Keeping a Journal: Remembering the Small Details

Katie Garrett University College London, England


November 17, 2014

While abroad, everything can seem significant, but that doesn’t mean you will remember. Tickets, receipts, quotes, new facts learned, etc. seem important, but they are often forgotten and feel like clutter just a few weeks later. At the end of my study abroad experience, after I have left London, I know that the three months spent here will blur together and only the most significant and prioritized memories will be appreciated. To avoid this, I’ve kept a journal, which helps me make the most of my time here as well as creates a scrapbook that can be used for reminiscing once I return to the states.

After any sort of adventures, I write down any and all facts I remember. I write down the date, who I traveled with, and what I saw. I include tickets, receipts, business cards, small maps, and even napkins. I don’t write everyday, but any day that I see something new or spend with a friend or family member; I dedicate a page to that day. It’s filling up quickly. In some ways, it’s a challenge in and of itself to have a journal. My goal is to fill up every page with wonderful memories.

It takes a bit of time to write down notes after each day, but it’s worth it. I prioritize the minute details, including street names, café names, prices, etc. For this project, I chose to bring a large, orchid Moleskine© journal with plain pages. It has worked just fine, the perfect size to hold souvenirs.

Keeping a journal has helped me make the most of my study abroad experience. Each page is a new challenge. It helps me reflect on my time abroad before I have to leave this amazing city. Also, it provides a place for me to collect all the small mementoes that would otherwise become clutter. It takes a bit of extra effort, but it will forever serve as a collection of London memories that may otherwise be, unfortunately, forgotten.