Want to Fuel Your Creativity? Travel.

You can wonder how it’s like, or you can be there and experience it yourself.

Whenever your get the chance, travel. There is nothing like traveling. You are plucked out of your normal life and taken to other worlds, new environments, and exposed to new cultures, people, and experiences. It seasons you, and opens your horizons. Definitely, travel. And definitely, take advantage of travel to nourish your creativity.

Sometimes you need take a break from conscious creativity to be creative.

Yes, that’s what I said. Taking a break from day to day design work is a great chance to fuel yourself creatively. Sometimes you need to let your conscious creative processes rest in order for them to recuperate and grow stronger.

Similarly, sometimes you need to get out of your normal routines and scenery to shake up your normal stimuli, whether that has to do with visuals, or people, or the daily stresses you have to deal with. When you step out of the box, you open the doors for your creative receptors to take in new stimuli, and for new connections to form.

Even if travel can be costly, I highly encourage everyone take opportunities to travel, or make opportunities to travel. Because what you take away from it is priceless. Consider it an investment in yourself.

So now that I have you convinced to take some time off,

Make Sure to Do This on Your Next Vacation:

1. Plan Well

There are times during vacations that we might be too preoccuppied with travel stresses and other distractions to appreciate the beautiful things that might be going on around you. You have to enable yourself to enjoy your trip. Try to minimize worries and stress by planning well researching the place, so that you can get your lodging, finances, transportation, food, places to visit, in order. Don’t forget to check hours of operation, and read reviews or local blogs for tips. For lodging, I highly recommend finding a placy to stay through Airbnb.

2. Soak Everything In

When you have less worries on your mind, the more you can take the time to enjoy your surroundings. Now you can stop and take moments to just soak it all in. Observe how this place is different from the place you call home. Use your senses; Look around, listen to the sounds, taste the local food. Keep these little observations stored in your subconscious… they may serve as inspiration for something you create in the future.

3. Get Swept Away

Let spontaneous things happen. On the flip side of planning, allow room for random adventures and happy accidents, like finding a hole-in-the-wall mom-and-pop restaurant with amazing food. Bask in spontaneous moments of wonder, like when you drive over a hill and a gorgeous view reveals itself to you. Try things you’ve never tried before. Better yet, ask the locals for recommendations. All this adds to your experiences and your store of creative inspiration.

4. Diversify Your Experience

Try to get an authentic experience as well as the tourist experience. I think it’s best when you get a little taste of everything in the culture and the subcultures. The art, the history, the music, the food. At the same time, learn. Try to understand the culture, try to understand the heartbeat of the place. When you can appreciate new cultures, you really broaden your horizons. And think this translates to the way you design, too.

5. Note the Visuals

Tons of little details and elements here and there are worth noting and could inspire your work. When you keep your eyes open, and mind’s eye open, you will notice amazing little gems.

  • design in general
  • architecture
  • signage
  • typography
  • landscapes
  • lighting
  • colors — in everything, like the buildings, the artwork, the food, a simple wall

What I try to do actively in my travels, and even in my day to day is to try to notice compositions in my surroundings. Think like a photographer and notice how something in the foreground layers beautifully against something in the background. Use your imagination to frame the composition. For example, during my trip I just had to stop when I saw a vibrant green cactus, and behind it a salmon-colored wall, its paint cracked and distressed over time. I think this exercise is a great way to build your eye for design.

5. Document

When you can, take photos. Take lots of photos. Nothing wrong with committing things to your photographic memory. But at the same time, it’s nice to have photos to remember your trip. Another thing you might consider doing is to keep a journal or diary of what you experienced on the trip. I recommend writing at the end of every day, that way the memories are fresh in your mind and you won’t forget any detail.

Well that wraps it up for my travel-for-creativity tips.

Bon voyage and safe travels! Go chase your own adventure!