After travelling to 15+ countries in a couple of years I feel like I have enough experience to be able to say wholeheartedly that if you’re a creative person, you need to travel!
Of course travelling is something that benefits anyone who does it, but as a arty-type person myself I can tell you that there is no better education, no better inspiration, no better eye-opener, mind-opener and reality-smasher (I made that up) than travelling. The internet can only do and tell you so much. It’s the actual physical experience of travelling that is good for the creative soul!
So here’s 10 reasons why I think you should go travelling if you’re a creative person. If you have any more ideas feel free to leave a comment at the bottom!
1. You’ll see new art & perspectives
Firstly, as a creative person, finding inspiration and new things to motivate you is a must.
Creative types tend to get bored quickly – our brains need more stimulation than what everyday (mostly mundane) life can give us. Once a creative person realises this, it’s much easier to stop yourself feeling frustrated and apathetic (as can happen to many people who are doing day jobs not particularly aligned with their passions).
Seeing not only new art (whether it’s music, graffiti, classical art or whatever) but also coming across new perspectives, whether it be the lifestyles and/or the creative processes of others (or whatever it is that’s different to what you normally think, live and see), getting immersed in the experience genuinely changes you.
I met some people in The Netherlands who live and run their 5 or so businesses out of a warehouse. Their happiness at being free and not living the “normal” life really left an impression on me!
2. It will help you explore what the world has to offer
This kind of ties into #1 because you will see there’s so much of the world that will not only inspire you but genuinely affect you and move you.
And it’s not just the culture; it’s the people you meet and the way they live life. You can learn a lot from others about how to live life, like what works for you, what makes you happy, what you want to explore… trust me when I say that there’s only so much “experience” you can get from the Internet or from staying in one place.
3. It will help you make like-minded friends
I am very honest about the fact that in my life I had hardly any friends up until I was in my mid-20s. I did basically everything alone, and stuck with a handful of people who were very similar.
It was ok because I preferred to be with a few trustworthy people rather than have loads of acquaintances.
But since I started travelling I met so many people that lived and thought like me! It takes a certain type of person to travel around the world all the time (especially when you’re a girl and you travel alone- that’s a pretty revealing character trait ;)).
It felt amazing to finally meet people who didn’t want to just stay in one place. People who were so curious they were just constantly travelling to see what’s out there. People who wanted to be inspired, enriched and create better and more fulfilled versions of themselves.
My whole life I thought I was just a weirdo for the things I liked and were interested in but travelling showed me there’s plenty of people like me out there. It wasn’t that I was weird, it was that where I was and who I was surrounded by wasn’t the right fit for me.
Maybe right now you live in a place where you’re not appreciated or understood – go travelling. You’ll find people who do.
4. It’ll help you to explore other cultures (that may work better for you than your own)
Some people never feel comfortable in the country they grew up in. Some people are far more open-minded than their conservative country allows them to express, and some people find their country incompatible with the lifestyle they want to lead.
I have friends who found themselves happier in London amongst the creative community there. I have friends who found Berlin to be the best place for their music.
I have friends who regularly travel to a particular place because of the vibe, the community and the lifestyle of the place.
You might not want to move to a different country (for whatever reason/s), but you may find a place in the world that’s more “you” – and it feels great when you find it.
5. You’ll find inspiration for your art/creative projects
Looking to express yourself in a better, more ‘authentic’ way? Want to discover your creative/artistic style? Inspired to see what has come before you so you can take your art up a notch whilst also paying homage to the roots of your craft?
Travel. Explore. Go crazy looking at new art (and I mean all types – music, painting, dance, whatever!) all over the world and soak it all in.
Every experience affects you and helps create for yourself a new perspective. That new perspective will lead you to experiment more and eventually you’ll find new and better ways to express yourself.
6. The feeling of being ‘free’
For a creative person there’s nothing worse than feeling restricted, constrained or limited. It goes against the character traits that encompass being a creative type.
Just like someone who runs their own business needs to be extremely organised and also pretty confident with their communicative abilities, artistic people need to feel “free”; free to express themselves, free to the ‘real’ them, free to experiment, free to be honest about the way they see the world.
Sometimes feeling restricted can help inspire your art, but it sure doesn’t feel good to have to suffer through frustration like that all the time. It’s also not good for those who have personal issues such as anxiety or depression as it can make these conditions worse.
Travelling makes you feel freer than you could ever imagine and the process of exploring will make you feel less tied to the “everyday” mundane life.
7. Living in the moment
I’ve always been an anxious person; someone who never lives in the present and is always worrying about the future.
When I was younger I was curious but didn’t always see the point in stepping right out of my comfort zone and spending money I didn’t have to go travelling.
I really craved different things, adventures, meeting new people, but I was unsure how to go about it. Living in a small town that was predominantly white, working-class people who leave school, have babies, get married and settle down really didn’t align with who I was.
Hence my struggle to stay afloat there. And I as I moved out and created my own life, I still struggled. I’ve never found a job that I didn’t get totally bored in.
I’m such a relaxed person that I always found job politics really stupid and pointless, and wasting so much of my life in an environment I didn’t want to be in… the fear of wasting so many hours of my life doing stuff I don’t want to do really upset me and stressed me out.
That made me worry about the future. It made me worry about how shitty my present was. It made me look to the past, (“I’m no better off yet and I’ve been working hard and trying for years”).
It really made me depressed as I felt life was slipping by; I was wasting so much time being unhappy and wishing my time would go faster… literally wishing away my only life, the life I want to live to the max.
Once I started travelling I stopped thinking like that.. when you are engrossed in something, or when you are living day to day you worry less – you deal with problems as they come (you hardly ever get prior notice when something super stressful is about to happen!).
You end up ‘going for it’ because when you are in a foreign place with limited resources you have to figure it out – it’s basically sink or swim. Which leads me to my next point….
8. It gives you confidence
Realising you can get through such stressful events, and coming across people all over the world willing to help you (trust me, this will happen to you), really makes you feel better about yourself and the world.
You’ll realise how much you’re capable of, how fearless you can be, how resourceful you can be, and also how confident you can be when you really have to be.
And all of these are good things for creative types exhibiting their work to others or creating new things or experimenting… or just living.
Confidence is key!
9. It keeps you motivated and inspired/refreshed
Stagnation. Mundanity. Repetition. Normality.
Say any of these words to a creative person and they most probably won’t react positively.
For many creative types they have real problems handling these types of feelings (for me, I really can’t live like this, it makes me feel depressed). It really is not the way for a creative person’s personality, brain and skills/talents to work at optimum levels.
There is no better way to escape these shitty feelings and get your mind working and refreshed again than to just go do something different.
Go see something new. Go learn about something new. Go experience something you’ve not before. See what the world has to offer, what opinions and thoughts are formed in your head from exploring it. You’ll find the freedom, energy and adventure stirs something really motivated and inspired in you.
10. It makes you realise that life is too short
Life is too short to stay in one place.
Life is too short to not do what makes you happy.
Life is too short to have any ill will towards other people, and life is definitely too short to not follow your dream of travelling, or starting some sort of project or hobby… doing something you always wanted to do… expressing yourself how you always wanted to express yourself…
LIFE IS TOO DAMN SHORT!
So there you are, 10 awesome reasons why if you’re a creative person you should be planning to travel somewhere. Don’t let anything stop you if this is what you want!
There are ways of making it happen (of which I will write another blog post soon with a little advice), and there are ways of saving money when you basically have no money to save (again, I will write a post about this; it doesn’t take any special skills or a whole load of money… it just takes willpower, determination, and a healthy fear of not living your life to the full 😉 )