Traveling provides fuel for my creativity. When I don’t explore my surroundings, my writing and photography become stagnant. One of my 2014 intentions is to travel once a month to keep my creativity flowing. Visiting friends and family often and exploring Siskiyou County are important to me. Since the new year began, I’ve been able to both renew my relationships and revitalize my creativity.
Typically when I travel, I work too; especially when I travel during the week. For example, earlier this week I traveled to Red Bluff to spend time with my mom and Henry. And, tomorrow my mom and I will be traveling to South Lake Tahoe for a long weekend. While my mom skis down the slopes at Heavenly Valley, I will be working and exploring. I spent half my childhood in the Lake Tahoe area, skiing in the winter and playing in the summer. I’m excited to visit old friends and to walk along the lake.
For those of you who are interested in traveling and working on the road, I’d like to share what I’ve learned so far.
1. I try to keep my mobile office simple and lightweight. But, sometimes that doesn’t happen. For example, on this trip I packed a few extra goodies. In addition to my MacBook air, I packed my day planner, journal, extra books, pens, and a few good luck charms. I decide what to bring based on the type of projects that I’m working on.
2. While I’m traveling, I work in the early morning. I get up early and finish my work projects. I love doing this because it’s quiet. Plus, I can use the rest of my day for adventuring and hanging out with friends.
3. When I am out and about, I carry a scaled down mobile office with me. In a small backpack, I bring my wallet, iPhone, a journal, and a few pens. When I’m out exploring, I don’t like to carry a lot of stuff with me. It’s not good for my back and it’s not fun to carry a heavy bag. Also, keeping a tiny office with me gives me the option to write down ideas or essays in my journal.
4. I make time for play. Play is a key part of the creative process. Also, research has shown that “play — doing things just because they’re fun and not because they’ll help achieve a goal — is vital to human development.”
When I travel, I make time to get my work done. I also make time to enjoy the people and places that I’m visiting. If I didn’t make time for the latter, I might as well stay home.
What do you carry when you travel? Share your tips and stories in the comments section.
P. S. When I arrive in Tahoe, I will post photos of my mobile office on Instagram. Follow along if you want to see additional pictures.