Taking Time to Travel

Some shots from a wonderful trip to England. The trip may be over, but the creative inspiration lingers.

Studying abroad in Granada, Spain during the spring of 2015 taught me the important lesson of learning to rest and not quit. The semester allowed me to escape the stresses of college as I knew it and curb my untimely junior-year doubts of even wanting to pursue graphic design as a career. At the time, I felt discouraged, uninspired, and unsure. Cue best six months of my college career. Everything changed. I wasn’t taking a single design class and had an incredible opportunity to experience a new place, a new culture, and a new me. The whole experience prepared me to go into my last year of college with clarity, well-defined goals, and purpose. The “rest” that a semester abroad provided led me to “not quit” the biggest passion I’ve ever had.

Since my time abroad, I’ve viewed travel as an essential aspect of nurturing my creativity. I brought back new experiences, insights, and realizations that directly translated into more effective design work. Each trip I take adds value to my life and that value so frequently extends to my work and clients. I have a fresh perspective, new inspiration, and renewed energy to bring to the table. Being able to disconnect, recharge, and break from the expected provides a great benefit to my mental health and ability to do my job to the best of my ability. Travel doesn’t just happen though. It takes planning and money and organization and commitment.

As a creative entrepreneur, it can be incredibly hard for me to take a proper and intentional break from work. Planned vacations are necessary to staying sane and productive. They don’t have to be international trips (although I’ve personally found it really helps disconnect you from work - quite literally with the time differences, lack of internet and/or phone service, etc.). The key is being proactive. In order to cultivate a life that affords travel you need to prioritize planning, saving, working ahead, and communicating. Determine what an ideal vacation looks like for you and learn what it takes to achieve it. Understand the value it brings back to your work and communicate that to those you work with.

If you really love what you do, a week away might just get you more excited to get back into the swing of things upon your return. And the refreshed feeling accompanied by new creative ideas doesn’t hurt either. I’ve also learned that if clients really care about working with you, they can likely wait a week or two as well.

Follow along with my travels on Instagram @chelsietamms