When I became a deadbeat blogger earlier this year, I also became lazy about taking photos. I stopped taking my DSLR camera with me on trips and relied on my phone.In some respects, it’s a better way to travel. Not only because it makes my bag much lighter, but because I do feel I’m more present when I’m not distracted by taking photos. On the other hand, with smartphones, there’s always distraction — always something pulling away from the present. If it’s not the best-quality photos for my blog or scrapbook, it’s the most Instagram-worthy shot to make sure all my social media friends know I’m having a great time.The other related side effect of my temporary abandonment of blogging is that all attempts at memory-keeping also went out the window. You’d think it would be easy to remember details of the amazing temples we saw in Thailand or the beautiful hike we went on in Jordan. But without taking notes or journaling, the process of sorting and editing photos, and reading through brochures and other materials saved, memories get fuzzy.And when I finally get my act together to update my scrapbook or blog, I have to rely on Google for information and facts about the places we’ve traveled, rather than my own memories or impressions of what it felt like to be there. I want to remember what I thought when I reached the summit of the small hill and looked out upon the brown landscape of Dana Biosphere Reserve in the shadowy light of the setting sun.Or the appreciation I felt for Kail, who carried a scalding hot glass teacup to me — burning his hand slightly — as I perched on a rock, taking in the sunset. Or the sense of peacefulness I felt gazing at the enormity of the star-filled sky as we lied on our backs on the lodge rooftop.I remember these things about our trip to Feynan Ecolodge because, uncharacteristically, I wrote two journal entries from Feynan while we were there. I had just bought a nice notebook during our recent trip to Thailand, so I was eager to use it. Here’s what I had to say:
We are currently at Feynan Ecolodge, about three hours away from Amman. It is a picturesque lodge located within the Dana Nature Reserve. It is one of the popular domestic tourism activities to do but a bit off the beaten path compared to Petra, Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea, etc. …The sunset hike was beautiful. It was a bit hazy so we weren’t able to really see the sun dip below the horizon. But it was a peaceful walk. …The guide, Suleiman, also recommended a wadi hike for us to do the next day (today). It was a really beautiful, relatively easy three-mile (ish) out-and-back hike. We followed a dry riverbed to a stream through a canyon. It was a nice way to end our first visit to Feynan.
Since then, I have written exactly five additional journal entries in my nice, not-so-new notebook. And I used my DSLR camera on only two trips this year: Paris and Ajloun Castle. Something to work on for 2018. This is all a long way of explaining why I only have four photos (all taken on my iPhone) from our trip to Feynan.Do you keep a journal (travel or otherwise)?