I’ve been travelling across the USA and Canada for about 8 weeks now, and whilst my plans to stay long term in Canada have changed, I’ve been doing my best to keep my creativity flowing on the road so I’m refreshed when I get back to Melbourne after 12 weeks away.
The novelty of travelling and living out of a suitcase can get old pretty quickly, especially if you thought packing light was an amazing idea and now you’re just sick of wearing the same outfits over and over.
Here are my top tips for staying creative on the road:
- Have a packing system. Know what you’ve got and how to pack it easily. I roll everything I can and put an elastic band around it to keep it small, and keep my shoes in the dust bags they give you with handbags (then you don’t have to worry about dirt in your suitcase). A tidy suitcase takes the stress of packing a suitcase explosion on checkout morning and allows you to fit more goodies you pick up along the way.
- Walk where you can. You see more of the everyday activities that go on in a place if you walk around it. Take the time to wander. Look in the shop windows and see what you find. It may surprise you.
- If the weather is good visit the local park or garden. Take a book or sketchpad and allow your thoughts to wander. Listen to the sounds and people watch. If it’s winter and snowy, visit an ice skating rink and just soak up the atmosphere.
- Visit a book shop, an independent one if you can find one. Find your favourite section and take the time to see what titles they have on the shelves. See what’s popular, it may just spark an idea that you never would have thought of at home. If you’re feeling adventurous, pick a section of the bookshop you’d never visit at home and see what pops out at you.
- Get your camera out. It doesn’t have to be a top of the range, bells and whistles camera for you to stop, look around and see your surroundings. Use your phone if that’s what you’ve got. Make a point to see where you are and be in that moment. It’s amazing what you see when you look. Extra tip: Don’t forget to look up! (I must have walked through Flinders Street Station a million times before I stopped to look up and see the beautiful ceiling)
- Buy a local magazine about something you’re interested in. Even if you can’t read the words, it’s always interesting to see how other cultures approach things and how they present them.
- Keep your headphones off and ride the public transit. If you’re in a city with good public transportation, pick a place to go and take a ride. Listen to the sounds, the conversations and hear how the people live. Even if you can’t understand a word they say, enjoy how the sounds are different to what you’re used to.
- Take a break and be kind to yourself. Travelling gets tiring, especially when everything feels go, go, go. Pick a night or a weekend that’s just for relaxing. Put on your favourite music, grab that book you’ve had no time to read, order in something delicious and just enjoy the break.
If you can do a combination of these you may feel more inspired and relaxed while your away and carry that through to when you’re back home. I know that I have felt more inspired on this trip than I have in a long time. But even if you’re not travelling, some of these tips would work at home as well.
Dannielle is a blogger, web designer, serial organiser and passionate traveller. She has a secret love of 90s teen movies and can often be found on Twitter. In 2013, Dannielle is packing up her life in Melbourne into one suitcase and moving to Canada to make her crazy dream of a more adventurous life happen. But she quickly found the inspiration she was searching for is on her way back to Melbourne. You can find out more on her blog.