Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. – Ray Bradbury
I love that, don't you? The idea of stuffing your eyes with wonder. One of my favorite things is discovering something new, someplace I've never been to, whether it is in my hometown, or on the opposite side of the world.
When I was a little girl, I used to dream about running away.
Not to get away from anything. My parents were awesome, my little brother was tolerable most days, and I was generally a happy kid. But still...running away. Even when I was six years old, I knew there were places in the world I'd never seen, and I wanted to discover them. I wanted to be the next Huckleberry Finn, sailing along the river, or when I got older, Indiana Jones, discovering ancient secrets and places no one had seen in a thousand years.
Guess what? I still want all that.
I want my eyes stuffed so full of wonder I cry. I want to experience authentic dreams and use them to enrich the worlds I create in my books. I want to be surprised.
Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller. – Ibn Battuta
The greatest storytellers were travelers. Ernest Hemmingway, Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, John Steinbeck, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf...so many! You know why?
Travel gives you space to think and create.
Even when you are with others, being in a new place helps you find the quiet places. A pub with the rain gently falling outside and the fire crackling in the hearth in Ireland. The rustle of grape leaves and the salt tang of the ocean on the breeze in France. The exhilarating, breath-stealing wind on the open seas. All the openness, the newness...it serves to open something up inside of you and help you discover sides to yourself you never knew existed.
Plus, there are physical benefits to travel...
I want a heart attack!
Said no one ever. Writing has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety (unless, of course, you are on deadline...let's just put a pin in that caveat).
Travel has been proven to reduce the risk of heart attacks, depression, and improve brain health. Now put those two together... you got it. Writing Travel.
Traveling around the world while on a writing retreat may very well be the best thing you ever do for your brain, your heart, your stress levels, and your soul. Why not give it a try?
“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.” – Anna Quindlen