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Searching for a Source of Inspiration? Try Traveling

Updated: Feb 11, 2022

While wondering what cultural topic or place I should write about next, I decided to write about traveling and how it can be, amongst other things, a great source of inspiration. Luckily, I was fortunate in my life to be able to travel a lot, mainly between US and Germany as a teenager for my summer vacations, but also to other countries, such as France as a French exchange student (twice), Portugal, Morocco, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Northern Italy, England, Sweden, Turkey, Oman, Qatar, Aruba, UAE and Canada. Of course, my bucket list has many more places & countries I wish to visit one day. Malaysia, Norway, Pakistan, South Africa, Maldives, Hawaii & Russia- just to name a few.

Benefits of Traveling

Traveling can be so many things. It can be a form of escape, especially a time to relax, recharge your batteries and get away from the hectic lifestyle. Most people don't realize that seeing other places besides your own “place”, makes you not only appreciate the life you currently have but also makes you realize how “big”, beautiful & diverse the world is out there. Moreover, it can have a soul-soothing effect and lift your spirits if you see something new for the first time, something that makes you realize you would never be able to witness in your own “four corners”. Just as an example: a waterfall.

From far away, any waterfall - doesn't have to be the Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada, Victoria Falls in Zambia, Africa or Urach Waterfall in Bad Urach, Germany - seems like a silent stream where water comes out from a bunch of mountain rocks but the closer you get to it in real life, the more you can hear the waterfall tumbling on the rocks which simultaneously creates a magical & refreshing atmosphere. If I don’t see a waterfall right in front of my own eyes & experience it with all my senses, then I will miss out on experiencing the natural beauty of a waterfall that can be very energizing- considering I let myself get soaked into the atmosphere, of course.

Overcoming Fears of the Unknown

That there are dangers or risks luring in other places & countries is a fear of many people but believe me, don’t let prejudices you hear about other places & cultures stop you. The only way to overcome this kind of fear is to keep an open mind about what you might face. Taking that leap & stepping out of your comfort zone is worth it, as long as you stay cautious enough about your surroundings, especially when traveling alone as a woman. (Small traveling tip for all my female readers: always make sure you know where you are going & under no circumstance appear as if you are lost!).

Traveling Means Discovering

Traveling is a time for discovery of something new, as well as a discovery of oneself & as such can be used as a source of inspiration in so many ways. Let’s say, you are a writer or an artist, for example, but are facing some kind of “block”, often called writer's block or lacking ideas on how to finish a writing project or artwork, in this case I highly recommend to take a trip anywhere. It can be to the next city, state, country close-by or even an island far away. Once you are surrounded by a new place, you will be so in awe about the beauty you see. Mountains next to the water is one of my favorite landscapes to be surrounded by. You can find them in Seattle, WA., Muscat, Oman & Izmir, Turkey and many other places.

Another example of discovery happens when you are searching for your roots. One day you might be curious about your roots and where your ancestors come from. Instead of taking a detailed DNA test, how about taking a trip to the city or country you heard your relatives talk about as the place of where your family tree started? Yes, it sounds easier said than done but it would be a trip worth-taking. You know why? Because you would learn so much about your own roots & start to understand many things about your own history. At the same time, you can share this with your family members back home. Even your friends would be delighted to find out more about you.

Don't Just Be a Tourist

Unfortunately, I have observed that most people travel to a place and choose to behave & act as a tourist. To these people, I would like to suggest the following: try to immerse yourself into the surrounding culture as much as you can because by insisting on "staying a tourist" you create much of a social distance to the culture you are visiting that isn’t necessary. Plus, by only being a tourist, you most likely return home without learning anything new about the place or culture you visited. In other words, take a little courage, go and eat some local food of the country you are visiting, start conversations with those around you, not only with fellow tourists, learn words from the language that is spoken in that place you are in and visit the touristic sites but with sincere curiosity about the culture behind it by asking more questions & being considerate. Try to find out what the favorite places of the local people are & ask them why they like to go there. These are just some approaches that can inspire you to get a feeling for their culture & to discover what is important to them. Believe me, your genuine curiosity will be well-received.

New Gained Knowledge

All the new gained knowledge you gain by traveling will be beneficial for you, as you learn that there is a different way of life beyond your own. By traveling you broaden your horizons to many new perspectives on life and you actually train yourself to become open-minded towards other mentalities and cultures. Sometimes, taking a trip makes you even realize things about yourself that you never knew existed. The key words here are: “Just do it, but be smart about it!”. Don't forget to stay safe, too.

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