Friday, July 2, 2021

How do you record your travels?

The driving reason I have maintained this blog since 2011 in whatever posting frequency fits my life at the time is so it serves as a digital journal. The first few years I did this, I had no real notion of anyone reading it aside from me for myself, and the few people who knew I kept it. I obviously don't put everything here because I have personal boundaries between me and whoever might read it, but it has served well for me as a digital journal or planner of sorts. The best thing is that literally anyone can do this, keep a  digital journal of daily (weekly? monthly?) life. It's also a great place to store recipes and travel itineraries and such without the need for a bunch of papers or word docs. As I try to wrap my mind around traveling again in this big beautiful world, I am already thinking ahead of how I use my online tools to plan but also to remember trips to come. 

Creating an online journal is really simple. Free platforms such as Wordpress (I do work sites on WP) or Blogger (I keep it simple personally here and use blogger) give you the opportunity to create a blog to store your memories. WP is much more customizable than blogger, but there are definitely plenty of ways to customize on either. They both provide storage as well although I don't really use blogger for that. If you are only journaling for you, not for the world to see, you can set your settings to private. Of course, if you change your mind and want to share, you can always switch those settings and share your life and travels with the world. 

Storing online
If the thought of creating a blog to store everything on doesn’t float your boat, you can just organize your itineraries, reservations, travel photos, etc online using storage. Of course you lose the opportunity to add little stories and memories that accompany the pictures. However, if you are hyper organized, you can manually change the names of the photos and add little stories that way in google photos. I find it annoying to do that, but maybe you don't. The frustrating thing about this can be the amount of duplicate photos that you discover. If you read the post about removing photos, you will learn how to remove those duplicates and free up some space. Of course, sometimes I keep all of those 50 photos of the sunrise but whatever. Dupe photo removal is on my To Do list this year. .

Write that book
They say that everyone has a writer inside them, so why not take advantage of that? Using free software like Google Docs, you can easily create make a trip you take into a book. In this format, you may be tempted to fill the page with more writing than pictures but at least there is an option to include both. It's easy to keep track of days on trips like this since you can open a fresh doc everyday, label it with the date, and capture your experiences and thoughts. One of the reasons I love to travel is the way it expands my mind and worldview, and I am someone who likes to jot those down as I go. I have done this for most of my life with a travel notebook, which I still bring along, but I also keep notes on my phone during trips now. Some phrases pop into my head and are gone in a blink if I don't write them down.

Create a digital scrapbook
Hang on, isn’t that what we have been talking about this whole time? Yes and no. The thing about scrapbooking is that it is a specific craft that combines a series of elements to tell a story. Some of those elements are the photos, but it also includes pieces of memorabilia and a specific theme or mood. Adding those elements such as cute backgrounds and digital stickers are kind of hard to do in Google Docs, especially if you want to create a scrapbook vibe. Sites such as Canva allow you to mix all of the traditional scrapbooking elements into a digital format. And if you really like what you have, you can get it printed into a photobook. I used to be a physical scrapbooker but lost my taste for it. 

Try a digital diary
There is an abundance of sites and apps that are designed to help with the journal process. These places are about more than throwing words and photos at a screen. They can be programmed to help you write about different things too. Some of these apps have the option to add the temperature or the weather, as well as the option to share it. The sharing options can also allow other people to add to your journal and share their memories about meeting you. I'm considering doing this on my next trip.

Video journaling is a perfectly valid form of recording your travels. Some might argue it is the best way. When we say YouTube, the last thing we think of is using it as a journal. As we use video more and more, we need a place to store our stuff. YouTube offers unlimited storage for free, and you don’t have to make your videos public. Instead, you can set them to private or share. This means that you can send the link to your friends and family but don’t have to share it with the world. Of course, you could edit some videos into interesting highlights and make them public rather than share your entire hour-long ramble. 

Voice notes
Am I the only person who has wanted to carry one of those small pocket reporter recorders around forever but has never actually done so? Yes? Anyway voice recording is a great middle ground between writing and videos. You can sit down at the end of the day and ramble on about what you have seen or done. You can talk into the mic while walking. Hell now you don't even need the cool little pocket recorder because most phones have a voice recorder and access to cloud storage. This is you recording your own personal audiobook. 

There ar so many options when it comes to creating a digital journal for your travels. The beauty of digital means you can mix and match these with ease. You can add photos and voice notes to your writing, embed videos into your blog posts, and even print everything off if you want to make a physical backup copy. The opportunities to create a unique digital travel journal are almost as endless as the places to travel to. 

It's so nice to think about travel and trip planning again.

Happy Friday! Where are you thinking of traveling to next? 

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