There are some days that just leave you breathless with inspiration, words and images whirling through your head as you struggle to decide how best to scribble down what you want to say so that you don’t lose one single thought.
Then there’s today.
Maybe it’s the sky clouding over acting as a metaphor for my creativity, but today – I got nuthin’. So here goes nuthin’!
They say that a writer should write something every day, regardless of how mundane or uninspired. It’s the practice that makes you better, the discipline of sitting down to put thoughts to paper or pixel, that makes writing not a challenge, but more of a natural extension of who you are and what you think.
So even though I went surfing for inspiration on the net, scoured several photo albums from travels past, and even considered rehashing some old posts, I decided instead to just let my fingers do the talking and see what comes.
Here’s what came:
Thought No. 1
Finding the energy to inspire others can be tough, especially on those days when you’re not feeling particularly inspired yourself. Don’t get me wrong, one of the things I love to do is share my travel stories, in the hope that others can use that info to get the absolute most out of their travels, too. But then grownup thoughts interrupt with practical reminders that I should be ‘monetizing this blog’, coming up with the ‘next big travel app’, ‘maximizing my search engine optimization’ or getting a real job. Sigh. That takes a lot of the fun out of it. Talk about inspiration buzzkill.
Thought No. 2
I can’t be afraid to have an opinion when I write (which for anyone who knows me would laugh out loud at the thought of me NOT having an opinion!) But travel writing with opinions can be tricky, especially when the objective is to inspire. And after all, not everything every blogger sees or experiences when travelling is ‘awesome’, ‘incredible’ or ‘stunning’. Not every culture welcomes you with open arms. And not every interaction with locals is ‘authentic’ or ‘transformative’. And let me tell you, when it rains on you for 3 days out of 7 when you are on a winter getaway, it just plain sucks. And no amount of instagram filters or watered-down cocktails can change that feeling.
Thought No. 3
I will never be a ‘travelling nomad’. Every time I hear about these people who are giving it all up, selling everything and hitting the road for months or years at a time, I think “Really?” and then feel intimidated that I’m just not doing it right when it comes to my intermittent travel experiences. Maybe I’m just too materialistic, or maybe I just like to play it safe now that I’m over 50, but I like having a house, I like having possessions that won’t all fit in a backpack, and I like that there’s a place I call home when it’s time to unpack. So to all those wandering adventurers out there, bully for you, but bully for me, too, and all the other travellers out there who hit the road for days or weeks at a time, not months or years.
Thought No. 4
Eureka! Good News: I just found something when I was looking for something else (that’s the definition of serendipity, right?) that has given me an idea for my next post or two. The Bad News: you’ll have to stay tuned till next week…how’s that for a hook?
TIP: It wouldn’t feel right not to include at least one tip here, given that this website was originally called Grey Routes and Tips, so here’s a tip that is just as relevant whether you are travelling or just going through your regular life: when inspiration is lacking, try improvising instead – like the time when our crew forgot to pack glasses while camping in Tanzania. The end result might work out just as well as if you’d planned it. Why?
Jane Canapini is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada and the North American Travel Journalists Association. She established GrownupTravels.com in 2014 to share information and tips based on personal experience so her readers could get the most out of their travels.
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