Right, now I’ve got your attention, I’m going to stop using the ‘regret’ word! Until time travel becomes available, it remains impossible to change the past, and worrying about that doesn’t help at all. Maybe a better question is “What one thing would I do differently when travelling next time?”
Well, having been feeling the post-travel blues this week, I’ve flicked through my pictures many times and a few particular photos have triggered memories from a dusty alcove in the back of my head which I thought I’d completely forgotten? I guess unfortunately I must have got my Dad’s memory! It’s less than a week since I got back from my trip to the States, but even now, as I look through my photos, I remember some things I’d completely forgotten!
Welcome to 3B, my cabin. Say hi to Josh, one of the kitchen staff at camp who stayed in my cabin, and an all-round great guy.
I saw this photo and realised I had completely forgotten the time my boss set off a smoke machine and the smoke alarm in my cabin at 2:30 am. Getting woken up and told my cabin was on fire, wasn’t something I thought I’d forget in a hurry. The 6 of us ran out, tired and confused, to find our boss and a few of his mates in hysterics!
The story doesn’t end there; while they went to wake up other innocent staff, I figured we shouldn’t let them get away with it that easily and we moved the beds from my cabin outside, barricaded their golf cart, and fell asleep in them. I sincerely hope they had a nice long walk back to their cabins!
I still laugh at the thought of this and am pretty thankful for the picture, but why am I telling you this?
Well, without that photo, I may have forgotten that story for good. And what about for those moments and experiences during travelling for which there are no pictures to remember it?
So, what’s the solution?
My long-winded way of answering the question has all led up to this; when I travel again, I will write a diary. A diary seems like such a great way to fill in the blanks where there are no photos. Also, even where there are photos, a diary may complement that. They say a photo is worth 1,000 words, but sometimes that’s not true. Photos can’t always illustrate how you felt or what you were thinking at the time as adequately as words.
I encountered a number of diary-writing people during my travels. I was always envious of the record of their days, weeks, months and years which they had captured on paper, and I was impressed by their commitment to sit down at the end of a long day, or when everyone else was just chilling, and write. One big appeal of travelling is to have experiences and create stories which can form lasting memories. Yet despite this, it didn’t occur to me to write my own until I got home, and realised how much I’d actually forgotten.
So, I’ve resolved to start keeping a diary since I’ve been home. Already, the 20 – 30 minutes I set aside at the end of each day have become a bit of a routine, and something I actively look forward to – it’s become kind of therapeutic and cathartic, piecing together the different parts of the day.
I’m sure I will continue next time while I travel as I’ve learnt such writing is invaluable! I want to be able to remember every detail of the rich experiences encountered while travelling, and just, in general throughout this awesome thing we call life!