As a writer, I know how it feels to go out on a trip, seeing something that inspires me, willing to write it down, and realizing that I don’t have my journal with me. When this happened to me on one such occasion I have decided that I won’t make the same mistake again. Whether I’m going close or far I take my notes with me.
If you are someone who likes to travel and document places you’ve been to, then you will understand how important it is. There’s always a story to write about or an experience to document. There are also numerous outlets on which you can share your travel experience. Great stories always come out of travel to a foreign place. Talk about the cultural differences, misunderstandings that might come out of the barriers, the drama, joy, transcendence, etc.
One thing that you’ll get from writing travel accounts is an improvement in your writing skills. So, it goes beyond just fulfilling your longing to write or tell a story. When you travel with the mind to write a journal, it refines your observatory powers, and you will be able to reflect better on experiences that you go through. You can make a masterpiece out of your travel journal and build something that is much more than just a memoir.
If you are looking to write an engaging travel journal that can grow into a book, here are six tips that you have to practice.
1. Mention your quest
You have a quest for every journey you undergo, whether you know it or not. There has to be a reason for the travel or something you’re aiming to achieve with the trip. You may have a very specific quest, such as to get in the Atlantic Ocean and swim or something very abstract like finding yourself. The reason might be very monumental or very minute, but there’s a quest for each travel. It might not be the only thing that’s making you travel. It might even become significant to you only after you got to your travel destination, but it’s central to your travel. Some of the activities that you did during the trip might help you find your quest.
Your readers want to know why you traveled so you should mention it to them. This will be the central theme of your memoir.
2. Put questions in the mind of the reader.
There’s a significant difference between a good and a bad story, and that’s the opening. The opening of your story has to make your audience start asking questions. When I write my college essays, I always try to place some intrigue in the text, so the reader would want to unravel it. This intrigue doesn’t even have to be anything big or profound. It could and should be something simple that raises a question in them. Their quest to find the answer to whatever problem you plant in the text is what will drive them to read the book to the end. It’s like you giving them a little teaser, so they start asking who, what, and how questions.
Creating intriguing questions in their mind will push them to read and keep them interested. Note that you should not confuse your readers. You are only creating curiosity in them.
3. Write your journal, chronologically.
When you write your travel journal, you have to make sure that you put your daily entry in chronological order. It will be helpful for you to add the date at the start of each entry. If your writing for one day spans several pages, you should indicate it, so it is easier to distinguish for you or anyone when reviewing it later. So, you are not working haphazardly, where you open any part of your journal to write an entry. You’re going from front to back and working in that order.
4. Write about what interested you in your travel location.
Before you decide to travel to a place for a vacation or any other reason, there has to be something that caught your attention. This means that you have a preconceived notion or impression about the location. Mention some of the things that gave you your initial impression. Maybe you saw that temple in India on a postcard and got excited to see it in real life? Or maybe your friend described an exquisite cousin that he sampled in Spain and now you’re traveling to experience it yourself. Anything can serve as a motivation to go on a trip.
This information is more important than you think. When you write about the impressions that you had about a place, and if your expectation matched reality, you would make your travel story more exciting and engaging.
5. Tell a small story
You definitely cannot write a memoir about every single thing that you saw or experienced in one week in Hawaii. Instead, you should choose one of the numerous stories from the trip and tell it. The truth is, there will be a lot of events that could be calling for some space in your memoir. Every college paper writing service advice to not bloat your essays with every possible detail. Instead, focus on one episode and write extensively on it within a chapter of the book. You could make each chapter a small story that points to the overall happiness or experience.
6. Share your change
People tend to change after their travels. Traveling is known to alter people’s characters. So what change did you pick up from the trip? Also, your travel quest, was it accomplished? These are what you end the discussions with. This is the point where you answer the questions that you stirred up in the audience’s heart at the beginning. Talk about what you learned, those things that you picked up from your trip, and your time at the place.
The end of your travel memoir should depict how your life has been changed by the journey. Maybe you have chosen to be a vegetarian or abandoned social media? Maybe you now want to join a volunteer project to help those people you have seen? It doesn’t matter if it is big or small. Personal experience is the most valuable thing that can be placed in a book.
During your next travel, when you will be looking to write an engaging travel journal that you can grow into a book, remember to check this post again. There will always be something to write about. The question now is how to write. Make sure that you are as deep and precise as you possibly can. After all, the value of sharing life lessons can not be overestimated.