(Mr Magic and I watching the sunset from the Muckey Duck in Sanibel Island)
A few years back I had an epiphany.
I NEED to travel.
I don’t just “WANT” to travel, I NEED to travel to stay sane in my business and get inspired.
It’s taken me some time and growth to come to terms with who I am as an introvert and as a creative in general.
To recognize my needs and make it a priority to fill them. And to quit trying to explain it away or dumb it down.
And most of all, to quit feeling guilty about the very way I was designed.
I gotta go places.
And maybe you feel that need to?
That antsy feeling that makes you crave a change of scenery?
That unsettled feeling you get as a creative person when you start to feel like all your projects stink. They all look the same. Nothing is working right.
I get it and traveling helps!
I am going to tell you 5 reasons why creative people (especially business owners) NEED to travel.
(Our trip to La Jolla, CA last summer)
1. It’s the best way to fight BURNOUT.
Creative people gotta get out of their everyday normal surroundings to get inspired by seeing new things. When you are a creative, you were literally designed to feel inspired so that you can inspire others thru what you write, photograph, paint, draw, sing, make etc.
When you see and do the same thing day in and day out, your creativity is totally stifled.
It’s like trying to keep a sneeze in. It’s painful. Awkward. Makes your insides feel like they are gonna explode.
So if you feel like that, if you are burned out, go see some new things. A change of scenery works every time.
(our trip to the Colorado mountains last winter)
2. To turn your business OFF for a bit.
Travel usually takes us entrepreneurs away from our biz for spurts of time which is critical for not only our sanity and that of our loved ones too.
If you are a small business owner like myself and someone who loves, loves, loves what you do…. you probably work too much (because often it doesn’t feel like work).
And when you work from home, you definitely work too much (read my personal journey of overworking HERE).
Travel is the only way I can walk away from my business for a bit. Leaving home is the only way I will NOT work.
So, if you are working too much, it’s time for a trip.
I pinkie swear you may come back buried with work…. but you will also be refreshed, relaxed, re-inspired and ready to go.
(Johnson Shut-ins State Park – a 3 hour drive from our home)
3. To get a shot of creativity.
Being outside and seeing new things in the absolute best way to reconnect with our creative side.
My friend Jill told me something once that I will never forget. She said “God could have made the world in black and white and we never would have known the difference. Instead He blessed us by making it in color”. Isn’t that deep?
I am literally most creative when I return from traveling. There is something about seeing the incredible mountains of Colorado that put life totally in perspective for me.
And there is something about the crashing waves in La Jolla that soothes my soul.
And there is something about the sunsets in Sanibel Island that make me come home itching to paint something in a gorgeous color.
Even the rolling hills of a road trip to my hometown in Iowa inspires me.
Travel doesn’t have to be to exotic places for weeks at a time. Travel can be throwing a few outfits in a duffel bag and getting out-of-town!
(Exploring the Everglades in Florida by airboat)
4. To get your best business ideas
When I travel and am away from work are when I literally have my BEST work ideas.
Let that sink in: When I am NOT thinking about work, I get my BEST ideas about work. It’s crazy how it happens.
I think there is something about getting us out of our normal surroundings that almost opens up space in our minds to think and dream and process.
I know whenever I am laying out a new course or business class, I plan it at my local library. Seriously. I have to get out of my normal surroundings and go somewhere with no distractions so I am able to think better. Travel does the same thing on such a bigger scale.
If you are stumped, you need to go somewhere.
Travel will help turn your mind OFF which will help turn ideas ON.
(The capital building in Des Moines, IA that we took the kids to see last year. I love the colors in this pic + the fancy building with the fun trolley!)
5. What the heck are we working so hard for anyway?
I don’t know about you, but I am not working hard for nothing. I gotta play hard too. I refuse to live a life where I just work hard day after day to pay the bills and then die. I know that’s morbid, but there’s a lot of depth to that.
So why do I work so hard anyway? And why do YOU work so hard?
I want to give my family experiences and memories. I want to see places with my kids. I want to stop the rat race and see deeply, feel deeply and live deeply.
It fills my heart to the top to go places. And anything that feels that good I need to do more of.
(Exploring Torrey Pines, CA)
I coach enough women biz owners to already know what your arguments against travel are:
- “I can’t get away from my business”. Sure you can. You just chose not to. And if literally you feel like you can’t leave, then I would encourage you to look at HOW your business is structured and is it REALLY fitting how you want to live your life? I have worked intentionally to set my business up so that it still makes money while I am not working. You can do the same (by the way, I teach women how to do this in my monthly coaching group online)
- The other argument against travel is of course the expense. Listen, I drove a 13 year old SUV into the ground until just a few months ago because TRAVEL > A NICE VEHICLE in my life. Travel is a priority in our home. Family vacations are budgeted for and non-negotiable. Even if it’s just a day trip out-of-town once in a while. It’s necessary for mom’s sanity.
Creative people, most of you have the desire to see other places and new things. You are inspired by visual stimulation…. this is why the color of a rusted dumpster can inspire you for your next painted piece.
Most creative people need to be SURROUNDED by beauty in order to MAKE beauty. This is why decorating our homes is so important to us.
But if you have non-creative people in your home or if your spouse doesn’t get it, it’s YOUR JOB to educate them. You gotta tell them your needs. Us creative people are weird, deep people and self-care includes recognizing what we need and making it happen.
So if you are like me and NEED to travel…. tell your spouse. Tell your friends. And plan a getaway.
You will NEVER regret it.