Mentally, I have always struggled with the very act of going on vacation. As a creative professional, my personal life and my professional life are happily interwoven. A day spent in the craft room working on projects does wonders for my emotional state, and there is nothing more relaxing than knitting outside by the fire pit, racing the sun with my ‘one more row’ mantra.
Even a day of running errands can also include moments of “look how gorgeous that field is, I have to take a picture” and “oh, Michaels is right here, i’ll just stop and grab some paint”. My part time day job is creative too! I decorate cookies all day long and they actually give me money to do that. Unreal.
For a lot of people, a vacation is a time to break away from the work, but to a creative type, it can be hard to imagine something better or more relaxing than just making stuff. In all honesty, tomorrow when we head out on vacation, my husband will lead me to the car while I look longingly back at the house; But by the time we get to the highway I will have reminded myself of the following things.
So how do creative types get the most from a vacation? How do we tap into the vein of the experience, and really find the true experience of going away somewhere? Here are some cool lessons I’ve learned:
Creative or not, our linear minds are a jumble of past experiences and future anticipations. This chronological way of thinking is something that the ancient greeks called chronos. Life measured in time.
The other word, lesser known, was kairos. Kairos measured life not by time, but by the moments. To experience kairos was to stop and truly immerse yourself in your current experience. The scent of the air, the new sights, the temperature, and even your breathing.
While on vacation, permit yourself to experience kairos. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Take Photos of your Family
When I was 26, I travelled to Romania with a group of friends. When I came home, my camera was full of photos of castles and mountains, ruins and art. I took photos of the amazing things I had seen, because I wanted to show people what I had experienced, but in the end I was just that girl chasing people around, trying to make them watch my metaphorical slide show.
The photos that mattered, and the ones that still do, are the ones with my friends and I. There’s the photo of three of us standing in the doorway of an ancient ruin. And two of us in the forest with a stray dog who liked belly rubs. There’s the one with our group, standing on top of the largest dam in the world.
When you go on vacation, take photos of the people your experiencing it with. They are the anchors in your memory and when you look back on the photo you will have more of a connection to the experience.
Embrace the Local Culture
Be you, but be you in a different place! I went to Nashville, and came home with spices from the most amazing spice shop. I went to New York State, and came home with wool from an Alpaca Farm. Don’t just do what everyone else does on vacation, experience the local culture your own way.
Most of all, remember to not put expectations or pressure on yourself while on vacation. Studies have shown that a break in your everyday routine is enough to get your creativity flowing, and new experiences force us to use parts of our brain that we otherwise dampen down. Journal any new ideas you have, and then leave them in the book so you can return to kairos and recharge. When you return home, you’ll be amazed with your increased focus, and the flow of fresh, new ideas.
Do you have more to add? Leave your thoughts in the comments!