Journey method is considered to be one of the most versatile memory techniques. The power of the technique is so incredible, that the best memorisers of the world use this technique invariably, whenever they want to make or break an existing memory record.

The technique is very ancient and dates back to about 500 BC. In ancient Greece, there was person by name Simonides. Simonides is a poet and an orator in a king’s court.

One day, Simonides has delivered a speech in the king’s court and went out of the court to receive a guest. When he is out of the hall, the hall caved in and all the occupants of the hall were crushed to death under the debris.

The impact of the collapse was such that, the dead bodies were mutilated beyond scope of recognition. The kin of the dead were unable to identify the bodies of their dear ones.

Simonides was the only one inmate of the hall who survived. So he was summoned to help identifying the bodies. Simonides went to the exact spot from where he delivered his speech and tried to recollect the positions in which each of the dead persons were seated.

Amazingly, he was able to recollect all the positions and the names of the persons sitting therein. The story did not stop there. Simonides started deeply thinking how he was able to recollect the persons’ names in relation to their seating positions

He concluded that if you want to remember any sequence, it would be easy if the items in the sequence are placed in a series of locations which is already known. From then on, he started to use the technique for remembering all the important points of his speeches.

Orators those days were visiting the venues of their speech a day before the delivery and were linking each point with a prominent place in the hall itself in a sequence. This technique was popular with the name – The Roman Room system. This is also referred as the loci technique of memory. The modern version of this system is called the Journey System.

The journey system is based on the simple fact that any human being must have used several routes in his life over and over again. By frequently using these routes, the routes and the prominent stages of those routes get deeply ingrained in the brain. It means, every person is storing in his brain, a vast, organized data, which is lying idle. Then, why not we use this data for enhancing our memory?

You already remember so many journeys.

That each one of you remembers several routes is a fact. For example, the route you currently use to reach to the office or college from your home is so well known to you, that you negotiate the route effortlessly.

That each one of you remembers several routes is a fact. For example, the route you currently use to reach to the office or college from your home is so well known to you, that you negotiate the route effortlessly.

There is actually no limit to the routes which you know. You can even deliberately create new journeys for the purpose of enhancing our memory. If you are in a new city, you can take a walk through the roads and remember the sequence of locations. Each stage of all those routes can be used as a mental hanger or hook to hang on some data.

What all you need to do is, whenever you want to memorise a list, you pick up a journey with enough number of stages and place each of the items of the list in one location serially. By doing this, you can remember the list with ease.

An Exercise

I will give you a description of a house and the various locations in it. Each particular location is called as a stage. Let us go

You see the main road in front of the house.
You cross the road to reach the main gate.
Adjacent to the main gate is the security cabin.
You pass the cabin and enter the lawn.
You cross the lawn and see a car there.

After that you reach the main door.
Then you enter through the door and see the sofa.
Opposite the sofa is a dining table.
Next to it is the kitchen.

From the kitchen window you see a swimming pool.

If you look at it, we have created a journey from the main road to the swimming pool. The journey has 10 stages. The 10 stages are

1. Road
2. Gate
3. Security Cabin
4. Lawn
5. Car
6. Door
7. Sofa
8. Dining Table
9. Kitchen
10. Swimming Pool

We can now use the above 10 stages to remember 10 new bits of data.

Let us say you have to remember the following list of 10 points for a speech on topic “The Duties of a Citizen”

1 Respect the national flag
2 Follow the ideals of leaders
3 Uphold unity and integrity
4 Render national service
5 Promote harmony
6 Preserve the rich heritage of the culture
7 Protect the environment

8 Develop scientific temper
9 Safeguard public property
10 Strive towards excellence

The above list could be a list of points to deliver in speech, or the points of an answer etc.

We now have to use VAP and CoMBS to link each point with one of the stages of our journey. We have to take up the first location of the journey and the first point and link them together in a memorable way.

To take advantage of the journey system, follow these steps.

Make a list of the points you need to remember.
2 Come up with a keyword for each point.
3 Count the number of keywords.
4 Create a journey with necessary number of stages to associate each keyword with one stage.
5 Creating a journey should not be a problem. You can use the route you take from work to home. May be you can think of city where your grandparents reside. Or the route you take from the railway station to your club.
6 Use VAP and CoMBS to associate the keywords with the stages.
7 Close your eyes and create vivid images.
8 Revise, if necessary.

Applications of Journey.

Remember speeches/presentations
Points of an answer
Any kind of lists
Ideas
List of jokes
Or any other list