Three powerful reasons to document your travels

A fresh travel journal always fills me with excitement (Photo credit Sarah Healy)

No, this does not mean taking selfies.

Travel for me created not only rich life experiences but also the feeling of overwhelm.

My experiences, if weaved together could create a wonderfully rich travel tapestry. However, they remained in my mind as fragmented experiences. It became difficult to make sense of everything I was experiencing.

I felt untethered from society.

For these reasons, I chose to write.

1. The process of writing allows for quiet reflection.

I wholeheartedly agree with Flannery O’Connor.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” ― Flannery O’Connor.

This is the fundamental reason why I choose to write about, document and photography my travel excursions. Writing allows for quiet reflection. I deem this as necessary to fully absorb the sensory overload that accompanies travel. I can slowly digest what I experience, similar to a snake who has engorged itself on its prey.

2. Documenting my travel makes it even more interesting.

Capturing photographs that are Instagram worthy does not rouse my curiosity. It extinguishes it. In today’s social media, travel is predominantly presented as idyllic. Tourists clamber to get the same perfect picture to further clog up Instagram feeds.

This is not the meaty part of travel.

The people, culture and environment are where the metaphorical meat lies. I am relentlessly curious, this forms the very nucleus of my travel and exploration. I love to ask questions, strike up a conversation and engage with local culture. This is what I can really sink my teeth into and the part of travel that I can’t get enough of.

This is the stuff worth documenting.

3. Writing about my experiences helps to put it in a larger context

Writing allows me first to reflect on my experiences and then to explore them more deeply.

I begin to ask better questions and see how things link together in a broader context. It is like stepping into the move the Matrix — suddenly the chaos of the world begins to make sense.

Documenting is the first step towards meaningful travel. It serves as a platform for further exploration and an outlet for relentless curiosity.

Happy travels.


What is your view on writing or documenting your travels? If you have the time to comment I would love to read what you think.

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About the Author

Sarah Healy is a writer, adventuress, and designer focusing on presentation design and visual storytelling. She authors content on Design Digest and Happy Human.

Follow her on Twitter, Dribble or Behance.