How to Document Your Travels (without a camera!)

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Have you ever considered the alternative ways to document your travels?

How often do you see anyone actually spending their time enjoying a place while traveling? It’s more ‘grab a quick photo and scurry to the next place!’ It is so easy to frame a photo with your point-and-shoot or cell phone and click a button, right? Then you are left with only the world seen through the viewfinder as memories from your trip, which you have worked for and sweated over for so long! Before cameras fit into your purse, how did everyone remember their trip?


Alternative Ways to Document Your Travel, including painting, postcards, and journaling.

Here are three ideas I have used (and love!) to help you document your travels!

1) Journaling

I love keeping a travel journal when I am about! One of my favorite journals is from my first trip abroad at the age of 20. It’s freaking hilarious! The things I thought and said aloud should have earned me my own late night show on SNL. When I look back on my journal, I can remember small things I may have forgotten otherwise.


Document your travels with a journal like this one from Edinburgh.

Journal keeping while traveling is one of my favorite things to do and creates such an easy way to look back on memories!

Intrigued by the journal above? You can read the FULL story about climbing Arthur’s Seat here!

2) Postcards

When my husband and I went camping in Galena, Illinois a few years back, we decided to explore the gorgeous area by car and hit the road. Somewhere along the way, we stumbled across a barn with a ‘sale inside’ sign pointing up the gravel drive. We turned and made our way up towards the barn with dust flying behind us as we dodged potholes. We browsed happily, picking up items to inspect before putting them back down, deciding we didn’t really need them.

As we were leaving, a small shoe box caught my eye. Reaching inside, I found it to be full of old postcards. Old MAILED postcards! Stamps from all over the world, pictures on the front of the cards from a time long before mine, and cursive handwriting that would make a school teacher proud!

Document your travels with postcards

We found these old postcards, mailed from Ireland to America, while scavenging through a barn sale!

Postcards were a huge method of sharing information and documenting travels before cell phones and cameras became such widely carried items. I picked up three postcards from the barn sale and framed them for a travel display.

I love using MyPostCard for creating custom postcards and sending them out to my friends. While it isn’t my handwriting (and I’m sure my friends are thankful for that because I am not the most legible person), everyone still does get what is almost a forgotten form of contact mailed directly to them, foreign stamp and all! Plus, my friends loved being able to see us on our travels!!


Documenting your travels with custom postcards from MyPostcardApp

We sent out friends postcards from Scotland! Pictured: Loch Ness, me at Glencoe, Adam in Edinburgh, and the Scottish Highlands.

Get $3 worth of postcards free by using the ‘Friends Code’: “BXJXCH” with the MyPostCard App.

3) Drawing and Watercolor

When I was studying abroad, I actually took a watercolor class! Was I any good at it? Absolutely not! Especially when compared to the talented artists I was with! However, that didn’t stop me from trying. While sitting on the train, I would fill the cap of my water bottle with a few drops of water, pull out my watercolor pencils and a small brush, and draw things I had seen. I also drew people on the train, their shoes, billboards I saw, and Salad Fingers.

You don’t have to be a good artist to make art from your travels which is meaningful to you! I am a terrible artist, despite having a degree in design, but I still love to doodle and paint my memories!

While my watercolors are definitely not getting shared here today, there is a lady on Instagram who has graciously allowed me to share her lovely watercolors, journaling her travels!

Helen C. Stark is one of my favorite watercolor journalists! Her creativity never ceases to wow me, and let’s just be honest – if you’re not following her yet, you should be!

Can we just take a moment to be in awe over how magical her watercolors are!?

What other ways can you think of to document your travels? Are there any unique things you do to remember where you’ve been and what you’ve done?


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Journaling is an alternative way to document your travels.

My life has been a collage of airlines and exhaustion, and I wouldn't change a thing! I'm a budget traveler, and I adore exploring the world one plane or train ticket at a time!

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