Skip Navigation

why is it so hard to keep a diary over an extended trip

Travel Forums General Talk why is it so hard to keep a diary over an extended trip

1. Posted by TylerJames (Respected Member 333 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

i always start my trips keeping a up to date diary but as the months go on it seems to become less of a pirority. anyone have the same problem

2. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Yep! :)

No-one was more enthusiastic than me at the start of my trip. Bought a lovely leather diary and in the early days when I was finding my feet I spent a lot of time writing in it, but as the weeks and months went by, I just didnt seem to have the time or the inclination to write much in it. It was a pity in many ways because weeks down the line when I tried to catch up on the details I couldnt remember some of them...and transferring the experiences to paper lost some of their intensity or whatever.

I still do try, even now, to keep it updated fairly regularly. Once on a long bus journey in Patagonia, I had nothing to read, so I pulled out the two journals I had kept over the months in South America and read them from front to back, and it was actually goo reading! :) It was like a mini-trip sifting through all the stories again.

3. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I was actually amazed. I had never done one before, and thus have 10years of travels with no real story behind, only memories which fade/distort or dissappear over time. I made a big effort on my last trip (15mths or so in the end) expecting to last at most a month, but actually managed to keep writing the whole way through. I actually have an entry for every day, although some were done a week-10 days after the fact when i had already forgotten some of the things that happened. But I now have 3.5 full books (plus a marked up pocket atlas) from my trip as souvenirs for the future, and re-reading them is amazing on those horrible long w*rk days now

4. Posted by Jimz (Budding Member 34 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

A diary, travel oriented or not, requires a certain dedicated commitment on the part of the one beginning it or maintaining it, and most commitments are difficult to keep. Most of us are not self-motivated in the abstract. What may help is to create an incentive, real or not, to sustain the diary. If, for example, the writing being done while traveling is thought to be for your benefit for another purpose such as notes or an outline for a term paper or thesis, or it is intended for the pleasure of another person, it might be easier to carve out the time and energy needed on a daily basis to write and yet not take meaningful time away from the trip being taken. For instance, I took an extended overseas trip several months prior to getting married. My motivation in writing thoughts and impressions of the places I visited was stirred by the fact that I would sent the communications to my bride to be who hopefully would have a little better idea of my current experiences plus my desires that she soon be able to experience similar things. Travel memoirs are often fascinating snapshots in time that future generations also enjoy. They truly record a moment which provides a great contrast to the same scene visited years later by you or someone else. Historians appreciate such input.
Most of all, have fun with it.


5. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3580 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Jimz stated it very well. It takes commitment and dedication to keep up a daily diary. I don't find it a burden, rather a welcome task that sums up the day. I include the price on everything that I bought, each day, as well as places visited and the people I met. The price list alone keeps me making regular entries. Being a 'cheap charlie', I want to know where my hard earned money is going!

6. Posted by Taffski (Travel Guru 182 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

ouch... we're now in heavy-ville ;)

Jimz.. agree and think we could talk for a few hours about the significance of a diary / Journal, their differences and the psychological benefits and needs that fester underneath the auspices of a Diary.... Think there's been many a book written on the subject either way (which answer the question in itself ;)

however, To answer the particular question Tyler Asked (Personal opinion only, of course)

When we start a journey into the unfamiliar, we're naturally apprehensive and have an inbuilt need to maintain a link to our old world / life.
As stupid though it sounds, a Diary provides this link.
It's your link back to your "old" life.
In it, you ponder questions on how people are back home, whether they're well, how they'd love it where you are now, how well you're coping with the strange language, places, people etc. etc.

So what happens as we continue to travel... we move on... or as I personally prefer to say, "We Grow".
We become less reliant on the "Old" life (being fickle creatures that we are) and after 6 months or so of travelling, we've outgrown our old structures, routines and, in fact, our old lives and therefore the need to maintain a link to it is no longer necessary.
Hence... we stop doing it.

If you want a laugh... read an old diary during a long trip away from home and see how many times you refer to people, emotions, places back home at the beginning. Then read the last few entires and note the differences.... you'll be amazed :)

as Che put it.... "We travel to Travel"

Apologies in advance.... ;)

7. Posted by ChIqUiTtA (Respected Member 278 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

i know exactly what you mean... all the trips i've gone on have always been about 2 months each... and they all seem to have the same pattern when it comes to keeping a diary... im enthusiastic about it at first, then as time goes on, everything isn't so new anymore and you get busy and lazy and tend not to write as much...

what im planning on doing in future travels is just buying an agenda or calendar book and writing in where i was on a particular day and what i did or who i met... not so many details that way, but just enough to remember everything!
laur ;)

8. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I love that Taffski, never thought of it like that before. Very true!