The place that Amy calls “World Headquarters” is a townhouse filled with beautiful objects gathered on her many travels. She imports textiles and home décor. Her business was intentionally designed to include plenty of opportunities to feed her wanderlust—and her friends and business associates consider her one of the most creative people they know.
It wasn’t always like this, Amy says. In the days before she became an entrepreneurial gypsy she worked for several years in a retail store. Even though that brought her in contact with many different people—and the store’s inventory frequently changed—she credits her travels with opening her creative and entrepreneurial spirit.
Now Amy comes back from every trip with a notebook full of ideas she’s gathered along the way. “There’s something about being in a new place, with new people that seems to make me more alert,” she says.
Amy is not the only one to discover that a change of scenery can be a creative catalyst. Monet, Signac, Browning, and Ruskin are just a few of the artistic souls who left home to find fresh inspiration in Venice. Author Frances Mayes was an unknown college writing professor until she moved to Tuscany…and shared her passion for her new home in her book, Under the Tuscan Sun.
Although it’s wonderful to have a faraway place that can be a source of creative renewal, your Muse may not require you to travel so far. Peter is a writer and has taken to walking around a favorite lake near his home. He claims that his best writing ideas are generated on those walks which get him out of his home office.
On one of his walks, Peter, who also does career counseling with college students, realized that often the solution to an unhappy work situation is to relocate to a different environment. As he says, “It’s not just the ‘what’ of our work. It’s also the ‘where’.”
It’s hard to know where “where” is if we haven’t done some exploring and discovered those places and people that call forth our best self.
Julia Cameron, who wrote The Artist’s Way to help people stimulate their creativity, is an enthusiastic proponent of regular adventures to get the juices flowing.
“Once a week I take some small adventure, an artist’s date. And I do mean small. I go to the fabric store. I visit the button shop. I sneeze as I enter a dusty secondhand bookstore. I take myself to a pet shop and go to the bird section…I declare an hour off limits from hurried production and I have the chance to marvel at my own being.”
Entrepreneurs who have expanded their business while earning money as they travel agree that it adds a new dimension to their work, but there’s more to this than just supporting your wanderlust.
A change of scenery can give us a new insight into who we are and what we can accomplish. When we step outside of the familiar and into a strange environment, we are challenged to be more alert, more aware, more open and curious. Those are some big rewards for jumping on a train or airplane—or taking a walk in a new neighborhood.
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