I first heard this question when I was listening to a Zero To Travel podcast. The question was asked but was not exactly answered. So I made my intention to research more about whether travel does actually make you more creative or not. From my experience, I do feel that I have produced a range of creative ideas a lot more easily than when I am at home, however, was that just a random occurrence or did travelling contribute towards my creative ideas.
So here goes. In this article, lets go through and explore whether travelling does actually make you more creative.
Mark Twain once said,
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
Historically, travelling was a major part of many people’s lives and it was done for more than recreational purposes. It was through the movement of one person between different lands which contributed in developing tolerance and understanding of one another. There have also been many people historically that have decided to stay within ‘their little corner’ and thus have suffered the consequences of this. A lack of understanding, a lack of tolerance towards other cultures and norms, and unreasonable hatred for those who have a different way of life. These are just a few of the resulting consequences of not travelling or being interested in travel.
So let’s assume that you are interested in travelling (which is why you’re reading this article) and you want to know whether it actually does make you more creative. Well, we’ve answered and discussed the issue of what a lack of travelling does which means that those who travel are not filled with prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, but have within them qualities such as fairness, tolerance and open-mindedness. I mentioned this because, in order to even figure out whether travel can make you creative or not, you have to rid yourself of the negative traits that may live within you.
The word creativity comes from the word create which comes from the latin word creatus which means “to make, bring forth, produce, procreate, beget, cause,” and also has meanings such as “arise, be born, increase, grow”. These terms and definitions are super useful as it helps you understand that to be creative is to find the right moment and place to put ideas on the table. It’s very important to understand that creativity is not a skill or a talent which is what many people falsely believe. Anyone can be creative. It’s why John Cleese, the famous English actor said, “Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.”.
However, there are certain factors that can cause creativity. This is probably the most important thing here. Fine, anyone can be creative. We understand that. But being creative has four basic requirements which you’ll easily find in travel;
Do Something New. Go Somewhere New
It’s common sense that if you get involved in doing something you’ve put off for a long time or you’ve never done before, you’re likely to get a spark of new and amazing ideas. Sure, some of those ideas may be lame, but you’ll have a plethora of ideas which you can play around with. Seeing new things, eating new foods, seeing different people, experiencing different cultures, and visiting unique monuments are all fantastic ways to ignite that creative mind of yours and get you flowing. It’s tried and tested. I’ve always come up with more unique ideas when travelling than I have when I’m at home.
Travel Makes You Question
When you’re out on the road, you’re naturally curious. This causes a natural form of learning and causes you to ask questions. We can go as far back as Plato and Socrates to prove that one of the best ways to produce creativity is by asking provocative questions and then evaluating and using those answers in some way or the other. When you question and receive an answer, this also helps ignite a spark in your mind which invites many more ideas. Questioning things is one of the best ways to produce new ideas and is a common habit when travelling.
Reading Whilst Travelling
Reading and travelling go hand in hand. Many of us have a lot of time on our hands when sitting on a plane and waiting around in airports and so we end up picking up a book we love. You’ll notice that you’ll fail to get that sort of time when you’re going through your daily routine and so travelling almost forces you to read. Reading whilst travelling can also be one of the best ways to zone out from the noise, tiredness, anxiety and craziness of queues and waiting. Once you’re immersed in your reading, you’ll notice that your mind starts becoming populated with more and more ideas. This is creativity at work! Make sure you take notes of what you’re thinking because that moment may not come back again. I regret being too lazy to take note of certain things I thought when reading as I was travelling as I know some of them could have been brilliant.
Relax & Let It Flow Naturally
This one is self explanatory. If you learn to relax your mind and body, you’re able to think a lot clearly which results in the production of ideas. Whilst travelling in and of itself can be tiring, there are many moments of it which are extremely relaxing. Moments where you know that your mind is blank and vacant from any distractions. That is a prime moment to think of ideas and you’ll be more able to produce them as your mind is clear. Wherever you travel, try to find those relaxing spots which work for you such as an empty beach early in the morning, or your balcony or even deep into a forest. Wherever you feel relaxed, calm and vacant, that’s where you’ll notice an influx of ideas filling your mind.
There are many other reasons why I think travel can make you more creative as well as productive, but I’ve chosen these four as they worked well for me. There are many ways to cause and produce creativity and travel is one of them. If you have any other ideas on how to be creative or how travel makes you creative, feel free to comment below and share with us your great ideas!
Lastly, I hope and pray everyone is well and that this pandemic passes us very soon. Stay safe!