Souvenir, originating from Middle French, means "to remember." And that is exactly what you want at your journey's end.
No key chain, t-shirt or photo compares to your travel journal. I’m indebted to Dave Fox, author of Globejotting, who set me free not only to enjoy a recent trip but also to bring back something far better than anything I could buy or even snap: an interesting set of reflections that captured the thrill, the confusion, the fear, and the discovery inherent in a new venture.
But how do you write and also live in the moment? Journaling outside the box, as Mr. Fox calls it. Here are some ways.
At the end of the day, list three or four things—events, themes, or people--you consider journal-worthy. Can they be treated in five minutes or less? If yes, capture them now. If one will require more time, jot some notes so that later, you can give the entry its due. If it’s not worth the time, cross it off the list.
Mr. Fox also offers some quicker journaling methods. The verbal snapshot invites you to find a place to sit and observe—a café, a mountain, a lobby—and write what you see, hear, smell, taste, touch. Captioning lets you draw or paste physical objects—a ticket, a brochure, or a photo—into your journal and write a line or three below it. Postcard a day invites you to purchase a postcard each day, write what you will on it, and post it home. When you return home you’ll receive an invaluable collection of memories. And if even these methods are overwhelming, you can always give yourself space for five a day: the first five sentences that come to mind. Likely it open a door to more.