A break from being on autopilot

The great joy of travel is being out of your comfort zone. When we are going about our everyday lives, we know the scenery. We know the landscape. That’s good in some ways. It allows us to operate on autopilot and we don’t have to expend energy processing new information. When travel to a new place, there’s a lot of new information to process – and out senses open up in order to help with the processing. This can be a wonderful trigger for creativity. We see new things, and we notice more. 

Creating your own roadmap to nourishment

Consider your independence a key component of being creative when you travel. Don’t be afraid of doing your own thing; of identifying your own needs and setting out an agenda that will meet those needs. It’s good practice for when you return to every-day life! 

What is Mindful Creativity?

Hello, my name’s Jordan. Mindful Creativity is a great way to relax, unwind and enjoy creativity to enhance our sense of wellness. If you’re looking for a way to connect with your inner voice as you develop your own personal creative practice, it might be just the thing for you. My Mindful Creativity blog, resources and tools provides ways for you to deepen into a more nourishing creative practice!

 Invent and claim your own road map, deciding where you want to be, how you want to get there, how much time you want to spend doing things, the tools that you’ll take with you. Independence, and the ability to claim the space and time to nourish ourselves, can take practice.

And, so doing it while you’re travelling is a great way to start. When we’re travelling, we’re kind of between worlds, and between realities. We’ve stepped out of our day-to-day. We’ve released some of our need to be where other people want, or expect, us to be. And that means we have the space and time to reinvent ourselves, to see how it feels to live differently; to think and feel in different ways.

To me, this is a key component of mindful creativity – which is a practice full of routines and rituals for creativity and self-care. Positive and proactive self-care can help us be better human beings – better partners, friends, managers or employees, better parents and givers of care and attention. Mindful creativity centres us; it enables to find calm and connect with our true creative selves – but in order to do this, we have to find the discipline to create the space, and the conditions for calm introspection and observation.

My own journey exploring mindful creativity through travel

 I’m 47 years old. I’ve got no kids, lots of independence and the ability to spend a bit of money. And, someone who loves to travel alone, to spend time in solitude, and someone who finds incredible inspiration in solo adventures that trigger inner reflection, insights, ponderings, and creative work.  Even as I write this, I smile at the thought of the idea of being nearly fifty! I’m still a few years off that milestone, and yet I also love to reflect on the fact that this love of wandering, travelling and being in different places, in order to access new and different types of creativity, has been with my since I was 19.

 When I was 19, I left Sydney to spend a year in the UK. I chose Scotland. I studied metal sculpture. It was a deep and powerful time of retreat for me. I walked. I walked. I read. I explored. I spoke with the universe and began to experience new things that have been with me ever since – secrets of the universe, and how they relate to our human experience. I’m still unraveling them and exploring them to this day. But I know in my heart that I largely had those experiences because I was out of my comfort zone. I had gone out into the world as a seeker and was in a new place, and found new things because of it.

Travel, two ways

 In terms of travel arrangements, for me things fall into two categories:

  • Finding opportunities in existing travel arrangements: This is when you’ve already got a trip booked for work, or for family holidays, or adventures with friends. The invitation here is to add on a day, a few hours, or insert moments into the existing schedule, for mindful creativity exercises. It might be that in this scenario, you want to make it a group activity. Invite your friends or your kids into the space with you. This is a great option for shared activities such as yoga on the grass, sketch walks, or doodling over coffee whilst also taking time out for good conversation.
  • Proactively creating travel arrangements to create opportunities: this could look like booking your very own trip, weekend away or day trip to give yourself new opportunities for mindful creativity – and in this scenario, it could be purely about you! Your travel, your way, for your own unique creative ends. This is more my style – being independent and also sensitive and empathic, I need time out from others to recalibrate and restore my senses. It doesn’t work for some people to spend so much time alone, particularly if you’re travelling – but I love it! My workbook is more focused on solo adventures – but there’s no reason you can’t adapt for your own situation, your version could see you enjoying the best of both worlds.

What do we need to know, in order to nourish ourselves?

It’s far easier if we can write our own prescription for creative and spiritual nourishment, rather than waiting for someone else to do it for us. And so, when it comes to being out and about and travelling, getting to know what thrills and delights you can help.

The first place of excitement and creative exploration for me is the hotel I chose to stay at. I love hotels. To me, the journey, the stay and the ability to have a base in a foreign place all wraps up together in the delight of it all. But there may be something that YOU specifically love about travel. It could be riding on old fashioned trains, doing mountain treks to unknown villages over arduous terrain – whatever puts you in the best place to connect with your inner self, commune with the universe and your creative muses – that’s where you should put yourself!

In order to nourish ourselves, we have to tune in and turn up for ourselves – and that takes practice and self-knowledge. And it’s continuous work! What used to nourish us and sustain us might not work today and tomorrow. So, take time to dial out the rest of the world. Get out in it, but also go inwards. Listen to hear your own voice again. Be a stranger in a strange place, and in doing so remember who you are.

Travel actually gives us permission to not be present in the way that we usually are and to be present in new and different ways. What does it mean to be present with ourselves when we don’t have other things that are drawing us away? What does it mean to be present and self-reliant in a new city where we don’t know? It allows us to recalibrate our own self, our own identity, our own desires, our own hungers, and to determine how we can administer self-care in the here and now, without distraction.