How Solo Travel Inspires Creative Writing

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With the abundance of seasonal flight promos, hotel booking discounts, and group travel deals, travelers save more and supposedly enjoy trips better when there’s a significant other or a group to go with. Economically speaking, it really may be cheaper when paying in bulk, especially for transportation costs and room stays. However, as the years passed, more and more companies related to the tourism industry have opened their doors to solo travelers, offering transient rooms and tour groups that only require payment for one.

The stigma attached to solo travel has long been eradicated with the acceptance that traveling is a way to clear one’s head, see more of the world, and add valuable experiences to life. In the same vein, travel can also inspire creative writers by providing unbridled space for personal thought and reflection--one very important ingredient for creating beautiful prose.

Listed below are some of the reasons why traveling alone can spark bits of inspiration for creative writers.

You can read freely.

Reading can be quite a challenge when traveling with a group that’s loud and always raring to go. When you’re alone, you’re free to assign certain times of day to dig into that novel you’ve been wanting to finish. Since you’re in an environment that's different than what you’re used to, your mind is free to wander into the unknowns of the character you’re reading about without thinking of familiar concerns that might arise during your usual daily routines.

Your train of thought is boundless.

Sometimes, the silence of isolation may be too deafening that you end up craving for a bit of social interaction. This can be overcome, especially when you broach the wide expanse of your thoughts, undisturbed. You get to think deeper about the political, philosophical, and sociological implications of your favorite novels or stories. With a creative process that isn't limited or interrupted, you're more likely to come up with a better finalized idea that you can use for your next book or creative project.

You hear interesting stories from places far and wide.

What’s normal where you come from may not even be accepted where you’re going. Every place is different and that’s what makes it an adventure. Often, you find the most interesting, unique, or extreme anecdotes when you move away from your comfort zone, when you’re out there discovering what people have to say. Every place has a lore or legend, learn it. Mingling with the locals and fellow travelers or even just observing how people treat each other in varying situations can open you up to ideas for dialogue or plot twists that you may otherwise not have thought of sitting at home.

Your world becomes a stage.

In a way, solo travel is also practice for creating and forming stories. You will notice that the way you introduce yourself to new people, how you weave facts and pull experiences to make you sound interesting are, in fact, creative devices that teach you a lot about public perception. When you go alone, you are free to be whoever you want to be, without your friends or family judging you by how you tell stories, which limits your capacity to think creatively. As the solo Pacific Crest Trail hiker and “Wild” author Cheryl Strayed so eloquently said, “Alone had always felt like an actual place to me, as if it weren’t a state of being, but rather a room where I could retreat to be who I really was.”

Posted 2 October, 2015

Rowena Diocton

Technical Writer | Online Content Creator

Hello there! I am a technical writer and editor who writes for technology companies. I have written about technical marketing, news and journalism, digital marketing, travel, and lifestyle topics. I have edited newsletters, fiction and nonfiction manuscripts, white papers, and web articles. I work as a full-time technical writer, but I accept editing and writing assignments during my free time....

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