Going on an adventure will allow you to reconnect with your creativity—so set it up, book it, and create opportunities to be immersed.
“On a day when the wind is perfect,Rumi
the sail just needs to open and
the world is full of beauty.
Today is such a day.”
The Inspiring Effects of Going on an Adventure
Dawn is breaking here in the South of France. Birds have begun their morning chorus and the jewel-toned waves of the Mediterranean are crashing in a rhythmic beat against the rocks below my balcony.
Today is Day 39 of my European Adventure, and I am fully immersed in the beauty and culture of France. Inspiration is my constant companion. Ideas are coming nonstop now like the seagulls that soar and dip over the limestone cliffs lining the sea.
I have clear access to my creativity back channels and my best thinking—something that doesn’t happen when I’m distracted, tired, or overwhelmed.
I am delving into an idea that came to me during a recent solo photo stroll between Nice and Villefrance-sur-Mer that involves the nexus of inspiration, intuition, courage, and synchronicity. It is work that sends electric charges through my gut and heart. Ignites my brain. Thrills me.
I know the trail I am on will culminate in a new understanding of creativity’s power; knowledge that has the promise of being the skeleton key for entrepreneurs and leaders.
What inspiration are you seeking? What experiences are calling you?
Perhaps you’ve been dreaming of going on an adventure of your own but aren’t quite sure how to get started, determine where to go, plan an itinerary, and properly prepare. Having the right knowledge for each phase of the travel experience can make all the difference in the world and will help ensure you enjoy a joyful, transformational journey rather than a disappointing disaster.
How to Travel Well
1. Get clear on what you want to have happen.
Get out your journal and begin jotting down words that describe the kind of experience you seek, what you want to be going on an adventure for. Think about what your soul is craving, the sort of inspiration you intuit would bring you delight. With that information in mind, what kind of itinerary would be a match?
Do you see yourself in several cities or smaller towns? Are you enjoying a long stay in one location? What is the weather like? Are you traveling solo or with others?
2. Map the edges of an itinerary.
Create an outline of your travel dates, destination(s), and dream activities. Does learning something new while you travel sound like fun? If so, explore the kinds of classes that fit the bill. Do a Google search with your destination + “fun classes or workshops” in the search bar and see what pops up. I have taken everything from art and culinary classes to makeup courses. I have learned how to make perfume and discern the taste differences in varieties of cheese, wine, and whisky. There are endless possibilities.
NOTE: Resist the urge to map out every hour of your adventure! Just do a rough outline and leave plenty of room and time to do spontaneous things.
3. Book it!
Do some checking around online for great hotel deals and flight fares. If you are flying overseas, select a late afternoon or early evening flight that gets you to your destination early the next morning local time. This really helps with minimizing jet lag.
Fun fact: The moment you book your trip, you get to experience anticipatory joy!
Make sure your passport is in order. Write down all the things that need to be handled while you are away and make arrangements. Bank sleep and healthy habits so that your immune system is tip top condition. Wrap up projects and do not add anything new to your schedule a week prior to your departure.
Notify your team and others that you will be traveling and out of reach. Ensure that all inbound emails are routed to the right person so that you will not be disturbed while away. Pull up that drawbridge and set great boundaries so that your adventure is not diluted with any drama.
Begin early. Research weather conditions and lay out a capsule wardrobe that gives you multiple looks from just a few pieces. You will be amazed at how little you actually need! Here’s what I packed for my four months away: Two blazers, two pairs of pants, a hoodie, two skirts, 4 shirts, a raincoat, 2 scarves, tights, underwear and socks, 2 belts, and a swimsuit, as well as one pair of boots, sneakers, and loafers. I also brought 4 journals and a bunch of art supplies.
NOTE: Comfortable shoes are a must. Do not pack shoes that are not broken in or offer little support. I speak from painful experience here!
6. Take off!
If you are flying, eat a very healthy meal right before you depart. Do not eat the food on the plane as it is loaded with sodium, fat, etc. Skip the alcohol and instead drink a ton of water to stay hydrated. You do not want to arrive at your destination with swollen ankles and feeling lethargic. While everyone else is eating the salt/fat meal, put your eye mask on and go to sleep. This will help you avoid jet lag and set you up for a wonderful first day when you land.
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, get on local time immediately. Take a hot shower, eat a hearty breakfast, and get out in the sunshine to reset your circadian rhythms. Do not nap this first day no matter how fatigued you are. Enjoy a gentle day of exploring and then go to sleep around 5 or 6 pm. You will wake the next day ready to take in all the fun and excitement with full energy.
7. Be respectful and mindful of local culture and customs.
Learn some key phrases in the local languages. Your entire experience will be different if you speak just a little bit of the language. Waiters will become your ally and suggest their favorite menu items. Shopkeepers will delight in giving you insider secrets to their city or town. Everyone will appreciate your effort.
Do not expect your destination to be like the place you just left! One of the reasons we travel is to enjoy novel experiences. Open up the aperture of your perspective and become an honorary participant observer like an ethnographer. Sink into the culture and sup from its uniqueness and beauty. Let the differences spark ideas and intrigue within you rather than scorn.
8. Bring the energy that you want to be mirrored back.
If you show up with a happy heart expectant of being delighted that is exactly what you will receive. If you respectfully try to speak in the local language, even if you stumble, your willingness to connect will be returned with kindness. Similarly, if you are haughty or refuse to even try to speak the most basic of phrases, expect to see the “rude” version of the locals.
9. Less is more.
Don’t pack your schedule with To Dos and/or race from one place to the next—remember that going on an adventure should include some true adventuring! Slow down and hang out. Find a cafe and park there for a few hours. Take out your journal and do some writing and thinking. People watch. Have a chat with the folks seated next to you (I have made wonderful friends doing this). Sink fully into where you are and relish it.
When Are You Going on an Adventure?
Travel resets our bodies and minds in powerful ways.
Going on an adventure brings us home to our true selves and helps to realign us where we may have gotten off track. It fills us with a new willingness to be bold, embrace uncertainty, and walk right toward what we dream of.
If we want to savor the inspiring Beauty of the world, our sails need to open. Traveling can unfurl us where we may be bound. It can turn our face to the sun and wind and drop the scales from our eyes and hearts.
We step back into our daily lives refreshed, renewed, changed, and deeply connected to our creativity reserves.