Something that I always look forward to when I travel is capturing the essence of a new place in my own words and pictures. I’m sure that I’m not alone in my love of taking photographs and noting down my impressions of a place in my travel journal.
But, while our travel plans are paused - there’s no reason why we can’t still indulge in these creative pursuits in our local environment. Earlier this month, I shared some tips on how to bring the flavors of Italy to your staycation. Today, let’s talk about finding some creative inspiration from wherever in the world you call home.
Experiment with your travel photography skills
The great thing about photography is that you don’t need to have a high-tech, SLR camera to enjoy it. And, regardless of where you live - there is always something unique to photograph. Perhaps that’s a myriad of urban streets, your neighborhood park, or a nearby beach, river, or woodland.
Turn your next walk into an opportunity to get creative with your photography. Consider setting yourself a project. For example, commit to capturing the sunrise (or sunset) if you’re an early bird each day for one month. Or, perfect your night photography. This way, the next time you’re in a beautiful foreign city, you know how to avoid those blurry shots.
Create your own artistic shots of buildings you may be so accustomed to seeing daily but have never looked at closely. Use the time to linger on the detail and imagine you’re seeing these places for the first time.
Find your voice with a travel journal
Travel journaling is the perfect twin to travel photography, and again - it applies to domestic travel. As with photography, there’s no need to get hung up on the technicalities. Don’t worry about perfect spelling and grammar or using complex words. You could even adopt the ‘bullet’ journal approach and jot down a couple of words that spring to mind while exploring locally.
Carry a small journal with you while you’re out and about and write whenever a place stirs you. If you’re artistic, add sketches to your journal too. You could also encourage your children to create an illustrated journal of your family walks together.
As well as recording the places you visit in your area, use this time to reflect on previous trips and write up the memories.
Connect with your local wildlife
For the wildlife enthusiasts who dream of the Serengeti and primate studded jungles of the East - connect with your regional fauna. I know it’s not quite as exotic, but taking nature walks is a beautiful way to care for your well-being, something that is crucial during this unsettling time. As studies have demonstrated, being among nature has a tremendous impact on mental health. In fact, a recent study from London’s Natural History Museum revealed that certain birdsong could relieve mental stress and fatigue. One of my clients captures the natural beauty around him in his photography. Check out his Instagram posts here. He has some fantastic wildlife and landscape photos.
You could take your camera and notebook with you and use this time to journal and take photographs while searching for local wildlife. On the other hand, simply tune in and absorb what nature lives around you.
Sometimes we can take our home turf for granted. So I hope that by experimenting with the above - you may see your hometown in a new light. At the same time, you’ll feel creative and refreshed.
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