If someone asked me which is the most non-essential yet important thing I’d take during my travel, I’d answer them “my travel diary”. It is not my camera, not my map, not my travel guide and definitely not my smart phone. It may sound old school but believe me I find that my travel diary more useful to jump into the sea of those beautiful times when i was on travel. But wait there is more to the travel diary than just a diary that you carry it in your back pack. What is written below are my reasons to use a travel diary.

Anytime Notes

Starting off with the obvious and least of my reasons is to write important notes. My train timings, bus routes, address, suggestions from a local etc. The list is almost endless. Every time I research on how to get to a place, I jot down the details.

With this, I can access it anytime without the risk of battery running out, and who in the world would want these things in the cloud?

Sketch it out

This applies to people who are on a Cultural or History oriented travel. When you see a magnificent piece of art, sit down and try to sketch it down in your travel diary. Apart from the personal touch of the art, you spend time with it. You probably might not see some details unless you take time to observe it.

If you are doing this right, you will live that culture.

The Classic Hand drawn maps

Google maps? Meh! Who want’s to get spoon fed? I don’t use Google maps unless I am in a hurry or I am unable to talk to the locals due to linguistic reasons. The map you see on my travel diary was drawn by my host in Ahmedabad, Nisarg. Along with few directional queries from the locals, the map led me bang on to the places i wanted to go.

Classic hand drawn map of ahmedabad on my travel diary

The beauty of such map is that, you can add in the places you like, perhaps a street vendor whose food made you drool.

Build Scene with words

You must have heard that one picture is better than a thousand words, but when it comes to remembering travel experiences, I’d say words are picture killers. Let me put it this way, If you want to just see a scene or a place, Google it up or even better you can watch a video. It is the feelings you experience that is most important. The fragrance of an exotic flower , the cool breeze on your face, the roar of the ocean waves crashing on the beach or the tasty morsel that gave your taste buds happy feet.

writing it out in your travel diary

What you feel is unique, your travel partner may not feel the same way you do. Be sure to write in down in your own words. This is one place where i forget all grammar and just what creeps into my mind. Here’s a quote from my travel to Ahmedabad’s Vintage car museum

The car collection was pretty impressive. Around 100 cars from the American muscle to the royal British class. It was a good colour inspiration. Makes you wonder why we are no longer using those joyful funky colours.

Cherishing a personal Memory

Before my Pune trip, I would not have thought of this, but now it became my best reason to carry a travel diary. Often during your travel, you meet up with your friend, relatives. Try giving them your diary and ask them to write down what they feel. What you will get is quite priceless.

karishma's scribble on my travel diary

In Pune, i met up with my Close friend Karishma and while i was discussing things we can do there, she drew this on my travel diary. There will be a time when i look back at this time and I will remember that beautiful time with her.

I repeat, Don’t forget your travel diary

I use my Quechua Forclaz 40 travel bag while traveling and I keep my travel diary inside it always along with a pencil stub, even when I am not traveling. Oh and almost forgot to say this, make sure the diary is safe from water by using a zip lock. Please do share your reasons for using a travel diary in the comments section below.