7 Ways That Travel Helps Us Write

One of the inquiries we’ve had about the workshop is whether the focus is on travel or more general writing. My answer was that its more general (within the spectrum of non-fiction writing), but also that:

we will be building on the experience of travel to get you
writing with more energy – writing with all your senses, being mindful etc.

This conversation got me thinking a bit more about the ways that travel helps us write. Here are the 7 that I came up with. What would you add to the list?

Travel:

  • Takes us out of our comfort zone I’ve never been on a journey yet that doesn’t do something to challenge and unsettle – but also to wake us up, to grab our attention, to bring our stagnant senses back to life
  • Shifts our perspective We look at things differently both as we travel and when we arrive. Changing perspective is an important part of the writing process. The fact is if we get stuck in a routine if we don’t try to mix it up a bit, then we will lose our mojo which will cause our audience to be less engaged.

Having an occasional break out of the norm keeps all of us on our toes. It’s also fun sometimes to have a play with your writing so that it doesn’t become a chore.

  • Takes us on a journey Travel gives time for reflection. Most of us notice some shifts in our thoughts, feelings, emotions – a change in the metaphorical journey were on, as well as the practical one. (And that normally inspires a written response!)
  • Rejuvenates the spirit Sometimes our writing has lost its soul, its spirit, without us knowing how or why. A change of scene can bring our writing back to life, awakening the senses, inspiring the words.
  • Forces us to pay attention Travel can be stressful and demanding. You need to have your wits about you, to pay attention to whats going on. This act of paying attention is a great preparation for writing
  • Reminds us were human Travel is dirty, messy, frustrating, exciting, tiring, exhilarating, noisy, inspiring, exhausting. It brings our feet back to the ground – and stomachs to the table. Writing from this state is much more likely to be vivid, vital, exciting, absorbing.
  • Tells a different story The worlds never quite the same after a journey Something always happens that changes things, that changes you, forever.

Of course we’ll all be arriving from different places. Maybe, youll be co you’ll from elsewhere on the island, or, maybe, like me, youll be traveling from the cold climes of northern Europe. Perhaps youll join us from much further afield or pop over from the mainland of Italy. But whatever the journey you make, we know itll give you something to write about