As a writer and all around creative person I know how important traveling is. I know that when we travel we open ourselves to new experiences, see new things, meet new people, and fall in love with new places.
I know all these things. I’m secretly jealous of my brother, whose possessions fit in a hiking backpack, a laptop case, and a small box. I am envious of some of my younger friends who take a gap year or travel between projects. Sometimes I am even a little envious of people who go on tour.
But the choices I’ve made in my life favor security. Steady job, pets, home ownership, and investing are all things I place a high value on. My main passion is writing so I spend money on writing classes, workshops, and conferences.
January is usually a slow time at work and the minute it started snowing in November I just couldn’t face another winter without a break. I began looking at warm places and trying to figure out if there was a way I could take a vacation. I explored all the options. I figured even if I was staying on an air mattress in someone’s spare bedroom on airbnb it would still be better than hiding out underneath seventeen blankets, wrapped in three layers of clothes, and working my way through my netflix queue.
Here is what I learned on my vacation.
1. I need to take more vacations- I don’t know how I’m going to do this but I definitely need to change how I spend and save money so I can afford this.
2. I need to go dancing more. I already kew this but I love dancing but I went dancing a couple nights in Cabo and I need to go dancing more.
3. Travel begets more travel. I know I need or want to travel more. I look at pictures and think about it a lot. Here’s the thing there is not substitute for the real thing. Looking at a picture of a beach is nice but it will not motivate me as much as feeling the warm sun on my skin and the sand between my toes. Now that I’ve taken a proper vacation I can hardly wait to take my next vacation and you can bet I’m going to figure out how to make it happen.
4. Travel inspires my writing. First of all I loved sitting on my little patio in Mexico scribbling in my notebook. I don’t know what picture book or middle grade ideas will come of this trip but I definitely have an idea for a screenplay even though I have no earthly idea about how to write a screenplay. Who knows perhaps I will write a screenplay inspired by my trip to Mexico and all of my future vacations will be paid for. A girl can dream, right?
5. Travel has unexpected side effects. Living out of a suitcase and only wearing shorts, flip flops, and swim suits for a week will change your perspective on your possessions. Slowing down, taking a more laid back approach to life, and disconnecting from the grid are all really great things. I returned home wondering why I have so much stuff.
I am already thinking about how to make travel more possible for myself in the future and also how to drag more people to Mexico with me next winter.
How does travel help you in your writing? Did taking a vacation inspire a story, novel, or some other writing?