Travel

Documenting Your Travels

While volunteering and travelling there is no doubt that you will gain countless new experiences each day, surely you will want to capture the uniqueness of your journey.

Documenting your travels is proven to be extremely beneficial, from recalling your fond memories to reducing overall stress in your life. Here are some of the most important reasons to keeping a travel journal, and some effective tips on how to make it enjoyable.

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 Media. There are many ways to document your travels, both private and public. Using social media you are able to portray your experiences with friends, family, and others who may be interested in your journey. Instagram, Facebook and blogging are useful ways to keep people in the loop with what you’re up too. More personal ways of documenting your experiences, such as journaling, can bring a greater sense of reflection upon all the changes and transitions you are going through. The biggest difference between the public documenting and personal, is that you are more likely to be more closed off to what you share with others. Having a personal medium allows you to tap into the positive and negative of your experiences freely, enabling a greater sense of reflection and self-discovery.

 

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Self-Discovery. While volunteering abroad, you will certainly undergo forms of personal growth. The transition into new cultures, surroundings, people and activities brings a degree of discomfort, since it’s not what you are normally used to. Getting out of the comfort zone enables you to challenge yourself, opening up to success or failure, and let’s be honest you will probably undergo both. Keeping a journal promotes self-discovery, in addition to reflection. You will gain greater awareness on who you are, and more easily cultivate change and improvement within yourself. You will be able to reflect on some of the struggles you endured and how you overcame, which will demonstrate how you have grown, and bring feelings of relief, joy and accomplishment.

Mentality. Journaling is a healthy way to express yourself, it helps create order in times you feel chaos running through your mind.

Benefits include:

  • Increased creativity

  • Increased focus

  • Reduced anxiety and stress

The world is said to feel much clearer when you get your thoughts, feelings and ideas out on paper. This act allows you to understand your thoughts and feelings more clearly, so that you gain better control of emotions and improve overall mental well-being.

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Your Space. Keeping a personal journal enables you to have our own sacred space. With a personal journal you are able to express yourself completely open and honestly through writing about experiences, thoughts, emotions. However, it doesn’t all have to be serious, deep, and meaningful. Your content can be whatever YOU want. Content examples:

  • Write-ups on weekend travels, moments of joy, meeting your host family, struggles you are undergoing in your volunteer placement, cultural differences, the list goes on.

  • Doodles and drawings

  • Bus tickets

  • Photos

  • Newspaper clippings

  • Pictures from magazines and books that inspire you

  • Receipts

Since this journal is after all your sacred space, personalise it! Make it visually appealing to you.

If you are going to volunteer abroad, keep a travel journal!

Volunteer Community Work in Japan - Aliya

Volunteer Community Work in Japan - Aliya

I have learned all kinds of skills during my time here and had all kinds of incredible and valuable life experiences. However I think the main skill I have developed here is communication. Learning Japanese by being constantly surrounded by native speakers is amazing. It is very different and more effective than formal lessons and much more interactive.

Volunteering as a teacher in Fiji

Volunteering as a teacher in Fiji

I’ve learned so much by living and working in Fiji for 11 months, the type of education I could never have hoped to have back home and it has certainly made me think much more about what’s truly important in life. You come to appreciate the importance of community and sharing and realise just how materialistic our society is back home.

Sammy volunteers as a teacher in Poland

Sammy volunteers as a teacher in Poland

I really admire the teachers who take these classes as they are so patient and organised. The kids are really cute though and it is common for at least one of them to run up to me in the hallways and give me a big hug. Whenever I walk into the room I am greeted with a loud ‘Hello’, or ‘Good morning/afternoon’ which always brings a smile to my face.

Erica shares her volunteer experience in Argentina

Erica shares her volunteer experience in Argentina

I really underestimated the effect that my friendships with the other volunteers would have on my own experience. All of us Lattitude volunteers placed in Argentina bonded unbelievably quick, and being part of such a close and supportive unit has totally enhanced my already awesome Lattitude experience. I know that these guys are my friends for life and that we will all continue to travel together in the future!

Volunteer Adaptations & Learning As You Go in Spain

Volunteer Adaptations & Learning As You Go in Spain

Spain was a major draw card for me because it was a country overflowing with history and beauty. Spanish food was also something that attracted to me, famous for their tapas and sangria; I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. I loved the idea of fully immersing myself in a foreign culture in one of the most beautiful and historic countries in the world.