If you are planning to travel, why not plan to write a travel journal when you go? Online travel sites let you access your journals from anywhere, give you unlimited virtual real estate to post entries and photos and allow you to get guest book messages from family and friends. They also provide wonderful online entertainment.
A friend of mine has been keeping a journal with photos of travels in My Trip Journal. It's a fantastic website and a really great way to learn about other countries as an "armchair traveler". The photos and the way the journal entries bring the writer close to you and other people and places to life are truly priceless.
It's also interesting how someone else can travel to the same faraway place as you've been and see many of the same sights and yet have a different experience. With a good writer, these special sights can be revisited again and re-experienced in the best ways. They can be described in lights and detail that take time and thought to write. It's also possible to see what has been missed on your visit that should have been seen (ouch!), what can be seen in another visit and where to stop for awhile in the future. Writing voices that you recognize really bring these places to life. Since you know how the writer sounds, the journal is an extension of their personalities, a way to follow them as they meet new challenges, a way to learn how to react differently yourself, and wonder how you would do in their shoes.
This is a wonderfully fun website to visit, and a treasure of the internet. It's also a generous legacy of the traveler to take the time to write impressions and stay in touch. It's also a fine way for business travelers, teachers and professors to keep records of lengthy trips. The human side of traveling, the transportation adventures, hotel, restaurant, sightseeing and shopping experiences recounted are useful records to use when planning a trip.
What fun they are to visit just for pleasure and use as information resources before traveling. I don't hear about these journal sites very often in the media as a networking or employment tool or mind-boggling money-maker for the founders. I wonder if these journals, or at least the one of my friend, could become a book. It's now possible to vicariously enjoy the travels of others, conveniently and without delay. Wonder if it's possibly a business necessity of the future. Personal travel videos might very well become more popular.
My Trip Journal is at http://www.mytripjournal.com/
Off Exploring at http://www.offexploring.com, Travellers Point at http://www.travellerspoint.com/onlinediary.cfm and Travel Journals.net at http://www.traveljournals.net/join.asp also offer trip journal sites.