I am creative. I am also a traveler. Both are important to me yet, one does not take precedent over the other. In fact, they have a symbiotic relationship.
Travel feeds my creativity and creativity inspires my travels.
It took me a while to find my feet as a creative traveler. For a while I just left my creativity at home when I explored and the result was a cranky, impatient, unfulfilled woman. Then one day I had the epiphany that my creative expression didn’t take a vacation just because I did. Travel opens us up. The vulnerability I felt as a traveler unsealed a creative portal through which great ideas flowed fed by a constant stream of new sights, sounds and experiences.
Finding your feet as a traveling creative is a process of trial and error, and ultimately takes you down creative paths you might not have thought possible. As a painter, I lugged tubes of paint, brushes and canvas through Europe for three months to discover that is not how I wanted to travel. So now, I doodle in cafes and take snapshots of scenes that inspire me. My creativity did find a new outlet as well – I started blogging about my travels. I loved capturing what I saw and felt on the road in words as a storyteller.
The time I’ve spent traveling has expanded me creatively and that is what it is all about. Here are a few tips to cultivating creativity on the road:
- Figure your creative requirements into your travel plans. How will it affect your transportation choices, where you stay, how long you will stay in one place? For instance, a painter may prefer to stay in one place or go on a retreat.
- Keep a creative journal or small notebook to capture all of the ideas that spontaneously flow to you.
- Play and experiment with new forms of expression. Do it for yourself, for fun.
- Set aside quiet time each day. It is in the quiet that the ideas will be clearly received. Use the time to document your ideas or paint or write or just meditate on the day gone by.
And, most importantly, stay open and vulnerable. That is the challenge of being on the road. New places can momentarily knock us off balance so take some time to ground yourself and find your groove. Then see where it takes you!