When we live in a place for a year or five years or ten years or more, the familiarity of the place closes our eyes to exploration and discovery and this becomes our default. We’ve seen this, a thousand times. We could draw it from memory. We could follow the path blind-folded. And blind-folded is what we become.
So it is important to regularly go someplace different. Physically, mentally, spiritually, by what ever path you wish to take there. Staying creative requires a detour.
Alys Beach, FL
I take vacations in order to immerse myself in someplace entirely different from my default. I often get off the interstate at a random exit just to drive a visually different route. We can stimulate creativity by simply changing something from the norm. Even small things. Use a different bath soap. Put on music you’ve never listened to. Turn off everything that makes noise and just be quiet. Rearrange the furniture.
Santa Fe, NM
I live in upstate New York. But I grew up in the South. I always expected New York to be a state of cities and buildings and traffic. But when I came here and found a state of farm land and forests, of mountains and lakes and gorges, I was totally surprised. I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel a bit. I love to drive. In 1986 I drove 9000 miles in four weeks, down the east coast, across the south all the way to Death Valley and Yosemite, then back across the middle of the country. I’ve been to New Orleans and Sante Fe four times. I’ve visited Florida more times than I can count. I’ve been to Toronto and Seattle, Chicago and St. Louis. I’ve been to Honolulu and the Virgin Islands, I’ve driven around the perimeter of Nova Scotia. I’ve been to Germany, and Spain, and Italy. And every place, above all else, was “not here”. It was someplace different.
New Orleans, LA
The stimulus of new surroundings emboldens us to think differently, to try new things, to enrich our lives and educate our minds, to dissolve away the boredom and forget the annoyances. But for me, more than anything, it is visual discovery. New architecture, different faces, the sun is at a new angle and the houses are painted bright colors. The street is painted with history. The children have dark skin and the markets look nothing like where I usually shop. The landscape is jungle like or barren and hot. There is a bird I have never seen. There are fishermen in small boats. There are farm lands on terraces. It is discovery, it is different, it is new and exciting, it is awakening and rejuvenating.
Zion National Park, UT
Regularly, take yourself someplace different. Walk a different route to someplace in your routine. Dive headlong into a new novel. Take a class in something you have no knowledge of. Surprise yourself. Life is an adventure. Venture someplace different. You’ll be glad.