Traveling Helps My Creativity

Ocean Trail near Sand Beach on Mount Desert Island, Maine
The Atlantic Ocean from the Ocean Trail near Sand Beach on Mount Desert Island, Maine

All photography, including travel photography, can provide
an essential means of communication. Images have the potential
to expose people to new locations, diverse lifestyles and
wide-ranging ideas. They can help educate, raise awareness,
and provide insight into an unfamiliar world.
The making of a photograph is a process of discovery and self-expression.
They can reveal relationships between events that might otherwise go unnoticed,
and they are one of today’s most common chronicles of mankind.
– Julieanne Kost, Photographer
(interview on

I’m off on a trip with my daughter!  While I never take off at this time of the year due to the tax returns, an opportunity came up for me to spend some time with her before the baby comes.

Traveling is something else that helps nurture my creativity.  It gives me new things to photograph, new experiences to enjoy (or not), and gets me out of my comfort zone.  Of course travel is not always fun.  I dislike being short on sleep because a bed was uncomfortable or other travelers were noisy.  Food is problematic, either being too junky or too rich.  Of course, there’s the inevitable getting lost, turning around, and constant vigil to not have a car accident because I / we don’t know what we’re doing or where we’re going.

But it’s great to have new things to photograph.  Not only is it stimulating, but there are challenges trying to take something new.  I might take a picture and be disappointed in the results.  Then I have to look more carefully – what attracted me?  What was it I was trying to capture?  Do I need to come back at a different time?  Do I want to try it again at sunrise / sunset / after dark?

Sometimes a picture doesn’t work no matter what, such as building that faces such a way that it’s always in shadow.  Or the sky is always a flat gray, day after dreary day.  Or there’s a limitation that can’t be worked around, such as cars in the street or crowds of tourists all day and night.  Then I have to decide how to frame it up to leave the cars in or minimize tourists in the picture.  It challenges me to work at getting the photographs that I see in my mind.

There is something else that a trip can provide – experiencing the passion of others whether it’s other tourists or the locals.  We’ve eaten in restaurants where the server was full of suggestions of places to visit.  We’ve chatted up other photographers who shared restaurants to try out.  It’s all the same – watching people’s faces light up when they get to describe something special to you, in a way that you want to try it too.

Passion is contagious!  It not only makes the trip memorable and fun, but it encourages me to intensify my reactions and be equally passionate about the trip, my photography, and what I’m visiting, in addition to the added bonus of experiences I might not have had otherwise.

Of course, a day trip can do the same thing.  For that though, I have to actually move my rear end and do it!  No staying home to get one more thing done or take a nap.  But once I get going, I’m usually glad that I did.

If you feel yourself getting stale with your creativity, consider whether a change in scenery would help you get back your mojo.  And remember to enjoy it and not fret about the cost, discomfort, or how you’re going to handle getting around.  Just go and experience something new!

For me, it’s just plain old fun to have new things to take pictures of.  That right there makes it worth my while.

To see everything I’m doing with my 31 Days of Nurturing My Creativity, click here.

To see what others are doing with their 31 Days project, click here.



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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at

11 Comments Leave a comment

  1. So glad you’re able to have this time with your daughter before the baby arrives. Life gets very busy when a new person is added to the family.

    • I took baby bump pictures, although she’s still not showing much. I’ll get them downloaded and posted shortly. The better one though is her in the lobster bib. Although eating that blueberry pie wasn’t a bad one either. She was hungry all the time! She also ran for an hour each morning, which I think contributed.

    • Thanks Ellie. My husband and I went to Maine for a week last summer (2012) and we came back with all kinds of great shots. . . when it wasn’t raining out, which was most of the week. Still, the clouds really made for some great photos.

    • You of all people know how traveling helps creativity! We had a great time and I’ll be posting about it shortly. Wait until you see the picture of her in a lobster bib.

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