributions from scores of journal experts and enthusiasts. Please enjoy this series.

We hope that you’ll begin to include journaling as part of your daily self-awareness and self-care program.

Series collected by Eric Maisel. The excerpt below is written by April Bosshard.

The Travel Journal

Maybe you travel for business. Maybe you travel for pleasure. Maybe you travel to visit relatives. Why not journal as you travel? For her chapter in The Great Book of Journaling, April Bosshard shares her thoughts on travel journaling. April explained:

A journal is an ideal traveling companion—one who always listens and rarely talks back. I never leave home without one. The more trips I take and the farther afield I go, the more important the practice of journaling becomes to me.

A journal is especially valuable when traveling alone, but it can also be a personal refuge when traveling with others. Journaling as a practice can also be shared with one’s traveling companions.

In 2008, I traveled to France with my husband and two daughters, then ages ten and twelve. For the trip, they each chose a journal to record experiences. One balmy night, we toted our journals to the top of the Eiffel Tower. We found a tight corner out from underfoot of the crowds and wrote together as the city of lights sparkled below. We received a few strange looks, but we captured those magical moments in the sky and we each have our words to look back on.

Memories are fallible. Journaling retains experiential details that allow past experiences to have renewed life in the present, reflective moment. Photos provide accurate records of people and places, but without some form of journaling, even on the backs of the photos, the details of the event, especially thoughts and feelings, are lost over time.

When journaling while traveling I suggest the following 11 tips:

1. Focus on your senses. They are the “facts” that make moments come alive again later.

2. Write some parts as scenes—describe action and dialogue as if they’re happening in front of you.

3. Describe people, even if you don’t know them.

4. Record snippets of dialogue—yes, eavesdrop!

5. Record details such as restaurant and street names, even metro stops.

6. Collect bits of physical evidence that could be added to the journal, such as museum and train ticket stubs.

7. Carry extra pens. They always seem to run out of ink at the most inopportune times.

8. Write down dates and locations at the top of each entry. Maybe even the time of day.

9. Include little sketches here and there, even if you don’t think of yourself as artist.

10. Always be honest in your journal. Your future self will appreciate this.

11. Choose a size, shape and weight of journal that you are comfortable carrying in a bag or tote bag. You want it with you almost all the time. Try to open it every day while on the road. If you don’t have much time, write down six “moments” that capture a detailed essence of some of your experiences.

The next time you travel, give April’s suggestions a try. It may well deepen the travel experience!

Get your copy of The Great Book of Journaling: How Journal Writing Can Support a Life of Wellness, Creativity, Meaning and Purpose

Discover many different journaling techniques, prompts, and activities that can support you to enrich your life and health with journaling.

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Great Book of Journaling

About the Authors:

This blog article is inspired and informed by April’s chapter entitled Journaling and Traveling in The Great Book of Journaling.

April Bosshard is a writer, story coach, and creator of Deep Story Design. She helps writers all over the world navigate the personal and creative challenges that arise while working on long-form narrative projects, such as novels, screenplays, and memoirs. Find out more: www.deepstorydesign.com.

Eric Maisel collected this blog post series and is the author of over fifty books. He writes the “Rethinking Mental Health” blog for Psychology Today (with 2.5 million views), blogs for Thrive Global, Fine Art America, and The Good Men Project, and has recently developed a contemporary philosophy of life called kirism, which he introduced in Lighting the Way.

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