My creative style has been shifting over the past couple years since I entered college. A huge shift came when I studied abroad in Spain and realized how there is a whole other creative world out there to explore at our fingertips. There are so many benefits to traveling, but today I want to talk about how traveling (even if it’s just during your commute to and from work) can foster your creativity and how it helped me identify as a creative.
Get Creative With Photography
When you’re traveling somewhere new, it feels like there is an invisible force that motivates you to take pictures and capture every moment. When I went abroad, I took advantage of the beauty around me, and I worked to improve the composition in my photos. Everything was so new, so I wanted to capture even the little things that might go unphotographed by many. Get creative when you get out your camera. Let your number one travel accessory help you discover your creative potential. Even if you are on the metro coming back from work or working from home, look for the little things out of place to document.
Open a New Door With a Foreign Language
While I was in Spain, I spoke Spanish all the time, even though I wasn’t completely fluent or understood everything. However, I had awesome conversations and wrote interesting stories in Spanish that allowed me to improve my English writing and creativity. For example, I learned Spanish words that don’t exist in English (and vice versa) and words that are adopted from English into the Spanish language (at least in Spain) like “puzzle” and “hobby.” Learning new words and improving both my vocabularies helped me to add color to my writing. Learning a foreign let me connect to different people and hear their stories. All these details add to my creative toolkit that I can use to inspire other creative projects.
Journal, Journal, Journal (or Keep a Blog!)
Keeping a blog during my travels allowed me to get creative with my writing, too. I also kept a journal, which let me write about my experiences if I didn’t have Internet. I preferred journaling, as my thoughts came more naturally–there was no pressure to be perfect. Let me tell you, there’s something magical when you put pen to paper. And let your ideas flow–the words come out and the doodles twist freely beside our thoughts.
Limit Ourselves and Maximize the World Around Us
As Xandra talked about how limitation fosters creativity, I think this applies here too. While traveling, I looked for the ways to limit what I knew and limit the comfortable things in life. On the flip side, I tried to maximize my experience in a different culture. That meant not relying on a closet full of clothes and resisting the comfort of Starbucks or other stores I could get at home. While I did catch up with a little bit of American TV, opening myself up to a new culture meant more adventures and more creative pursuits. Even when I’m not abroad, I think limiting ourselves and being open to the world around us–the needs of others and the problems we face everyday means becoming aware of how we can focus on a bigger picture. It helps us understand our gifts and how we can use them.
Overall, traveling and being on the move have shaped my creative identity in so many ways. I’m now a blogger, writer, photographer, journal keeper, and bilingual student of the world. We don’t have to be the best at what we do. We all have a story to tell, and getting out of our creative comfort zone allows us to tell it in a more raw, true-to-ourselves way.
How has travel influenced your creativity? How do you try to be creative everyday?
The Making Magic blog tour is hosted by Mo from Ollivander Mo. Its purpose is to generate a conversation around the topic of magic and creativity. Mo Olivas is a digital designer and multimedia producer who helps bring out the magic in bloggers and online entrepreneurs. Most recently, she has launched her creative assistance service, Make It Magical.