Always be sure to do your own art too - it will change your life for the better!
Always be sure to do your own art too - it will change your life for the better!
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Build Your Self Confidence - how a simple Travel Journal can help

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A beautiful panorama view looking north from Madera, over the harbour at Zihuatanejo, Mexico.


    If any of us had to define Self Confidence, we would probably all come up with a list of character traits that most of us would aspire to:

  • Decisive approach to life
  • Open to taking risks
  • Optimistic
  • Ability to learn from mistakes
  • Does what is right
  • Open minded

    To one degree or another, we also probably demonstrate lots of these character traits. In the same breath, I think it’s fair to say that most of us would love to strengthen those traits as we go through life.

    Let me suggest that the simple task of taking a Travel Journal with you on your next vacation can help move you in that direction in significant ways.

    There can be lots of things to consider with a Travel Journal - but let me propose that we focus, for the moment, on three aspects of your Travel Journal in our collective quest for more self confidence:

  • Writing
  • Artwork
  • The Finished Travel Journal

    Writing does so much to build your self confidence. First, it takes a bit of focus, and that’s never a bad thing to be able to demonstrate. That focus, however, does not have to be locked into some intimidating form of long flowing narratives. It is just as valid to write the things you want in point-form. If you want to string them together into a longer narrative in the future, then you will have all the resource material you need, won’t you.

The simple descriptions of your travel experiences can capture so many important parts of your life’s journey.

    Second, looking back on your writing, you will begin to see something of your keen sense of observation. You will notice that you’ve brought all your 5 sense into play as you wrote about the places you have been, the people you met, or the events you enjoyed. You have also probably recorded (consciously or otherwise) something of the rhythm and pattern of ‘life on the road’ so to speak - whether that’s a cruise, a cycling tour, a wine tour, or a month-long vacation in Maui.

I think you will actually ‘see’ the self confidence in yourself as you look back.

    The artwork you take up in your Travel Journal can add another new and wonderful dimension to your epic vacation memories and build your self confidence. This might take a bit more of a ‘pause’ to capture what you’re wanting to record, but the results can be pretty wonderful.

    Like the writing, you don’t have to fill your Travel Journal pages with full-page landscapes or bustling local farm market scenes. Rather, you can capture small vignettes of those settings. In the end, they will bring back those vacation memories in a wonderful rich flood. Give yourself permission to just draw a carrot from the market or a single tree from that landscape. The caption and description your write will fill out even more detail.

One of the pages from my Travel Journal sketchbook is filled with these little snippets of images around the Mexican village of Zihuatanejo. More than anything, I wanted to try and capture some of the ‘symbols’ of the place as a vacation destination…..not the whole ‘beach scene’. One of those vignettes I made into a bookmark. 

    As you pour over those pages in the future, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how thoughtfully you rendered the scene, how skilled you were at distilling the setting to a single object, or how humourous you could be when you re-read the caption. All of those observations will build your self confidence.

    In the end, you will have a finished Travel Journal - and that will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. You may have travelled with others, but my guess is that you will probably be the only one with an unique and tangible record of those travels.

    You can actually hold that Travel Journal in your hands. You can read through it with a grandchild to help inspire them to do new and different things in their life. You can add it to other things you have accomplished in your life so that, long into the future, they will stand as your ‘Proof of Life’.

The Title Page from my latest Travel Journal - again, I didn’t want to worry myself into thinking I needed to paint a whole big ‘scene’. Instead, I used some of those vignettes I’d worked out in my travel sketchbook instead.

    This may sound a bit grandiose - but I can assure you from my decades of working in the Museums/Archives field, it isn’t the least bit grandiose. What it is, on the other hand, is a tangible demonstration of your self confidence in your observational skills, in your sense of adventure, in your open-mindedness, and in your quiet and humble inner strength of character.

    What a legacy to leave your children and grandchildren.

    Ask yourself….’Wouldn’t you love to have a Travel Journal of your grandparents as they moved to a new country, or ventured out to see new things and visit new places?’

    You already have lots of traits of that ideal self confident person - why not add a new and unique dimension to that part of your life.

Remember that you can also add more to your Travel Journal once you’re back home safe and sound. I painted this into my Journal once I was home and had a bit more time. 

    Finally, remember that keeping a Travel Journal isn’t supposed to be a job….so relax and I think you’ll quickly find that you get better and better with every single Travel Journal you keep.

     To help with the challenge of ‘what to include’ in your Travel Journal, I’ve attached a link to a PDF that I’ve put together to help you build that framework and get you going. Years from now, you’ll never regret having kept a Travel Journal, and your descriptions will be so much richer if you pay attention to your 5 (and 6th) senses.

    Email me to let me know how I can help you get going on setting up your very own Travel Journal. Tell me what your biggest barriers are, and I’ll help you overcome them.

     Go ahead and click this link to download you framework on Travel Journal ‘content’!

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