How To Be Creative 03: Travel

You’re stuck in a rut and NIN’s Every Day Is Exactly The Same seems fitting. We’ve all been there — frustrated and letting negativity interfere with our lives. Fortunately, the solution might easier than you think and really, really fun. It’s something your parents used to drag you along for and made your home feel really strange to come home to. Yep, travel.

vintage van driving through the desert
Photo: Dino Reichmuth

I’m not telling you something you don’t already know when I say that travel helps our bodies and minds recharge. Immersing ourselves in a new place, trying new foods, and talking to people from entirely different backgrounds is a beautiful way to work out our minds. That’s why some of the most creative and interesting people out there make it a priority. How else are you supposed to start thinking differently unless you experience new cultures and places?

Some rarely leave their comfort zone (for the outside world is scary, dangerous and unpredictable) and see none of the benefits. Others walk a middle ground, recognizing travel’s value, but letting excuses and obstacles get in their way. I know that all too well. But if the obstacle is money or time off, the best advice I can give is the same I like for savings in general.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Photo: Agustín Diaz

Set up a travel savings account and each month automatically transfer a little more than you’re comfortable with. If you run into some extra cash from rewards cards, loose change, class action checks, or odd jobs — just bank it. You can probably live without it, even if that means getting extra flirty with the bartenders tonight. It’ll all depend on your commitment, but you may be able to reward yourself with a trip sooner than you think. And when that happens, it will be so worth it.

In the meantime, there is an easy fix. Take a day off and go somewhere you’ve never been before. It doesn’t have to be far. Hike. Go for a photo walk in a neighborhood you’ve never set foot. Thrift shop in a podunk town. All of this can relieve your hungry eyes. It’s not as glamorous as backpacking Europe or exploring ancient South American ruins, but it’ll give you something new to look at. Try it and let us know how it goes.

Ready to take action? Be sure to check out:
Automating Your Personal Finances – Personal finance tips from Ramit Sethi
Scott’s Cheap Flights – Find the best flight deals before everyone else
Airbnb Experiences – Take classes and tours around the world (even virtually)
Couchsurfing – Connecting travelers with locals