What’s in Your Travel Diary?

By Dave Fox

A few weeks back, I blogged about Sheridan in Spokane, Washington, who sent me dramatic before-and-after photos of her Germany travel journal. Sheridan didn’t just write during her trip. She stuffed her journal with lots of items which, until now, were a big mystery.

The original pics she sent were of her closed diary. Readers posted comments and e-mailed me, wondering what was inside. I don’t normally ask people if I can snoop in their diaries, but I told Sheridan people were curious. She wrote back:

“Oh I’d be curious too. Fortunately my iPod takes crappy pics and my handwriting is a mess so I’m not at all worried someone will be able to read it.”

So… if you were hoping to read Sheridan’s deep, dark secrets, too bad! But the “crappy pics” she sent offer lots of ideas for things you can do with your own travel diaries:

American and German flag hand prints on the cover.


The inside cover. Sheridan writes, “Open up the red thingy and…” (continued below)


“…and there’s a map of Göppingen.”


“All the things are taped on one edge so I can flip it out and write underneath it.”


“The German Band-Aids had sentimental value,” Sheridan writes.


“So did the packs of tissues.”


A Munich subway map.


Tourist information brochures.


Chocolate wrappers. (Tip from Dave: Make sure they’re clean so your journals don’t get eaten by ants!)


“After I got home,” writes Sheridan, “I elaborated on stories or wrote things I forgot on small pieces of paper an taped them in as you can see here.”


“… And then I was curious about how my journal would look of I flipped out and unfolded everything.”

Thanks, Sheridan, for taking us on a tour of your Germany diary!

Sheridan tells me she did lots of writing too both during and after her trip — something I encourage, because scrapbooking alone can’t capture the deeper details of your inner and outer journeys. But if you’re feeling artsy, or just wanting to remember what the subway maps or chocolate wrappers looked like, some tape, staples, or a glue stick can work wonders.

My own travel journals consist primarily of writing. Occasionally, however, other travelers share their more artistic journaling endeavors with me — everything from sketches to water colors to comic strips. Do you have something creative in your travel diary you’d like to share? Send me photos of a few favorite pages and I might include them in a future blog post.

(Please send a maximum of three photos — preferably in low 72 dpi resolution — to

Published on Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2 Responses to “What’s in Your Travel Diary?”

  1. March 23, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    That’s a good idea! I’ve done sketchbook journals for college before, but I think I’ll do this for my next trip.. I was already going to write a travel journal, but now I think both together would be pretty fun..

Leave a Reply