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5 Travel Tips that Keep Creatives Creative

Have you ever encountered a creative roadblock, set it aside before vacation, and returned from your travels feeling like you were reincarnated as a creative genius who is capable of solving any problem? I sure have– The connection between travel and creative thinking is inseparable.

We know from experience that by challenging ourselves to learn something new or doing something novel – for instance, teaching yourself a new skill – not only gives us the satisfaction of knowing that we just accomplished something difficult, but also creates new pathways and connections in our brains. This is referred to as neuroplasticity: the ability for the brain to adapt (like moldable plastic) and form new pathways throughout the course of one’s life.

We don’t usually like to think of travel as work, but in some ways, it is. When you put yourself in an unfamiliar environment, you are challenged to communicate in different ways, transport in different ways, and generally experience new things. So how do you capitalize on your experiences to get a creative boost?

 

1. Travel far, far from home.

The most noticeable change usually comes after  traveling abroad. International travel can be daunting, especially the first time that you travel to a foreign country. Once you get over the initial shock of being somewhere absolutely unfamiliar to you, it becomes easy to enjoy the new experiences.

 

2. You can’t go wrong with tried-and-true methods.

I always find inspiration by checking out art, architecture, and design that I would never be able to see at home. I’ve also found that visiting museums in foreign places exposes me to new ways of looking at historical events and allows me to understand how people in other parts of the world (or even different states) interpret those events. If you worry that a language barrier may prevent you from being able to do this, never fear: one of the benefits of being an English-speaker is that many museums and historical sites globally offer resources that are bilingual.

 

3. Embrace the culture, even if it makes you a little uncomfortable.

A change of scenery can certainly make an impact on the way we interact with the world, but the best way to capitalize on our experiences is to truly immerse yourself in the newness. When we attempt to fully engage with our new surroundings, we are forced to adapt in order to communicate better or achieve our goals. As we learn to adapt, our brains rapidly create new neural pathways in order to solve problems as we encounter them. Your mind naturally wants to create shortcuts, but in order to find the best path to take you must also think of alternative solutions. This is one way you begin to think creatively.

 

4. Don’t worry too much if you are unable to travel far.

As I stated before, new experiences as a whole can offer you new ways to think about problems and grow your creative mind. If you are feeling overwhelmed at work, stepping away from the problem and going camping just a few miles away from your house for a weekend can do as much to motivate you to approach your problems differently as a trip abroad can.

 

5. Have fun!

One of the most powerful keys to using your travels as a way to enhance your creativity is that you truly enjoy your new experiences! You are much more unlikely to innovate (or come back to work refreshed) when you’ve just returned from the family vacation from hell than you are when you have just returned from somewhere you were genuinely excited to be.

 

Want to see where some of our Rocketeers have taken their creative journeys? Follow us on Instagram!