I have been very fortunate in my young life, to have travelled to many amazing places. Travel continues to be a very important part of my life, and I thoroughly enjoy planning, and taking trips to new and exciting places.
In recent years I’ve discovered that travelling can also be extremely helpful to my writing:
#1. Introduction to new people, places, and cultures:
Travelling is such a rich experience because of the opportunities to have entirely new and unique adventures! Being exposed to brand new experiences, makes you that much more open to new ideas, and inspirations in your writing. My own writing has been inspired by the amazing history, customs and traditions, unique people, and beautiful scenery in the places to which I have travelled. One of my favourite experiences is going through the Vatican Museums in Rome. I have been to Rome five times now, and every trip, I make sure to visit the Vatican Museums. I could spend a lifetime in there, and still not see everything!
#2. Freedom from inhibitions:
Many people feel a greater sense of freedom when they’re travelling. A world of opportunities and adventure is open to a traveller, and I have found that I’m much more open to saying ‘yes’, to new experiences when I’m travelling. This freedom from inhibitions means that as a writer, my mind is more open to ideas and inspirations, that often come from unexpected places. Inspiration can be found in so many experiences, but I find that seeing new vistas for the first time is a wonderful way to spark some creativity!
#3. No routine:
Often, it is difficult to keep a set routine when travelling. Every day brings a new experience! I find that not knowing exactly what the day will bring makes me more open to taking chances, exploring places, and in general saying ‘yes’ to things I usually wouldn’t. Travelling affords me a freedom that I can’t have in my busy life at home in Calgary. Being so free and open to the possibility of new experiences is wonderful for my writing!
#4. Time to reflect:
Travelling can sometimes be a chaotic experience, so I usually like to consciously take some time to think and reflect. When I was travelling around Europe with my sister in 2011 we maintained a very hectic pace, and I remember being so grateful for the opportunity to just have an afternoon in Hyde Park, London to sit on a bench and watch the world pass by. I remember being flooded with so many thoughts, and ideas for my writing, that I had to pull out a notebook to get it all down!
#5. Unique locales:
While my hometown of Calgary does have great variety in terms of weather (from -40°C in the winter, to +30°C in the summer), there are still a lot of disparate climates around the world that Calgary cannot offer. By travelling to other areas of the world, I get to experience these differences in scenery, climate, and culture for myself. So when I write about humidity so intense it is difficult to breathe, I can pull from my experiences in similar humidity in Japan in 2006. When I write about a place that is hauntingly melancholy, I remember the eerie beauty of Prague in the evening, as I walked along the Charles Bridge.
Do you find that travel inspires your writing? I’m always looking for new places to travel, so I’d love to hear about your favourite trip!
*All photos taken by Rachael Mollison-Read
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