Good morning star gazers and adventure seekers,
I hope you’ve all had an amazing week. If you follow me on social media (instagram, twitter, facebook) you may have seen that I’ve spent my week in Italy. I’ve explored Rome, Pompeii and Vatican City and it has left me rather blown away.
So, it seems apt for today’s blog post to be what it is. I love to talk about travel and once posted a similar (and yet entirely different) blog post about finding inspiration in travel. Also, I once wrote a post highlighting four ways reading makes you a better writer, so this is likely to become a little mini-series of blog posts about enhancing your writing.
I am in no way saying that those who don’t travel will not become better writers. This blog post is simply my opinion on how travelling is making me a better writer, and how those of you who do travel may have a similar reaction. Please do not feel disheartened if travel isn’t your thing, or not possible for you. There is no hard and fast rule for becoming a better writer, and there are plenty of ways you can enhance your skill in ways that work for you.
1. Travelling is inspiring
It is undoubtedly inspiring to see new places and meet new people. In travel you are able to see things you don’t see in day to day life. Visiting new places offers you a wealth of knowledge, and the ability to learn new things which can only be a positive for those of us who love to write. There is a beautiful quote about travelling that I absolutely love:
Travelling – it leaves you breathless and then turns you into a storyteller – Ibn Batutta.
I just think this is so true. Because when you come back from a holiday, trip or adventure you tell people about it, which is of course an act of storytelling. And if you’re a creative, who can find fictional tales in any setting, travelling will give you a wealth of ideas.
2. Travelling takes you back in time
Of course, this depends on where you go. But I went to Rome/Pompeii and so this is certainly true for those locations. Particularly Pompeii, where there is no modern aspect, no cars. Just empty streets and destroyed villas and homes. This sense of going back in time can add real authenticity to your writing if you write historical fiction. Personally, I write more contemporary stories, but my own little trip back in time has certainly given me ideas and inspiration for stories set in a different time. It is a surreal experience, and one I highly recommend.
3. Travelling introduces you to new experiences
Undoubtedly, visiting new places allows you to try new things. Be it trying new foods, experiencing a different culture of doing something you’ve never done before. These are all things that help you grow as a person, not only as a writer, and so you can be sure to come back home with new perspectives.
4. Travelling leaves you humbled
On my trip I visited places that left me feeling awe-struck, educated and humbled. Visiting Pompeii, where so many people met such a tragic end to their lives, left me lost for words. I have always been one to experience very strong feelings of empathy and seeing the ruins sent chills down my spine. On a parallel, my trip to Vatican City was humbling for a different reason. I am not a religious person, but as I walked through the breathtaking architecture and art that makes up St Peter’s Basilica, I was touched by people’s devotion to religion, and stunned into silence by the way it felt to be surrounded by people of all races and religious experiences the same sense of awe and peace.
Bonus tip: Travelling for those who cannot travel
Travelling isn’t all about getting on a plane and walking around cities or exploring at the beach. You can travel in so many ways, even if you aren’t physically able to do so. You can read books, watch documentaries and most importantly you can write your own tales of places far and wide. If you are a writer, you are a traveller too, in one way or another.
This is something I am hugely passionate about so I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do comment below or contact me any time to share your feelings, opinions and advice.