For exclusive offers and advance notice of my favorite discoveries and latest adventures!
Whether it's taking a daily ritual from expected to extraordinary or discovering the wonderment and beauty of anew travel destination, J.R. McCabe elevates the everyday with timeless taste and comfortable confidence.
One of the special ways I linger in the meaningful moments of my travel long after they’ve passed is by keeping a cherished written record. Here are my top five reasons to keep a travel journal:
#1 To Relive Moments of Sensory Experience
Journaling while traveling allows you to live your trip twice. Photographs capture the experience but journaling captures its essence. Images can always bring you back to a place, but words bring you back to the moment — how it smelled, tasted, felt. Only through a written record will you be able to immediately recall the scent of the flowers on the table in Kyoto, the happy sound of schoolchildren echoing up the back window of the pensione in Milan, the subtle herbed and buttery flavor of the best scrambled eggs you’ve ever had in your life while staying at a British hotel, or the romantic and empowering trance of the music the first time you walked into a Parisian club.
#2 As a Keepsake of your Favorite Spots
A travel journal also serves as a keepsake of all the wonderful places you found while on vacation. The unique gift shop tucked away on the last block of a quaint New England town, a favorite breakfast spot, wine bar, or amazing restaurant you discovered, the lovely dress shop you stumbled upon, the list goes on. So often I used to think to myself, “oh I’ll totally remember this place. I love it!” Months or years later there I am, stuck scouring the same five blocks off the Champs-Élysées on the hunt for the best omelettes on the planet at the tiny café run by that sweet French lady. If only I had been keeping a travel journal back then! Write it down and whenever you return you know just where to go.
#3 A Valued Resource for Family and Friends
Likewise, whether you are a well-seasoned traveler or take the same annual excursion to your beloved locale — friends and family who know you’ve been there will inevitably turn to you for guidance on where to go and what to do as they plan their trip. Often it’s tough to come up with ideas on the spot, a travel journal alleviates the pressure, putting everything in one place for quick and dependable reference.
#4 A Sacred Book of Dream and Desires
Traveling always evokes beautiful thoughts. They seem to dance around us as we’re walking along the shore, gazing across a bridge, strolling the city streets, or wandering the countryside. Time stops and suddenly our truest heart’s desires greet us. When I’ve relaxed into the moment while on vacation all of my deepest dreams seem clear, delightful, possible. A travel journal serves as a sacred book to capture the musings, thoughts, intentions, and emotions that run through us in the moment and as a treasured reminder to give them life when we are back to the trappings of routine.
#5 A Curated Collection for Everyday Life
Travel is all about discovery. A travel journal helps you bring that discovery home to imbue your everyday life with the gorgeous finds, wonderment, and adventure of your trip. Perhaps the soft blue and cream pillows at the hotel inspire a pillow refresh in your living room, or the gold letter holder spotted at the reception desk at the old New England inn rouses you to incorporate more mini antiques into your living space, maybe the amazing bite-size gourmet delights at that tiny Italian trattoria motivates you to add them to your own culinary repertoire, or the delicious popcorn at the fancy hotel becomes a new gift staple you’ll send to loved ones each holiday. Whatever the experience, a travel journal can be a curated collection of all the new inspiration and lovely finds you want to sprinkle into your everyday life once you’re home. ✨