In How Travel Helps Boost Creativity, we explored one of the psychological benefits of travel – enhanced creativity. It is well documented that new experiences help to build our creative thinking capacity. I’m a huge proponent of travel as the ultimate, all-encompassing, dive-in-the-deep-end of new experience. Its immersion in new sights, sounds, smells, textures, ideas and cultures are a fantastic trigger for making creative connections. However most of us can’t be gallivanting around the world all of the time, so how do we work new experiences into our everyday? Here are a few ideas and ways I ensure my brain is working out in the creative gym every day.
8 new experiences to have at home
- Walk/ jog around an unfamiliar part of your neighbourhood. Humans are creatures of habit and you probably walk or jog the same route most days without thinking about it too much. Try walking varied paths, or if limitations exist, walk the same route in alternating clockwise and anticlockwise directions.
- Drive a different way to work or home. Explore different routes, you might just find a hidden shortcut or road with less traffic. Alternatively, shop at a different
- Create a new outfit from your existing wardrobe. Don’t wait until you’re getting dressed in the morning to do this or you are likely to end up running late and stressed. Explore a new outfit on the weekend or night before.
- Cook a new recipe or eat an unfamiliar cuisine at a restaurant. Challenge your taste buds, sense of smell, and/or cooking skills with new things to eat. Try recreating a meal you enjoyed in your travels. For inspiration, delve into my Foreign Cuisine Finder series.
- Pick up a book, listen to new music or watch a movie. Extra points if you take on something outside your usual genre!
- Take a class. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of yoga and barre because it’s what is available in my immediate vicinity. I try to take different classes each week, mixing up my routine and exposing myself to different teachers and their individual styles. I also love taking any kind of creative class or workshop from dance to painting.
- Move your furniture. When I was a kid my mum would change the configuration of my bedroom a couple of times a year when she was vacuuming the house. Walking into the room the first few times would really throw me. This is an effective way to keep your home feeling fresh and your brain awake.
- Change your desk. If you work from home like me, try moving around different chairs and rooms, even going outside on nice days. Sometimes I even walk to the library or coffee shop and work from there. If you work in an office, maybe you can convince your boss that a desk swap program might be good for everyone’s creativity.
Don’t allow routine and habit at home let your creative thinking muscles atrophy. Simple changes and challenges in our everyday activities can help to keep us alert; learn new things; and make those unique connections that define creativity.
Peace, love and inspiring travel,