It is no doubt a little trite to say that one finds travel inspirational, because as it seems, most people do. Sunsets are also beautiful, as you’ve probably heard before too.
What I’m finding is that travel provokes ideas, and ideas are the beginnings of creative action and new projects.
The act of shaking things up via geographic movement, and why it helps with the idea-finding process- well, that’s a mystery.
Additionally- travel tends to cause a compression of free-time. Apart from the hours on a plane, available time is diminished while traveling because one needs to spend it finding and dealing with food/clothing/shelter in a far less efficient way than whatever systems you probably have set up at home.
At home, I don’t “run out of shirts” – I put them in the washing machine and have clean ones in two hours.
At home, I don’t have to wonder about how I’m going to get breakfast and coffee in the morning- because I’ve got a system for that which works reliably, and eight backup systems if the first one doesn’t.
At home, the bed, temperature, electrical outlets, and lighting are all familiar and don’t need to be discovered anew or found lacking.
Once, on our honeymoon, we were in Genova Italy, halfway through the trip, and in need of doing laundry. It being a big city, we foolishly assumed this would be an easy task to complete. At first it seemed like a language barrier (Italians, delightfully, don’t speak English for the most part.) All we needed to do was discover the correct word for laundromat, and we’d be on our way. Finally, we found a shopkeeper who gave us the right word (lavanderia) and began to follow his directions to the location, which were supplied with a quizzical expression, like he was thinking, what do these Americans want with the lavanderia?
We soon saw why, after we walked some miles to the destination. It was in a part of the old city called the Labyrinth- streets too narrow for motor vehicles, built in-between stone buildings four or five stories tall. The lavanderia was three old and rusty machines, run by two teenage boys drinking beer at 11am, with prostitutes hovering nearby.
Needless to say, we washed our clothes in the hotel room sink.
But, there is some creative pleasure that is inspired by the discovery of how to do simple things again, like washing clothing.
The secret is figuring out how to make time and space to catch all that inspiration and work it into something.