The last time I travelled for an extended period of time (2+ months), it was 2006 and I did the whole backpacking through Europe thing with my sister. On that trip, I shocked myself that I had the discipline to write every day in a journal. Even on a night where I barely remember how I got back to the hostel (in Lagos), low and behold, there was some (not so great quality) writing logging the events of the day. This time around (and this is probably the first of many comparisons I will make to 2006), I find myself lacking in discipline to write about the events of this trip on a daily basis. I’m so glad Kait is motivated and putting together an excellent record of our trip that we can look back on in the future.
Do you ever have a deep desire to do something, and are really motivated (or downright OCD) to do some very related things, but just can’t bring yourself to do the actual thing? That’s me with daily journalling. There are a lot of good reasons to journal, and I was recently inspired again to keep a daily journal by something my cousin wrote, but although I’m disciplined in a lot of aspects of logging my daily life, writing out the day’s events in prose is not one of them. I recognize that short coming, but still want to keep a log of things we’ve done, and record my thoughts, on a regular basis. Our memories are incredibly flawed (in the sense that we really don’t remember things the way we think we do), so it’s valuable to keep a record of events and of our thoughts and emotions as they happen, in order to more accurately reflect on the past.
With that in mind, I already do two things rather compulsively that keep a pretty good log of my daily events: I track every penny I spend and I record events in Google Calendar. I started doing both these things for different reasons, but I’ve found that they’ve had the added benefit of providing a pretty good log of my day to day activities. For this trip, I’m adding a third item to this list that, while serving another purpose, will also provide a good log of our activities.
I will be mapping out our trip as we go, and sharing it here on the blog. The main purpose of the map is to share the places we’ve been to and talked about in blog entries, and hopefully make it easier for people to find them if they decide they want to go to the same places. While Google Maps is pretty incredible in North America, I find that a lot of locations we are going to are not actually on Google Maps, so finding them may not be so easy. With the map that we’re creating, we’ll drop pins on the locations of places even if they’re not on Google Maps. Hopefully someone will find this useful!
The map also creates a spatial log of our trip (along with the spending log) which helps provide a record for us to look back on. For me, this helps lift the burden of writing a daily journal logging the events of the day. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t want to write. It lets me focus my journal on thoughts and feelings without the “chore” of listing out daily events. I can still write about events of the day, but I’ll know I’m not obligated to because they’re being recorded elsewhere in a different fashion. (And worst case, I’ll always have Kaitlyn’s blog entries… but of course those will record the events as seen through her experience, not mine).
So my “Journal” for this trip looks something like this:
- Spending Log
- Events in Google Calendar
- Map of Locations of Interest / Step Counter (Location Tracking)
- Written Entries of Thoughts (digital)
Hopefully they’ll provide a satisfying record of our adventures and provide insight to future Tim regarding current Tim.