Reset the Creativity

Reset the Creativity
Photo by RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist / Unsplash

I’m amazed at how even just a little bit of travel hits the reset button on the creative flow. It is as though the hum-drum of everyday life droning on drowns out the whispers of inspiration.

But when you venture out into the unknown, whether it's to a distant country or even just a neighboring town, something magical happens. The unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells spark dormant creativity that lay dormant within.

Traveling exposes you to different perspectives and broadens your horizons. It challenges your preconceived notions and encourages you to step outside of your comfort zone to embrace the unfamiliar. And in doing so, it opens up a world of inspiration and possibility.

I don’t want to come across as pretentious or sound as though I’ve had some real, profound Eureka, but my recent trip abroad had me mostly speechless while away, for the better part of the walks the small-town Japanese streets spending the entirety without a single utterance. Could it be that it was an internalization of my new albeit temporary surroundings? Beats me, but this I can say, I have more to comment on it at least regarding the very different ways of life contrasting Japan against Korea.

One of the most beautiful aspects of travel is the way it engages all of your senses. The vibrant colors of a bustling market, the aroma of exotic spices wafting through the air, the melody of a foreign language dancing in your ears – all of these sensory experiences contribute to a sensory overload that can fuel your imagination.

When you immerse yourself in new surroundings, you begin to notice the intricate details that often go unnoticed in your everyday routine. The way the sunlight dances through the narrow alleyways of an ancient city, the textures of centuries-old architecture, the rhythm of life in a different place – these small, subtle moments become the building blocks of inspiration. 

For me, the mundane and simple was in the forefront. I couldn’t avoid appreciating the sense of pride in workmanship on display everywhere my eyes landed. For example, the air-conditioning units outside homes in Korea appear haphazard and clumsy in their precarious, temporary installation, whereas their Japanese counterparts are treated to bamboo privacy shields and managed (perhaps constrained) cabling and refrigeration linesets. Even the electrical feeds from grid to homes in Japan obey a conformity that makes the rats nets of wires in Korea lose the initial charm once pictured in so many of my photo sessions of walks through Seoul’s streets. None least were there dramatic differences in network installations; Japanese internet favors reliability and tidiness and sacrifices the high-speed, modern fiber connections and 5G coverage ubiquitously enjoyed in Korea.

Furthermore, travel offers a break from the monotony of daily life. It frees you from the routine and responsibilities that can stifle creativity. Leaving the dishes for someone else to wash is luxury that affords you the breath needed to pause for the observation and reflection the lead to epiphany. As you embark on an adventure, your mind becomes unburdened, free to explore new ideas and possibilities. The pressures and obligations that weigh you down at home are momentarily lifted, allowing your thoughts to wander and dream—so long as you remember to pack what is needed and do without the things you left on the kitchen table by mistake. (Let’s be real, having forgotten the toothbrushes was not much mental work to resolve, and resolve we did as just going without would never do in this instance.)

Whether it's the striking landscapes that find their way into your photos or the fascinating new perspectives that enliven your stories travel adds depth and richness to your creative work.

Even when (or maybe especially when) you return home from your travels, the effects of your journey linger. As you unpack the suitcases and the memories, the lessons learned, and the newfound perspectives stay with you, shaping your creativity long after the adventure is over. You bring a piece of the world back with you, infusing your art with a touch of wanderlust and an appreciation for the beauty that exists beyond your doorstep.

(So, if you ever find yourself in a creative rut, yearning for inspiration, consider embarking on a journey. It doesn't have to be a grand expedition – even a short getaway can work wonders. Allow yourself to be captivated by the unfamiliar, embrace the unknown, and let the whispers of inspiration guide you. Travel, with its ability to reset the creative flow, is a powerful tool that can unlock the boundless potential of your imagination. )