Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Traveling & Inspiration

 I was first bit by the travel bug when I was fifteen and on my way to Florida with two of my best friends. Aside from enjoying the splendor of the beaches and the lake in the backyard and the tropical climate, that trip opened my eyes to include more of the world than my little slice of life in Bountiful, Utah had been able to provide.

And now, since investing in a DSLR camera this last summer, traveling is like a double whammy for my eyes and mind---not only does the new place expose me to new ideas and rich images, but now they're being doubly imprinted on my mind because I'm trying to capture them digitally as well.

I find that I naturally feel more creative in a new place, so the camera gives me even more of an incentive to put some of that inspiration to good use.

This particular batch of pictures is from our trip a couple weeks ago to Kansas City, Missouri to see my dad. Because it was Matt's first time going, a lot of the trip felt like I was seeing things for the first time too since I was imagining how things seemed through Matt's eyes.

I'm guessing that's what parenthood must kind of be like---it's like the world opens itself up to you anew as you learn (again) how to see the world through a child's eyes.


One thing I always wonder about after taking trips is this: is it possible to train ourselves to look at our everyday, very familiar surroundings with the fresh eyes that a tourist would have? Is it really possible to "vacation" in your own city? To tap into that creative energy that seems to be ever-present in unfamiliar surroundings?

Case in point:

In Missouri, we did things such as trying out the famous local restaurants (the original Oklahoma Joe's being one of them), visiting historical LDS sites (including Far West, the visitor's center at Independence, and Adam-Ondi-Ahman), and checking out the beautiful surrounding landscapes by going on long drives and fishing in some secluded ponds.

After trying such a varied amount of new experiences and places, it was no wonder I felt so inspired as to come up with story ideas galore and indulge in some pretty big daydreaming.

Why don't I do that kind of stuff on my home turf?

To be honest, I don't know if I'm mentally capable of truly seeing my city with brand-new eyes.

But I think it would be fun to try.

(Another random cool thing about this vacation? On the spur of the moment, I decided to read My Antonia (the classic novel by Willa Cather) while on this trip, which happens to be located in the exact geographical area we were in.

There's something magical about reading a classic while in the land it's describing. It reminded me of reading Jane Eyre while traveling through the European countryside.

It was yet another life source for my inspiration pool.)

Regardless of whether or not I can really get those same feelings at home as while traveling, I know one thing for sure:

I sure am grateful that I've seen as much of the world as I have.

It's a pretty awesome place.

Does traveling inspire you, too? Or does it just make you miss home and routine that much more?


  1. About seeing our towns with different eyes, I think it just takes going to places we haven't been to yet; we probably haven't visited all the mom and pop stores in our town, and talked with the owners, or go to every single relevant site. Pushing ourselves to explore those places can be really inspiring and can bring to us that sort of amazement that we experience when we are tourists in other towns. :)
    Ana Paula
    {Visit me at Mommyhood, PhD}

  2. Beautiful pictures, i like your outfits.
    I love Florida, and I am so excited! I want to get in the mood, so do you have songs that will lift my spirit and make me think about Florida?

    Chouinard 4056

  3. ooh that sunset picture through the tree is my fav! beautiful.

    i love love love traveling. and after the trip is over, even if i sometimes still wish i was there, i do love coming home too. but home is usually not as 'inspiring' as a trip can be, i do agree. it also can depend on if there are small children on your trip with you or not ;)

  4. Great pictures! I love traveling and I wish I could do it more, or at all. We are getting to go to Boston in October and I can't wait! I love traveling but it always makes me appreciate home more. I think it is okay that home is different than when you are traveling, sometimes the familiar can be just as good as new and exciting places. The key for me is to have enough of both. Right now I don't have enough traveling :)

  5. 100% traveling inspires me. Sometimes it's all I want to do, but I'm too poor! So far that's my favorite thing about being out here. Every weekend there's something cool that we can do that inspires me.


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