I was recently looking for some information for a blog post and stumbled across a few diaries we kept during our trips. It was not only informative and helpful to refresh the memory a bit. It was just so much fun to read all the little and the big things that happened during those trips! Every travel experience is special and no two trips are the same. However, with time we often forget what made one or the other trip so exceptional and unique for very often it has nothing to do with the landmarks we visit, but rather with the little details and daily interactions.
It is especially true when traveling with children. First, you interact more with the locals and with the other travelers. Second, children see the world through different eyes and will often ask questions making you dig deeper for the answers and therefore learn more yourself. And finally, they might just do or say something funny and you will be sure glad you wrote it down!
It’s really nice to be able to bring the memories back later. Not only for yourself, but even more so for your children as they will often not remember much of the trip. They will certainly appreciate the stories as much as the pictures. Actually, its’s very likely that they will ‘remember’ the trip mainly thanks to the diary and the photos.
So next time you go on a trip take a few minutes every evening and write down the most special things that happened that day. You don’t have to document every single minute of your vacation, just write whatever comes to mind. If you afterwards make a photo album place a copy of your trip diary in it. You’re in for a nice surprise when you discover it years later!
Here are a few examples from our Australian trip diary, written down by my husband:
‘We planned to have a picnic at the beautiful MacKenzie falls, but the moment I took a sandwich out and before the first bite, it was gone from my hand. A bird! We saw him circling around for more (boy, he eats fast!) and decided we would eat later, in the car. However, the kids were hungry and refused to give in. So they ate while we both stood guard armed with a tripod and a stick which we had to use more than once. We were dealing with a ‘kamikaze’ bird here. Back at the car park we saw a warning sign ‘birds will take food’ – somehow we missed it before.’
Months later the kids would still laugh about the bird who took daddy’s sandwich.
‘…We just arrived at our next hotel and saw tens of wild kangaroos grazing the lawn just outside the door. Unbelievable! While we were admiring the view the kids saw something else – a play area. It just so happens that we haven’t been anywhere near a playground for more than a week and here it was – finally… right behind the kangaroos, each of them bigger than our boys… Before we even realized what was happening we saw our three musketeers running towards the playground chasing the kangaroos away. Wild animals or not, they would get there…’
In the morning we make a short walk to the Venus Baths in the Grampians. It’s beautiful here and the kids are having fun jumping on the rocks and throwing stones in the water. Sam takes the ‘baths’ seriously and manages to step into the water and get soaking wet. His shoes, clothes: everything up to his underwear is wet. Jurga gives him her sweater and the rest of the walk he is riding on my back. Afterwards he would tell everyone that a splash in the Venus baths was the best part of the day.’
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