It’s tough to be creative. It’s a universal truth, whether you’re a writer, a painter, a musician, a choreographer, or an artisan (like ourselves here at Melt!). We know the feeling! There are all sorts of ways to get your creative motors whirring again, and obviously different techniques work for different people. Surprisingly enough, one particularly effective way to inspire yourself is to travel. Trust us, we know what we’re talking about; it’s one of the main ways we inspire ourselves to create fantastic new luxury scented candles. (In fact, that’s exactly what some of us are doing right now!)
Basically, it doesn’t matter where you are, it doesn’t matter where you’re going. Travelling does wonders for your creativity – and here are just a few reasons why!
1. New environments stimulate your mind
The first one is fairly straightforward – simply put, travelling stimulates your mind in ways that being at home often doesn’t. Home is safe, home is familiar, and even though we might not realise it, it’s all too easy to take it for granted. City dwellers can get acclimatised to the hustle and bustle, dwarfed by towering office blocks and famous landmarks. Others of us living in the country (such as ourselves here at Melt in the stunning Ribble Valley) might not always fully appreciate the full beauty of our environment in the same ways a visitor or tourist would.
Brand new sights, sounds and experiences can stimulate our minds in ways we would never have dreamed of otherwise. How often have you stopped to look in awe at the majesty of soaring mountain peaks, or the softness and silence of snowfall on thatched village rooftops? Even without the new cultures, religions and languages of the people within them, the beauty of foreign landscapes themselves can dazzle us, which can translate wonderfully into new creative ideas.
2. Travel helps you escape your cultural boundaries
Cultural customs are a curious thing – most of us aren’t even aware of them until they’re pointed out to us by visitors. You don’t think much of them; they’re just what people do. English people often joke about our preoccupation with tea and queuing, but we don’t think as much of our keenly refined sense of personal space – as opposed to continental countries like Spain and Italy, where people are often far more casually tactile.
Now, we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with this particular aspect of British sensibilities – each to their own! We’re just using it to illustrate how deeply we all inhabit our individual cultures, and how set we can be in our behaviour without even realising it. Travelling abroad helps us discover ourselves by seeing ourselves – and our countries – from an outside perspective, helping us to unlock new ways of thinking. And obviously, that’s brilliant for creativity!
3. You’re living in the present moment
You’ll already know this if you have regular holidays abroad, but travelling often means having to make arrangements for staying online, staying connected and ensuring your phone can still reach all your emails and social media accounts. But then again, what if you just…didn’t? When you’re travelling to a new country, you’re generally in discovery mode, concentrating on making the most of your surroundings and environment. Difficulty in staying connected online makes it easier to disengage from phones and screens, which makes travelling an amazing automatic detoxification from tech-reliant behaviour.
This allows you to be engaged in other ways, connecting more deeply and meaningfully with new, beautiful environments, and the people, cultures, customs, and places within them. You’re seeing more, you’re hearing more, you’re experiencing more. In short, you become more observant, which gives you both more material and energy to be more creative.
4. You’re learning all the time
This follows straight on from what we were just saying about always being in discovery mode. When you’re abroad, you’re constantly learning new things about the places, people and culture around you. First of all, this gives you more material and inspiration to be creative, as we mentioned under our first point above. There are endless subtleties in the culture and communication between different peoples in the world, so even when you think you’ve learned it all, there’s probably always something new to surprise you!
Plus, here’s the interesting distinction between tourists and travellers – those who’ve chosen to live abroad for months or years at a time. When you’re on holiday, you’ve either paid a lot of money or you’re short on time – or both! That means you’ll naturally be keen on seeing as much as you can with the resources you’ve got, zipping your way between monuments, globally famous locales and international tourist attractions.
On the other hand, when you’ve chosen to live in that country as opposed to visiting it, it’s easier to take your time with these locations and attractions, and appreciate them for what they are. Rome’s Colosseum can be easy to categorise alongside Disneyland Paris, in that they’re both unmissable tourist attractions – which means that in turn it can be easy to forget one is built solely for visitors, while the other is an ancient monument that’s well over 2000 years old. Every country on Earth has its own unique buildings and artefacts that are steeped in history – and history has always been a fantastic source of creative inspiration, whatever it is you’re creating.
As for us, here at Melt we like to take a bit of our own creative inspiration from sunny Mediterranean climes (that’s our very own picture of a beautiful sunset above!). In fact, that’s where some of us are right now! As our chandlers draw on local sights and scents in their vision for brand new luxury handmade candles, don’t forget you can still visit our humble little shop on the farm and browse your own favourites! Personally, we think Joy is a fantastic little lady for the increasingly sunny weather – but we’ll leave you to make the final decision!