One of the many things I heard over and over when I told people I was studying abroad was to make sure I keep a journal of my experiences. I’m pretty sure everyone would say they would write in a journal, but it is difficult to follow through the entire five months. Before I came I bought a black sketch book. I was determined to write in it everyday. So far, I have been able to keep up, but have had to write a couple the day after. It’s been amazing to look back on, even only a couple weeks later. I already forget some of the little details so I know in a year or two when I look back on this experience, I’ll be so glad I have this journal. It is also a great way to spend your time while you are sipping a cappuccino at your favorite cafe.
When I first arrived, I wrote so much everyday because everything was new to me, but now the entries are getting shorter and shorter as I am getting more accustomed to life in France. If you are running out of ideas, here are a few things you can write about that you would definitely want to remember in a few years...
Restaurants You Went To and What You Ordered
If you went out to get a coffee in the morning or to a new cafe for lunch, write down where you where and what you ordered. If you ever return to the city you studied in, you can look back at your journal and remember the name of your favorite cafe or your favorite dish at the Restaurant in the center of the city.
Stores You Went To
Like the cafes, you also might want to remember your favorite clothes or grocery store. I like to keep my receipts taped into my journal as it has the name of the store, the date I went and the amount of money I spent - you don't know if an apple is going to cost the same in a few years.
Slang You Heard/ Words You Learned
If your friends at school taught you a new way to say "goodbye", write it down so you can look back at it even in a few days if you forget. This is also a good way to keep track of when you learned certain words and how comfortable you become with them.
If you want, you can print out photos, or use polaroids to add to your journal and show visuals of what you did that day.