One alternative to the hand written journal is an audio record. I tried this last summer. Sometimes I am so tired by the time I’m ready to fill out my journal at night that it doesn’t happen till after the trip is over. The longer I wait to record my memories, the foggier they become. I decided that audio might be an easier solution since it is just like having a conversation. Here were some pros and cons I discovered.
-It is interesting to hear your tone of voice while you’re traveling
-Works well for those that are natural oral storytellers
-Just need an audio recorder with fresh batteries (mine fits in my hand; smaller than my cell phone)
-Others can contribute to your conversation for a deeper dimension
-Offers a multimedia perspective with background sounds
-Whole days can be paraphrased, or brief snippets can be recorded
-It is not as easy to browse through
-Sometimes the audio can be rather lengthy
-It is more challenging to correct mistakes
-Watch out for rambling
-The dreaded “um” and “like” can sneak in there a lot if you are not careful
After my experiences last year, I think it is something I will use occasionally. Overall I am finding that a blend between visual, audio, and written ideas makes for the most powerful journal.
Check out one of my shorter audios from the past summer. As you can see, I sometimes get lost in thought while talking.
If you want to hear more (though I doubt you do), here are the other days I recorded that were short enough to put on YouTube: