Monday, July 17, 2017

Can Travel Spark Creativity?


I’m going with a resounding yes. We’ve bounced around our share this summer and every time I find myself in a new city I’m met with surges of fresh ideas. Some of these thoughts involve characters, some plot twists, some career moves, and some promotion, but I’m not sure any would have come to me had I not physically moved to a different location.

I could write a year’s worth of blog post reactions about the book I’m reading. IMAGINE by Jonah Lehrer is my kind of book. It stretches the way I think about how I learn, and how I interpret the world.

I was particularly amused by the section about travel and how it influences our ability to create. Why so fascinated by this? Because in addition to our big move, we’ve also done a load of traveling over the past few months. And I’ve found every time I leave our house I open the door to new material. It’s wild. It’s wonderful.

Lehrer writes, “We need to leave behind everything. One of the most surprising (and pleasurable) ways of
cultivating an outside perspective is through travel, getting away from the places we spend most of our time.” He goes on to say that when we travel ideas that were previously suppressed have an opportunity to surface. New surroundings inspire new thoughts. Travel also encourages us to become more open-minded, or as Lehrer suggests “alive to ambiguity, more willing to realize there are different ways of interpreting the world.” Yes. Yes. And yes.

I still think part of the reason I write stems from my time growing up in Germany. My mom loves to share how as a young kid I’d look at people in an elevator and excitedly speak my own interpretation of German (I was a special child). As an adult, I love learning about other cultures and other ways of living. I no longer go up to people who speak a different language and spout Gibberish, trying to engage in conversation with them. My husband stops me before I try.

I buy into this concept entirely. And I’m not convinced we have to fly to Paris or Rome to thrum the creative juices. Simply stepping out can do wonders. This is why walks can be so instrumental when I’m brain-blocked.

Every time we leave our comfortable nests we’re forced to view the world through a fresh lens.


Traveled anywhere lately? Have you experienced a heightened sense of creativity when you’ve stepped out?

2 comments:

  1. My husband and I went to Florida in April. We returned to a place we had been to several times over the years and, yet, it was different. New construction gave it less of a time on the beach. We enjoyed ourselves but parts of the area were no longer the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting how construction altered your experience. Wonder if you'll go back?

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