Voyage of Avalon, from Flickr User Reinante El Pintor de Fuego, CC-licensed, some rights reserved

I absolutely love being home. I love setting up house (a good thing since we have to move every 2-3 years) and I love living in a comfortable cozy space and doing the things that create that space. Its ironic then, isn’t it, that one of my favorite things to do is travel?

Last weekend, we went to Anchorage, and we had a great time, and the day after we got back, I was unpacking and repacking, and cursing the fact that I was leaving again the next day for a trip, this time by myself to attend a writer’s workshop. People in town would ask where I’d going and I’d tell them and they’d seem excited and happy for me, but I wasn’t feeling it. I just wanted to be home.

Luckily, I woke up this morning and the travel mojo has caught me again. The BIGGEST reason I love travel is it stimulates my creativity. Being removed from my natural routine and surroundings all of these ideas that I usually need to shove aside because I don’t have time to contemplate them come rushing back. It is a rush. Just this morning, I’ve been having the best time waiting. I’m sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for my ride, and I’ve been reading and interacting with great blogs (Diane of CraftyPod over at Make and Meaning and Kim Werker are stirring things up among crafters with a fabulous conversation on the value of FREE).

I’ve been working for a couple of weeks on a class I’m teaching tomorrow to a group of designers about using social media tools to market your business. I’ve got tons of notes, but this morning, I’ve gotten more great ideas to share than I did in the previous two weeks. I think it’s the travel. As a side benefit, when I travel, I take better care of myself–I don’t eat snacks because they’re not all around me like they are at home (and I don’t miss them). I don’t forget to floss!

Of course, you can harness this great travel mojo when you’re at home. You just have to think and act like you’re on a trip. I know its crazy, but it works for me. When I was writing my Nanowrimo novel and I was stuck, one of the things I could do that was a surefire help was to go for a drive.

Chair lift Ride on Mt. Eyak - 04

Of course, you must be alone in the car because conversation stifles the creative flow. I find a quiet car is best, but if music works for you, go for it. (I know, you’re thinking, where does she go? there’s No Road to Cordova! Well, there are roads here, they just don’t connect to any other town, and the drives are beautiful. The photo above is one I took of the view from the top of the ski hill looking out towards the Copper River Delta along our longest road which is 54 miles).

Another thing you can do is find a not-so-quiet place to work. The bustle of a coffee shop might be just the thing to allow your mind to focus. Choose a place that is not necessarily your favorite haunt. Since you don’t know all the regulars and the staff, you’ll be less inclined to chat.

Lastly, you can plan a trip. I think that planning for travel is almost as fun as taking the trip itself. The research allows your mind to begin the trip long before your feet have set foot on new ground. What do you do to get those creative juices flowing? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

A Voyage of the Mind