My first travel journal entries – a trip to Kalbarri, aged 8

Did you keep a travel journal (or just an everyday diary) when you were a child? I have various diaries and journals from many times of my life and I actually love looking back on them – most often because they make me laugh, but they’re also a great way to remind me of forgotten events of the past, and especially places I’ve been and my impressions of them.

My first travel journal entry ever

I was a bit excited to find some 1984 diaries in a box recently. During 1984 I turned eight years old, so I could write well enough to keep a diary for the whole year, but I have to say, the topics I chose to write about were mostly a bit questionable – there was a lot of space devoted to how my tomato plants were growing and which pieces I was playing on the piano (with rather boastful claims about my piano playing ability too, I must admit!).

But the best part was my (rather short!) travel journal about a family trip to Kalbarri, Western Australia – a coastal town about six hours’ north of Perth. Obviously not wanting to miss any days, I still wrote in my regular diary about this trip …

First travel journal entry in 1984 to Kalbarri

My first travel diary entry about travel ever, on a 1984 family trip to Kalbarri

I totally love my precision – we left at 7.21am to drive to Kalbarri! – and it’s good to see that kids stay the same, because my excitement about sleeping in a top bunk bed is the same excitement my son had when he got this chance in Iceland last year.

Along with this, I also created a special travel journal just for the Kalbarri experience. I have no idea why there’s a triangular guy on the cover, but he’s followed by about a dozen pages of writing about our week-long Kalbarri adventure.

My first travel journal aged 8

Some of the highlights (amongst, it has to be said, many lowlights) of my travel journal include the fact that we got our car tyres pumped up “a bit” as we were leaving Perth, and the nice precise detail that my sister was passing time with her “See-A-Word” puzzle book (while I, obviously, was just sitting there absorbing every minor detail so that I could then write a very long-winded travel journal entry).

In Travel Journal School we have a whole section about picking the right details to include and not simply writing down every little thing that happens to you, and my eight-year-old self obviously needed to learn that lesson. As you’ll see in the second sample page below, though, I finally succumbed to not just hundreds of words describing not much but I did manage to stick in some paraphernalia, too, to celebrate our trip on the River Queen boat and a climb part-way up Tumblagooda Hill.

Kalbarri diary - my travel journal as an eight-year-old

Kalbarri diary – my travel journal as an eight-year-old

But it just goes to show that even a badly-written travel journal can be a special memory for the author of it. I’ve read it cover to cover, over thirty years on, and it actually reminded me of some of the activities we did in Kalbarri that I’d forgotten about. I’ve never been back there, but having read this, I now really want to go and take my son there.

I’ll just have to teach him how to write a more interesting travel journal before we go. (Actually, I think he already can.)

Travel Journal School free mini-course

Can you lay your hands on your first ever travel journal? I would LOVE to see some others!

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