After every trip I have been on, I have always said “Oh, I wish I had kept a journal”. And as the years go by, I have longed to be able to take myself back to that time and place, which a journal would have enabled me to do.
So this year, I vowed I would do it! So the first was on a recent trip to Western Australia. I decided that I would use the good old fashioned notebook and pen and began writing as we sat in the Koru Club Lounge at Auckland airport.
Each evening I sat for 30 minutes and thought back over the day, writing about where we had been and at what time we left, how long it took, what we ate, what we saw. My writing left a lot to be desired, but as long as I can read it who cares?
We travelled north, by campervan, from Perth – a new place to sleep each night, a different town to visit each day. The contrast of landscape was amazing and the views were to die for. After we set up each night – awning up, chairs and table out, a glass of wine or a bottle of beer in hand and dinner on the go – I would run through my head what we had experienced, excited to put it down on paper, my hand running away with me as I struggled to keep up with my thoughts.
On a couple of occasions the only sound as I wrote was the gentle lapping of the sea on the shore or the beautiful sound of dolphins exhaling as they came to the surface. I would look up and witness staggering sunsets, see and hear a flock of bold galahs before they settled down for the night. All truly special experiences.
Our two weeks away ended too quickly and it wasn’t long before we were back home and I was experiencing the “post-holiday blues” (these usually last about a week and then it is back into the same old routine, the only thing keeping me going is planning the next trip!). About a month after we got back I was sitting thinking about our trip and decided to get the journal out and have a read. An entry on Thursday 2nd July read: “The scenery in Kalbarri National Park is amazing – long stretches of bush in every direction. I saw an emu! Gary didn’t and thought I was making it up lol” and another “We set up at Whalebone camp ……. it was amazing, I love it here. We chose a great spot. Gary fished and we saw dolphins, eventually he hooked a snapper which we filleted and had for dinner”. I sat there smiling, so pleased that I had written it all down. Wow if only after a month I felt like this, how will I feel several years down the line?
We do forget over time and these tangible reminders can be a real tonic, remembering special moments, wonderful places – and of course sometimes not so good experiences, but hey, that’s life and can make for a great story later on. It may take a little effort, but so worth it.