How I Use Inspiration From Traveling In My Everyday Life
⌛ By Kaylin R. Staten ⌛
For everything there is a season.
That also comes with wanderlust. Your mood, personality type and general likes and dislikes greatly influence where you travel. If you're writing the next Great American Novel, you could want to be somewhere secluded -- perhaps near the ocean or in the mountains. If you want to relax, you could also choose those locations, but mostly likely, you'll have a cold drink or skis in hand. No matter where you roam, though, one of the most ultimate perks of traveling is the pursuit of inspiration.
I can find inspiration anywhere. As a natural daydreamer and a person who is sensitive to everything, I can sit outside and find myriad muses and flashes of awakenings. Being sensitive is often seen as a less-than-wonderful attribute, but I use it to my advantage when it comes to inspiration and other success ways to cultivate sensitivity.
Traveling adds value to my life in so many ways. Here are five ways traveling can boost your inspiration and make you a more well-rounded version of yourself:
Independence and Self-Awareness
Since I was a small child, I have possessed an independent streak. Perhaps it’s because I’m the older sibling, have a penchant for work or that I have obsessive tendencies. No matter the reason, my 30 years on this Earth have prepared me for introspection and independence. Of course, nothing is perfect when you travel, but if you have a tenacious spirit, you won’t give up just because something is challenging. When you travel, situations arise that allow your fight-or-flight to kick in. You could miss your connecting flight or your phone could lose signal right when you’re trying to find a new destination on Google Maps. Ten years ago, I would have never imagined that I would drive on the opposite side of the road in a foreign country, be comfortable taking a longer-distance road trip alone or becoming a master navigator of the Metro in Paris and tube in London. But, here we are, and each time I travel, it boosts my confidence and allows me to stretch my independent, self-aware muscles.
Anyone who knows me knows that my heart adores Paris. When I envision the perfect writing day or need to find my "happy place" in my head when I'm having an anxiety attack, my thoughts always center on Paris. There is nothing quite like sipping strong espresso on a rainy day in Paris while sitting in your apartment writing something and devoting time to introspection. My creativity runs wild when my senses overload on new experiences. I find beauty in everything, even an artistic expression of graffiti or trash on the sidewalk in New York City. Being away from home and eating new foods, seeing new sights and talking with other people allow me to recharge and brainstorm. Seriously, the nodes in my brain move at the speed of light. It could be the over-caffeination or that I really just loved the wallpaper in a New York City coffee shop (which inspired this new company graphic).I have the added luxury of not only enjoying traveling for pleasure but also for business. I own a creative company, and traveling allows me to expand Hourglass Media in so many ways.
As a life-long learner and explorer, I would not want to remain cooped up in the same spot for too long. I am a homebody, yes, but I crave adventure. I’m the type of person who wants to experience other countries -- and not just see them in mass media. I want to see the sunsets in the Caribbean, use the bathroom in a hole in the ground in a Paris garden restroom, purchase items from the local market in London, find the highest building and go to the very top of it. I appreciate other cultures, and being thrust into a situation in which English is not the other person’s primary language is a wonderful learning experience. Traveling has allowed me to be more patient, understanding and appreciative of other cultures. Plus, my house is a montage to all of the places I traveled through souvenirs, oddities, photographs and more. When I get home from trips, I implement at least one new thing to my regular routine, whether it’s trying to recreate the most delicious guacamole from Nada in Cincinnati to burning a lavender candle to remind me of the flower shops in Paris. And a word of advice: try new things in new cities! Try local delicacies, rent an apartment instead of staying in a hotel, visit natives’ favorite shops. Living like a local is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the culture.
As a workaholic, it’s sometimes next to impossible to get me to slow down. This doesn’t always involve just company work but things around the house, too. I have long to-do lists that last for miles. When I’m out of town, I place those to-do lists on the back burner. While I do like to plan what I will do at least a day in advance, I’m more prone to go with the flow on vacation. If an attraction is closed, I’ll find something else to do. If it’s raining, I’ll still take photos in the rain. Being away from everyday stressors and life in general is a great time to recharge and reflect. For example, I decided to end a business relationship when I went to Paris the last time. I sat there in the apartment’s living room, looking out the window, and just thought, “You know what? I deserve better in a business environment.” Thus, the infancy of my take-no-crap business mantra and strategy were born. So, the next time you’re out of town, whether it’s for a day or a month, reflect on your life. What you love, what you’d like to change. Then, come home and do something about it! Also, do something that relaxes you several times a day when you’re on vacation, whether it’s scheduling a beachside massage or finally getting through your massive reading list. We cannot be effective if we’re always burned out. I’ve learned this through traveling!
My favorite places for inspiration? New York City, London, Los Angeles, Turks & Caicos, Cincinnati, and naturally, Paris.
Kaylin R. Staten, APR, is an award-winning public relations practitioner and writer based in Huntington, WV with nearly 16 years of professional communications experience. As CEO and founder of Hourglass Media, she uses her compassionate spirit and expertise to delve into the heart of clients’ stories. She is a recovering perfectionist, mental health advocate, wife, cat mom and Leia Organa aficionado. Connect with Kaylin on LinkedIn.