The first big trip that Chris and I took together was to Paris and the Normandy region of France in May 2008, right before I finished graduate school. I'm not sure where I got the idea but I decided to take along a blank Moleskine journal and during the trip we jotted down notes about how we spent our days.
It's so fun to go back and read our entries from the trip and I think it helps us to remember small and awesome details such as, "We went to the Musee de Moyen Age [Middle Ages]...and we decided that if we lived in the Moyen Age Chris would make and sell lutes and teach Latin and I would make bread". Or the guy we met near the Eiffel Tower, who, after realizing we were American gave us a thumbs down and said, "Bush. War." And then a big smile and thumbs up and said, "Obama!"
We've since taken the same journal on our honeymoon to Seattle and Vancouver in June 2010 and to Porto, Portugal in September 2010, where Chris attended a conference. Reading over what we've written seems to take me back to the memories of the trips in a different way than photographs do. If we hadn't written it down would we remember that while sitting in Volunteer Park in Seattle we saw some people rehearsing a summer play and overheard this:
"'Because we'll have to come out as different squirrels. And when do you want the scampering to end?' And then several adults begin to scamper around as squirrels and chase a rubber ball 'nut'".
Or that when we asked a waiter in Porto about all the bike riders that were riding by he said, "They like to make the sport. Some even get up really early like 7 or 8 AM. I make the sport all day long on the restaurant stairs".
There are quite a few trips that we've taken and we haven't packed out trusty travel journal; it makes me feel like we won't remember those trip as well. It's definitely coming along the next time we travel!