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Keeping memories safe

Memoirs of my travels

By NIDHI SHARMAPublished 3 years ago 5 min read
Various pages from my travel journal

A little about me

They say the place you are born in defines you, but for me it is different. I come from a place where one does not have the freedom of simple things as the society is less open-minded. Moreover, the families in such a society stay conservative in order to blend in, in turn applying sorts of restrictions on their younger generations. I was not allowed to go out with friends or to watch a movie in a theatre. The more I was shackled into not stepping out, the more curious I became about the world. I wondered how amazing it would be to travel to the incredible places that I only know by names. So I decided to work very hard, to get out of where I come from and make a better life for myself. Now I can safely say that I have accomplished what I planned and have also seen some lovely places which seemed far-fetched before. There is still a long way to go and so I will.

The hobby

Creation has always been an inspiration for me. I have this innate desire to keep creating something new, innovative and personal all at the same time. I also love travelling. So when I began travelling, including big trips or a day trip, it struck me that 'this moment as it is' will never come back. Of course I could come back to this place but the experience will never be the same again. Hence, an idea came to my mind- why don't I document all of it, and that is when I found out about travel journaling.

Initially it was difficult to figure out how to get started as I had done some research and found a whole lot of creative work online. (call it Neophobia, if you want) However, I took it as a green light that “I can too”. Surely, it took a while and I did not start immediately. A bit later, the trips kept on piling up and I thought I better get started, and so I did.

I grabbed a pair of scissors, printed out the pictures from the trip and kicked off by cutting them into polaroid shapes. I went through old magazines to find interesting images that could match or contrast with my trip photos, to use them as backgrounds. I started collecting old newspapers or pamphlets to find some interesting fonts in there and cut it out to use as headings in my journal.

Basically, I became a hoarder of all these things.

By Dim Hou on Unsplash

I also began focusing on my drawing skills, making little pictures or using calligraphy. A whole new world opened up for me and I became a proud member of it. It all came down to using as many tools to make a page come alive- sketch pens, water colors, acrylics, glue, scissors, stickers, dried flowers, polaroid camera, washi tapes, cutouts of train/plane/ferry tickets etc. The more I created, the more I learnt and set out a goal to capture and bring into the pages, everything I saw and experienced that particular day.

Front page of one of the trips from my travel journal

One day I thought, it is great to record all the recent trips but what was the oldest trip that I can remember? That day I spent a lot of time going through all my pictures and to my surprise, I could dig as deep as possible into the past to find all the old trips I made (thanks to cloud storage).

Ah! the smell of success.

Hands down, this has become a therapy for me, as I get to combine two of my passions- travelling and journaling and it always makes me feel like it is the best thing that happened to me.

It's value to me

Whenever I flip through the pages of my journal it takes me back to those days-

when we went to the sex museum in Amsterdam and saw a lot of male genitals;

when we broke our beer glasses while cheering to friendships in Munich;

when I was horrified to hike up a steep mountain but felt awesome after completing it in the Alps;

when we went to an Irish pub and saw a complete drunk man dancing to live rock music and danced the night away with him;

when I tried wine (Glühwein) for the first time in my life in the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas Market) in Nuremberg and started a beautiful friendship with the person I hung out with that day.

There are so many memories that I can pick out of my journal at any time and share it with my friends. We look at it and it is as if we travel back in time together. I joke with them that I am going to show this to my grandchildren and let them know how cool I was and how cool my friends were.

The challenges

At times, this hobby provokes me in a positive way. It makes me push my imaginative boundaries by making me think hard about how to depict a certain trip on the page. As every trip is so different and all the countries and cities in the world have a unique feel. To capture it, I take a moderate amount of time and choose the most important moments and the activities from my travels that will go into my journal. Every so often, I run after perfection, which sometimes leads nowhere.

This quote by Salvador Dali makes me feel much better

Taking the above quote into consideration, I have realized that art and creativity is all about how you shape things and how you remember them. It is personal and yours to pour out on the canvas in front of you.

Furthermore, I have learned not to journal while on the trip, rather a few days later so I can reminisce about the marvelous time I spent there. Memories are too important and I have come so far to understand their significance.


It is not something that was passed down from the previous generation and I did not take a class or do a course on journaling, it is a self taught thing that I enjoy a lot. I can go on and on about this calming hobby but, for now this article describes most of it.

This is pure joy and it is my own.

Thank you for reading.


About the Creator


Amateur writer

Pouring my heart out through words

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