Why Traveling Alone is Self Care for Creatives
To be the creative visionary you are, you need fresh ideas, new perspectives and a whole lot of patience. And naturally, if you’ve been stuck in the same city (or home office) without a change of scenery for days (or weeks), chances are you are not the best version of yourself to be working with.
Travel is many things to many people, but to creatives, it is a chance to get out of our worn down state and instead, create a blank slate for new ideas. This is so important because it allows our minds to reset… sort of like when you have to reset your iPhone when it starts acting weird. On the flip side, if the thought of traveling solo sounds awkward and stressful, here’s a few “don’ts” for making your self-care travel experience productive and enjoyable:
Don’t over-plan your trip
The idea is to create a blank canvas with loose guidelines. Sure, you’ll want to be generally aware of what you’d like to experience, but don’t give into the pressure of needing to see, do and document everything (remember, this trip is for you, not your followers). Besides, the best part of traveling alone is not worrying about anyone else- those game time decisions are yours for the making. Allow yourself as much space as you need to observe and respond to new surroundings.
Don’t do the same things
Scrolling through Instagram and texting friends is something you could do in bed, so don’t do it during your airport layover. Take advantage of opportunities to listen to a podcast about your industry or read an article by someone you respect. Or get yourself into a state of flow with some creative writing or sketching. Really let yourself enjoy the white space... Noise cancelling head phones certainly help.
Don’t feel weird
And if you’re like me, you can easily feel weird doing things alone. There have been so many times I’ve decided to go to a coffeeshop (in my own town!) and after sitting down with my drink, realize I have nothing to do but stare at people. Which in actuality does make me look a little weird, so I ask for a to-go cup and race back home. But remember, your solo trip is on purpose, and even better, literally no one cares what you’re doing. You are choosing to give yourself alone time and even better, treating yourself to doing it outside of your house. Just set some intentions for your time away and in the very least, carry a notebook so you can journal when the solitude gets to be a bit much.
Don’t come back the same
Vacations are an opportunity to learn something new, and learning something new is a catalyst for creative thoughts. You’re essentially forcing your mind to change what it knows and function in a new way, which naturally creates a path for new thought processes. I personally love scrolling through AirBnB Experiences because it’s an incredibly diverse mix of classes, tours and activities and the vibe doesn’t feel intimidating.
Don’t be a loner
A solo trip doesn’t mean you have to be a recluse. I am a big fan of EatWith, where you can choose an interesting, intimate foodie experience with other visitors and locals. Sometimes it’s to eat in someone’s home, sometimes it’s a secret dining spot, and other times it is a market and shopping tour with a professional chef. The activities depend on the location, and it’s a really safe, fun way to be around others who share the same interests.
Have more “don’ts” for boosting creativity during solo travel? Share them in the comments section below.