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Journaling on the road: Why writing a few sentences every day is so important

I know you probably take a lot of pictures when you ride the trip. But do you write at all? I’m sure you’re sending lots of texts and emails, but do you travel with an actual, honest-to-goodness travel journal? Not that travel journaling requires extensive, verbose documenting. Quite the opposite, actually. You can write a single sentence about an impression or a feeling you get from a place and I will almost promise you that you will cherish it later on.

We are all forgetting more things than we remember. It’s just how it goes. Maybe there’s a moment when you detect that scent of rain on hot pavement. There’s a term for that by the way. “Petrichor.“ Why not record that moment on paper? There are so many little impressions that affect us on the road. Jotting down a few words about those things doesn’t take a lot of time but it does something quite important. It documents the things that really touched you. Of course, it’s fine to write at length about things you see and people you meet on the road. Or merely what the experience is like. But it doesn’t have to be a long, intimidating or drawn-out process. It starts with a single word or sentence.

You might find that writing a little bit here and there pushes you to want to write more. Either way, I don’t think it matters. What’s important is simply capturing those magic little moments that move you. Like precious butterflies, they come and go quickly but if we document them, then we have created that most special of travel souvenirs. We can look back on those words and reflect upon them, we can share those words with others, we can extend the beauty of the trip simply by tapping into the written memories that we have created.

I know there’s a lot to do on the road. Lots of things to tend to, lots of issues can come up from time to time. But I truly think that if you find just a couple of minutes each day to think about something special, you will soon realize what a reward that is. There’s just something about the road and writing that I think go together so well. I read books like Blue Highways and Travels With Charley and many other classic road narratives, and that always pushes me to want to write more when I travel.

But again, it can start with just one word or one sentence. Just a thought as you move across the miles. You don’t have to let all of them go. You can write a little something about them so that they will live forever.

Read more from Chris Epting here

BTW – If this convinced you to start writing about your travels, you can find a huge variety of RVing travel journals on Amazon.

Chris Epting is an author, award-winning journalist/photographer and dedicated road tripper. His best-selling books including James Dean Died Here (the locations of America’s pop culture landmarks),  Roadside Baseball, and The Birthplace Book, along with many others that remain popular with many travelers and RVers throughout the country and world. He is excited to be contributing to RVTravel.com and looks forward to helping to lead you places you may not have discovered otherwise. You may learn more about Chris at his author’s site, www.chrisepting.com

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Hollie Rose
14 days ago

I believe in this whole-heartedly! I’m always encouraging people to write – even just a little! Thank you for this article.
I actually made a travel journal with prompts to make it easier to know what to write about. (I’m always hearing people say “I don’t know what to write.”)
That’s also available on Amazon. I don’t mean to be all about self promotion but your article touched a nerve.
https://amzn.to/3FH4WSE

Stay safe out there everyone – Enjoy the journey!
Hollie Rose

Carol
18 days ago

We were full time on the road for 20 years, having to come off the road 2019 for health reasons. We kept a journal for all that time. I kept track of gas purchases, daily travels, and so much more. It is nice to look back and remember when we were here or there and the friends that we met along the way.

Catherine
18 days ago

I have done this since I was 15 yrs old travelling with my family. I still do and now I’m old. Fun to re-read my journals, refreshes my memories.

Ken Raney
18 days ago

We publish a large line of journals including a Camping Journal, Roadtripping Journal, and a couple different Travel Journals. You can see them here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B099VDTYQZ?ref_=dbs_dp_rwt_sb_tpbk&binding=paperback

Hubert Rosch
18 days ago

Every day my wife takes pics and writes down what we saw and did. She then posts to Facebook where we have hundreds of friends and relatives following our travels. While traveling to Alaska we were out of phone service in the Yukon for a few days. When we finally got service there were many posts from followers wondering where we were and if we were OK. When our trips are done she pulls the posts off of Facebook to make a journal. She then makes photo books on Shutterfly of each trip.

bwodom
17 days ago
Reply to  Hubert Rosch

We do the same. I set up a blog page for our friends and family who wanted to follow, so that those who weren’t interested would not have to follow because some days I posted several time. Our friends let us know how much they enjoyed following us.

Our Shutterfly books have been wonderful! Hubby still loves to relive those adventures by browsing through our collection, especially since the driver sometimes misses a lot of the passing scenery!

wanderer
18 days ago

Yes! Wish I could record thoughts here and there as I drive, like the old mini dictaphones, for transcribing later. I know you can use digital recorders, but they all seem to want you to press 5 buttons to get going, then save each thought as an individual file. Anybody find one that works for adding a bit at a time to a day’s ‘log’ please let us know!

Bill T
18 days ago

Great article. I usually jot down a few notes in the morning from the previous day as more of a travel log/journal combo, while my “memory is fresh” LOL. Thanks for posting.