Before leaving my London flat to explore the world (and myself) on the longest journey I have ever embarked on, I had promised myself to keep a diary of my adventures, feelings and emotions as the time and the countries went by. I wanted to fix in time and document my memories abroad.

Why You Should Document Your Time Abroad

About half way through, I checked the entries on my digital journal and there were just over a dozen notes about my experiences. I had been weak and lazy and perhaps too busy exploring and eating the world rather than taking notes of it. However, as places started to melt into my mind and eyes and as I was ready to jump on yet another plane, I made a second, stronger promise to myself to shift this bad habit.

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This is my entry for #PPMapsNCompasses as my #TravelPlanning starts today ????. I never looked at maps this much, never spent so much time reading travel guides as now. It is almost time to take off. . As some of you might already know, back in April, I quit my London career to pursue a year of travelling, photography, writing and...growing. I am now about to embark on a long trip through #Asia, #Australia, #NewZealand and...who knows?! ???? The route isn't defined or completely booked yet, but it's surely going to be a life-changing experience. I will be sharing more of my planning/itinerary on my website in the next weeks but if you have any tips about the countries/cities I will visit, please do let me know! . First stop ? #Delhi . Tips, advice, suggestions, what to see, where to stay, what to avoid, where/what to eat, coffee -shops, brunch spots, favourite instagramers and bloggers?. . #thestoryteller_inindia. . It's a new day, it's a new life. . #livemoredomorebemore #liveauthentic #livefolk #theinspireedition #india #passionpassport @passionpassport

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There are moments in our life, both at home and abroad, that need to be fixed in time. Emotions and feelings that cling to our mind for a second or two but that would disappear if not framed on paper. I learnt this in India, while I was sailing on the peaceful backwaters of Kochi, Kerala and in the complete silence, I could hear sentences and full paragraphs forming in my head and soon vanishing.

See also: 9 Things That WILL Happen When You Move Abroad

Once I got my feet on the mainland, I headed to the lovely bookstore in the old town and got one of those beautifully decorated Indian notepads with a leather strap attached to it. That night, I tried to write down all the stories and emotions I had lived earlier in the day, it was hard, but memories were still fresh and I managed to grasp most of it on my brand new diary. Since that day I managed to fill that little notebook along with other five or six, nicely numbered and sent back home. I shifted to smaller and smaller notebook and basic long-lasting pen, that could fit in my funny pack, something that nowadays, I carry with me almost 24 hours a day so that I always have what I need when the inspiration arrives.

If you are not the type of handwriting, you can always rely on your smartphone which -regardless of the brand- surely has a notes app where you can unleash your thoughts and memories for the day or the week. It’s super handy, and it’s always with you. If instead, you are keen to share memories, rather than writing them for yourself, why don’t you start a travel blog or a vlog? It’s never been as easy as it is today, so just jump on WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr or even Youtube – the options are endless.

See also: Dear Hannah Smothers, You Should Travel Alone. Yes, Again.

Words are safe – what about photos and videos?

Extra cautious?

Perhaps, but today I no longer worry too much to lose or break my laptop, my hard-drive or my camera, everything is always available online.If you love printed pictures instead and want to keep them for you and your friends, why don’t you make your own on online printing services and publishing houses like Artifact Uprising which is a beautiful platform to save, share and perhaps sell your memories on the go.

I’ve already made a couple of photo books through them and sent them as presents while I’m also working on a photographic memoir of India which will be out next year. You can easily create a book of your amazing times in Madrid or your internship in London, just by downloading the app and create your own great photo-diary on the go.

If that’s not for you, but you are still a visual person, why don’t you make a scrapbook with all your plane tickets, movies nights, baggage tags, letters and photos? I’m doing one here in OZ and loving it!

And don’t forget about maps!

84 days 8765 photos 12 hrs video 6 Flights 7 trains 352 tuk tuk 2 scooters 1 camel 12 Boats 1 bycicle 10 States 6 instameets Countless new friends All scale of emotions A handful of Hindi words A few tears A thousands laughs A million WOWs . #ThisIsMyIndia?? . Thank you India for being such a welcoming, warm, gentle, incredible, beautiful, crazy, messy country. Thank you Indian people for making me feel at home and safe for this entire period. Thank you tuk tuk driver to scare me to death every other day. Thank you to my Prabu. Thank you to my Kolkata family. Thank you to our amazing Rajasthan driver and his awesome family. Thank you to my chef superman. Thank you to my girls in Kerala and my boys too. Thank you for such a wonderful welcome in Delhi. Thank you to all the brands, hotels and tour operators I've worked with in the last three months. Thank you to all my old and new blog readers. Thank you to all my new friends for your generosity, affection, support and love. (I'm sorry I couldn't tag you all, but just 20, randomly). But..I've tagged you all in my heart ❤️ and thank you for coming to meet me all across India and for making me feel so welcome. You are amazing! Thank you to those I forgot, and sorry! Thank you India for loving me back. Thank you. ?? See you in 2016! ?????? . As I sit on my plane that will take me to Sydney, my third destination of this wonderful journey, I can't stop thinking about how wonderful this experience has been. I remember how scared I was to come here and looking back now I know how silly I was. You can only love this country. I'm sad to be leaving, but also excited about my Australian adventure. Please expect "a few" latergrams from @incredibleindiaofficial. ? . #thestoryteller_inIndia ⏩ @see_my_india, a new photographic project of my first time in this wonderful country. Check it out for unseen pictures of my 3 months journey across this wonderful country as will go through them in the next few weeks. [All photos are available for print. Please reach out to me on thestorytellerphotos@gmail.com] . #thestorytellermeetsthelocals #livemoredomorebemore

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Everybody I’ve met who loves to travel had a soft spot for maps.

Maybe it’s the reassuring feelingof checking the exact location of a future destination on a map, or the feeling that it makes it more real, but I do love large, small, old and new, physical and digital maps. I have about a dozen map apps on my phone to help me keep track of where I’ve been and where I’m heading (or dreaming of).

On Google Maps for example, I save all the places I’ve been with a little yellow star so if friends ask me about a great cafe in Calcutta, I can easily pull the address out of my map (rather than my rusty brain or my messy scraps and notes).

I also collect little city or parks’  maps that are handed out for free at information centres around the world. I stick them with some glue along with airplane tickets, postcards and cinema tickets in my scrapbook.

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Remember that after the trip itself, the next best thing is living those moments again, especially checking your old notes after a year or two. Sharing these memories by reading them loud to your family and friends will have all a new flavour, a much more intense feeling than a couple of Facebook statuses and albums.- - - - - -

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