I've blogged about the value of keeping a journal of your travel experiences, but I wanted this post to be about something more, about reflecting on and writing about your experience once you return home.
Lately, I've been working on an essay about my family's experience traveling to India. I've been reading old blog posts and my journal, and revisiting the place in my mind, trying to synthesize the most significant insights and learning from that experience. All this digging around in my own story has indeed led to some new insights on my part, and I wanted to encourage you, my readers, to consider writing about your travel experiences once you return home-maybe even months or years later. By extension, I also wanted to suggest you encourage your children (or students) to do the same.
But, I realize I'm a writer, and not all of you are writers. The thought of writing might be scary to you or just not sound like much fun. Yet, there's a different kind of insight that comes from looking back on your experiences and writing about them. To quote Robin Hemley, "There's always some place you're going in your writing, some destination of which you had no idea when you started. Writing is transformative in the same way that travel is."(A Field Guide for Immersion Writing: Memoir, Journalism, and Travel, p. 108).
Joseph Dispenza, in The Way of the Traveler, provides specific actions you can take to make your travel more meaningful. He also encourages travelers to keep a travel journal and to write about their journey reflectively once they've returned home. "Now you may want to write something entirely different: the story of your trip as you lived it – not from the inside, as it were, but from the outside, as if you were the major character in your drama." (p. 99)
|My daughter journaling in Italy|