15 Of The Best Travel Journal Prompts (ever)
By Kelly Nickels.
Creating your own travel journal can be hard work. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought a blank journal at my local bookstore with these grand ideas of detailing my life only to never use it. Even in grade school, I used to cover my black composition book with stickers and write in it as a diary only to give up on it a week later.
Looking back on it now, it was because I never really knew where to start. I never had any guidance. So if you find yourself staring at those blank pages like a deer in the headlights, we have a few travel journal prompts to get your hand moving!
Travel Diary Questions To Ask Yourself
Travel provides a great opportunity for introspection and transformation. Here are a few diary prompts to deconstruct the experiences that you’ve had:
#1 How did this trip mirror inner work I need to focus on?
- On this trip, I found myself confronting old patterns of codependency as I relived, almost to a ‘T’, a relationship with a person so similar to my ex whom I had just left a year prior. By reliving this pattern, I was able to step into awareness and decide to transcend the cycle by changing my living situation.
#2 What feeling(s) did this trip bring up for me to acknowledge?
- When I chase men who are not emotionally available, I am actually abandoning myself in the process. When they do not reciprocate my feelings, I feel low self-worth and insecurity. If I want to live from a place of wholeness, I need to acknowledge this tendency to self-abandon and take back my energy for myself.
#3 Am I using travel as a distraction or to amplify my life?
- I believe that I am using travel to amplify my life because Scotland provides the opportunity to create a full-time music career whereas other locations would have too high of a cost of living to do so viably.
#4 What did I learn that may prove relevant for future travels?
- There are a lot of ways to travel cheap, but still have an incredible time. I used to think the two were mutually exclusive. I do not need fancy dinners and lavish excursions to enjoy a new location. In fact, usually those aren’t authentic to the local cuisine or day-to-day life of the location.
#5 Did I gain clarity on my life’s purpose during this trip? If so, how?
- I used to believe that I couldn’t pursue my career in music because it wouldn’t pay the bills. When I met multiple people sustaining themselves through music alone in Scotland, my dream became a reality for me.
Travel Journal Prompts For Students
Who said learning only happens in the classroom? Make your professors proud and apply what you’ve learned on your trip by asking yourself these questions:
#6 How does this location’s history inform what I’ve learned in my studies this far?
- As an art history major, seeing the renaissance era sculpture of Michaelangelo’s David in person reiterated what I learned in the classroom about contrapposto poses.
#7 What practical applications of what I’ve learned on this trip can I apply to my everyday life as a student?
The itinerary I constructed for my trip was very helpful in amplifying my time management skills. I can use a similar technique to make sure that I schedule enough time to study for my exams and allocate enough time for free-time as well.
#8 What is one local dish or delicacy that I would like to try to replicate back home?
- In Scotland, I tried an amazing Shepherd’s pie recipe that used sweet potato instead of mashed potatoes and incorporated mint with the lamb. I want to try to replicate this back home in Texas for my family during the winter because it’s a super cozy meal.
#9 Did this trip give me any insights into a career path that may be better suited for me than what I’m currently studying? Or did it reinvigorate my passion for my current subject?
While abroad, I recognized I may be making decisions in my life out of fear disguised as practicality. I am pursuing a film degree when actually my heart is in music. Moving forward, I will recalibrate my energy to sculpt my life around what my heart wants instead of what seems more digestible for my family.
#10 How can travel help me empathize with others and acknowledge my privilege in my everyday life?
- Visiting a developing nation was a very eye-opening experience for me because it’s one thing reading about poverty, but experiencing it directly is almost an out of body experience. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to witness this because it has informed my life moving forward. I do not need much to be happy. Humanity exists even in the most scarce of environments. I am grateful for everything that has come to me easily and will try to acknowledge my privilege more readily because of this humbling trip.
Adventure Journal Prompts
Do you find that you travel to new locations only to choose the comfortable and familiar? These adventure journal prompts may help as a precursor or mid-trip refresh to get you thinking outside of the box:
#11 How can I find the balance of spontaneity and pre-planning on this trip?
- I usually pre-book all my nights at my hotel or hostel, but I am only booking my flight itinerary to and from the country. I have a loose outline of which city I want to stay in each night, but this way if I meet someone or have a change of heart about wanting to stay somewhere longer, I’ll have the flexibility to do so without any loss of money.
#12 How can I push myself out of my comfort zone on this trip?
- I have a pretty big fear of open water. Maybe I can begin to work on transcending this fear by booking a boat trip where I have the opportunity to swim in deep water, far away from shore. This way I can eventually be comfortable scuba diving, which is something I’ve always wanted to do despite my fear.
#13 Are there any travel bucket list items I can cross off on this trip?
- On this trip to New Zealand, I’ve always wanted to skydive and I’d love to do it here because this may be the most scenic place I’ll ever visit and to see an aerial view of it would be life changing.
#14 Would I be willing to throw out my plans if it meant following my heart? List pros and cons.
- I would be willing to throw out my plans to follow my heart.
- Pros: Opportunity for a Life-Changing Experience, May Be Only Chance, Feels Good, Feels Right, Will Make a Good Story, Won’t Wonder ‘What-If”
- Cons: Loss of Money (deposits, last-minute bookings, etc.), Stress / Anxiety, Fear of Unknown, Risky, Things Could Go Wrong
#15 What is one thing I’d never consider doing whilst traveling alone? Why?
- I’ve never gone hiking alone because usually you are out of signal and if you get lost in the woods, you’d have to fend for yourself. Maybe if I could find a way to have signal or pack emergency supplies, I would trust myself to do an easy to moderate hike alone. Or I can pick a very popular trail that would have a lot of other people around at all times.
Travel Journal Ideas
When I went on my first solo trip to Scotland, I bought a blank journal to document my travels so I would remember the little details of everything that happened on the trip. I have a pretty horrible memory, so I look back fondly on the pages from time-to-time when my travel memories get blurry and then I’m transported back to that two weeks of self-discovery and magic.
At the time, I was unaware of the concept of travel journals and assumed everyone was just doing what I was doing: Journaling chronologically without any rhyme or reason. But when you are traveling, you are constantly accumulating stray information that you end up blending together in your travel diary in the margins. Before you know it, the whole aesthetic of your journal goes out the window and you have the equivalent of cocktail napkin organization. This makes finding important information difficult and adds unnecessary breaks in your writing flow.
If you are more organized than me, Sabrina Wu (one of our fabulous writers) lays out a bunch of tips and ideas to get your own DIY travel journal started.
Can’t be fussed to do it yourself? The Wakeful Travel Journal provides a way to curate your trip notes in an easily accessible format providing clear sections for contact info of new friends to input into your smartphone, notating music you’ve been introduced to, and gathering suggestions of activities and restaurants. That way when your blogger friend sends you a tweet asking what restaurant you visited that one time in Bolivia, you can flip right to that page, recall the name, and snap a photo to send to her. Whereas in a DIY travel journal, you may have to search every page aimlessly only to come up short.
Travel Journal Writing Topics
Anyone can open up wordpress and become a travel blogger, but most travel stories are initially born within the tactile confines of a travel journal. The Wakeful Travel Journal provides a separate section for reflection questions about what you’ve learned on your trip in addition to plenty of blank pages for traditional travel journaling.
This feature is especially helpful if starting your own journal seems a daunting endeavor or you just need gentle guidance of where to begin. You can use the travel journal prompts provided in this article to start your own travel journal or better yet, let Wakeful Travel take the stress away from your travels by doing the work for you. From your packing list to when you need to wake up for that next flight, keeping all your information and journal entries in one place will calm down an already excitable and busy travel mind.
Why Wakeful Travel is the Best Travel Journal With Prompts
If you are in the market for a travel journal, the Wakeful Travel Journal is full of travel trips and advice for the most experienced to the first-time traveler. Unlike other travel journals, the Wakeful Travel Journal guides your writing without being restrictive by unobtrusively suggesting travel journal prompts that get you thinking and will inspire your best journal entries. We know travel is a bit unpredictable right now because of COVID-19 or you may prefer to start off small, so we’d love for you to enjoy a free printable day trip journal for your next road trip or adventure to see if the Wakeful Travel Journal is for you.
Your life journey is worth remembering. Your travel journal will act as a handwritten scrapbook of what usually ends up being the most memorable chapters of your life. Don’t let a lack of preparation or organization be the reason you can’t tell your grandchildren the full story about that one wild night in Barbados where Grandma let loose on the beach. Organize yo shit. Be the cool Grandma.