I love a good road trip. And I have been known to sing cheesy 80's songs at the top of my lungs on a windy road when no one can hear. ~ Morina Baccarin
Being at the start of school holidays, I am always trying to think of ways to occupy my daughter whilst juggling running a business. It can be tricky sometimes. Being the workaholic I can be, especially when I get into that creative space can sometimes be detrimental to me doing my best work. I've found the best way to 'disengage' from my business when it comes to holidays is to go on a road trip.
For creatives like myself, I've found road trips to be one of the best holiday options in as far as removing myself from being busy and feeding my creative muse.
Here are 7 best Things I've found about taking a Road Trip.
1. It forces us to RELAX!
Did I mention I can be a little of a workaholic? So getting out on the road physically forces me to remove myself from my office. And it also gets my daughter away from computers, devices and distractions. That goes for me too. So it's about bringing us back to present to just savour this moment in time. Getting behind the wheel of car, and just being in a car with the motion, watching the world go by and the feeling of going somewhere, is enough to help me begin to relax. And the thought of not having anywhere to be, to not be watching the clock or have responsibilities, I find, helps my whole body to start unwinding and 'feeling' what it is to be alive. And when we're relaxed we begin to look at the world completely differently. Which leads me to the next best thing about road trips.
2. It allows us to get a different PERSPECTIVE on life
Let's face it. When we're so busy 'doing' life, we can sometimes become resentful because we are so busy creating our ideal life, we forget to stop and realise that the very things we are trying to create are often right in front of us. If we only just stopped long enough to acknowledge it. So when we remove ourselves from the everyday grind and place ourselves somewhere else, it allows us the time and freedom to stop and actually notice what is around us. It gives us a deeper appreciation of what we already have and we can enjoy it again.
Road trips give us a sense of the vastness of the world we live in and all the beauty, magic and possibility there is right here and now. We realise how small we are and that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. It can often help us also see that the problems we thought were huge and insurmountable can seem quite small when we think of the world at large. Basically, it provides context for the fabric of our life.
3. It brings us back to the PRESENT
Are you a person who lives in the past or the future? I've found that most people live in either one, but rarely do we live in the present. I'm a 'thinking and planning for the future' kind of person. When you're on the road, you literally see all life before you. You are meeting the present head on. The present becomes so inviting and you just want to be there and savour each moment and start laying those experiences down in your memory bank, to draw upon when you eventually return to your 'normal, busy' life.
4. It allows greater opportunity for CONNECTION
In the world we live in where we spend so much time in cyberspace, on computers and our phones, we become 'disconnected'. We need to allow ourselves to be 'physically and mentally' present so that we can connect or reconnect not only with ourselves, but also with our children...our family, friends and other people.
And something we often forget to do, is to connect with the world around us. With nature, with the plant and animals that we share this world with. If we fail to connect with all of these things, we become self-absorbed, and we then can lose sight of the fact that everything we do impacts those around us and the world we live in. Through this disconnection, we can harm others and the world at large, thinking that what we do does not affect anyone or anything else, and so, we create a lack of empathy and understanding.
What I love about being in a car on a road trip with my daughter, or with my family, is that we don't have the pressure of having to be anywhere, so we actually have the time to really listen and feel what is being said. It allows us to really understand others, our families and to get to know more about who they really are as individuals. I am often amazed by the person my daughter is becoming when I actually stop and genuinely listen to her without placing any of my own 'motherly' biases on her and begin to see her as an individual who is in the beginning of her own life journey.
5. It allows us to create MEANINGFUL MEMORIES
Road trips are not only about the places we go, though that's important for us to anchor our memories. To give our memories more significance and meaning, the mere act of engaging with other people is one of the most powerful ways to cement them. Because we are more in the moment, we notice more of what is going on around us. Our view of the world changes and our perceptions. Our senses are more alive and engaged. Because we are utilising more of our senses, our memories attach more strongly in our minds and hearts. Have you ever been to a particular place and when you've returned home, you smell something...a fragrance, certain sounds (like waves crashing onto a beach) or maybe food , and it transports you back to that place? Well that's what I mean. And if you've shared a significant experience at that time and you've really connected with those you're with, then that memory attaches more strongly.
So when you begin to look back at times and periods in your life, it's the memories where you've felt a great emotional connection to something that was really important to you, or turning points in your life, that will be the most meaningful. With myself also, road trips are becoming a bit of a ritual that mostly my daughter and I do on school holidays. Rituals are also a way of forming deeper and more meaninful memories, because they become what is unique 'ours'. And of course, the fact that I love capturing the moment on film (as my daughter does too), makes it easier to go back and look at those photos and reflect upon these times together.
6. It's a great way to stimulate CREATIVITY
When we get to stop on our travels, if we plan it right and make time to be able to stop and take in where we are, we can quieten our minds because we are no longer preoccupied with deadlines and responsibilities. Freeing up our minds allows thoughts and ideas to then enter, and we can often experience 'AHA' moments or gain more clarity and focus during these times. For creatives like myself, periods of quiet and contemplation are a necessary part of what I need for myself and gives me access to the muse that keeps my creativity alive and flourishing. Solitude keeps my mind open to the energy of thoughts and ideas that are always there, if we but tune in to them (mind you, if you have children with you, that's not always easy to create, but it can be done and there are ways to ensure you get those times of solitude).
7. We can be transported in time with MUSIC
If you're anything like me, when I'm travelling any distance in a car, I feel safe and cocooned. I feel like I'm in a bubble, watching the outside world pass by. And when I'm listening to music it transports me to other places and times. I actually do a lot of daydreaming and visionary work while driving and listening to music. For me, music is one of my favourite methods of accessing my creative muse.
So how about you? Do you love road trips? And what do you love about them? I'd love for you to share your experiences. Because 'road trip' can mean different things to different people. That's the fun and interesting part. So feel free to share your own road trip versions in the comments below.
Ciao for now...I'm off again to spend more school holiday time with my daughter.
Kerry :) xox