Bring Back More From Your Travels than Just Souvenirs

We’ve all received postcards, silly key chains or other mementos from friends or family members who travel. It is normal for vacationers to pick up souvenirs of the places they’ve been and the things they’ve seen— buying ironic t-shirts, history books, themed memorabilia, seashells or some other relevant knick-knack as reminders. Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you started thinking about bringing more back from your travels? What if instead of seeking out physical things, you focused more on ideas and inspiration to take home?

For many people, traveling is an opportunity to expand their horizons by experiencing different cultures, people and ideas. Traveling enables people to take the world in from a different perspective in a way that is only accessible by exposure to what is novel and unfamiliar. This novelty is a key element to creativity, problem-solving and innovative thinking. People who are highly creative have a tendency to take in their surroundings constantly and translate what they’ve seen into other aspects of their lives. They are active observers in the world, internalizing experiences, drawing parallels, and generally finding inspiration where it may be least expected.

Perhaps this sounds like you already. Perhaps you aspire to be more creative than you currently are. Either way, training yourself to be more in-tune with your surroundings while on vacation is one way to get those creative thoughts flowing. Not only will you walk away with fresh ideas, but you’ll probably appreciate the area you visited more too. No two places are the same, and whether you find yourself enjoying the day in a small fishing town in New England, or strolling down Charleston’s famous Rainbow Row lined with romantic streetlamps— inspiration is truly everywhere. Inspiration can come from something as small as the pattern of a hotel lobby’s chairs, the delicate lighting of a tavern restaurant, or even a pistachio muffin at a corner bakery. These can all spark thoughts that turn into productivity once at home. Perhaps you will end up redecorating your living room to resemble the hotel lobby you fell in love with. You might change your outdoor lighting to give your home more charm. Maybe you will decide to open your own local pastry shop, or simply buy a new recipe book.

Depending on where you travel, the more access you’ll have to things you wouldn’t normally be inspired by, and the more you’ll be able to use that inspiration to revitalize other parts of your life. Traveling more can help you become a healthier, happier, more productive version of yourself. All it takes is a conscious effort to experience the world around you, and a willingness to act on those thoughts down the road.

The opportunities for travel are endless. Where will you go next?

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