Last month, I went on a cruise for the first time ever (which is a huge reason why I’ve been so silent). I visited Alaska and I fell in love with the state. I learned about the native history, drank in the breathtaking sights, and satiated my wanderlust that I’d be craving for years.
Traveling is an experience I wish I could do every month, nay, every year to a different city, state, country, or continent to expand my world and in doing so, enhance my writing.
Last month, I was on a Junot Diaz kick. I listened to lectures and talks he gave at various universities around the country. The one piece of advice that resonated with me was regarding traveling and being a writer. He said that as writers, we should travel the world because yes we can write what we know, but opening ourselves to what we don’t know, will only round out our work. With that in mind, I look forward to my next adventure to a new part of the world.
While traveling with a large number of folks (I was traveling with a party of 17 – a lot of people), I discovered what kind of traveler I am.
The first thing I learned – I abhor shopping. All those tourist shops to buy expensive crap that I’ll never use or for friends back home (even though most of the souvenirs are made in China!) are not made for me. The last thing I want to do is spend money on stuff. I’d rather spend money on experiences.
The next thing I realized about myself is my need to learn about the origins, culture, and history of a city. On this cruise, excursion operators were constantly in your face at every port to do their famous and/or exciting trip at their port. I would rather explore a town with a walking tour any day than going zip lining or rafting. It’s not that I don’t enjoy participating in physical activities, but those don’t satisfy my need to learn and absorb what the place is about that I’m visiting. So there’s that.
And the last thing is personal space. I didn’t really have the space for me to wake up with silence. I appreciate silence so much in the morning before being social. I was on vacation so I accepted this fact but next time, I need to room alone. Silence can be relaxing and rejuvenating sometimes and I didn’t have enough of this element. I was traveling with a large group, which were lovely, but I wasn’t used to being social so much all the time. I didn’t have that space to recharge after talking with people all day long.
Overall, my vacation was fantastic. The best place I could’ve gone to before starting graduate school in the fall. I’m brimming with ideas for a future story and/or novel while researching. I’m also researching regarding becoming a travel writer as well. Will I really pursue this career path? Dunno. For now, I’m going to focus on my fiction during my program and go from there.
What has arisen from going on vacation for others?