Writing While On Vacation: Is There Any Time?
Short answer is yes, but it wouldn't be much of a blog post if I ended it with that. Between the air travel, hotel coordination and desperation to getting to everything that's on your to-do list while touring another part of the world, it's hard to think about writing when so much adventure is happening around you. When you're so busy planning all your stops, how can you even fit writing into the itinerary? Well surprisingly, it's easier than you think. Even when traveling from hotel to hotel (or even backpacking from place to place) there's downtime we don't think about having when gallivanting about another country. Let's start with your more essential tool in this inevitable list you know I'm about to put together.
1) Journal Writing
This is the one piece of advice I always hammer over the head of someone who asks me. Journals come an all shapes and sizes, but more importantly, most come in very portable sizes. I'll admit there are many times I don't even look at the journal in my purse at work, but I always bring it with me. In fact, I have a journal in every bag waiting to be used (I got tired of forgetting my journal at home when I switched purses, so I bought a bunch). I always weight it though, and many times that enough to motivate me to pull it out and start writing. Circling back to traveling, however, whether you've got a backpack on your back or a purse on your shoulder (locks on zippers recommended), remember to have a journal tucked away somewhere just in case inspiration hits. You never know when you find yourself waiting for public transit, food at a cafe or have time to people watch while you chug a bottle of water. There are plenty of times while traveling that you're going to find yourself waiting on something. Inspiration's also going to hit when you least expect it; better have a journal handy for it!
2) In Your Hotel Room
Didn't rough it this vacation? Perfect! You know those beautiful, big wooden desks they have in the corner of the room? I do, and since the "Do Not Disturb" sign's on my door at the beginning or end of the day anyway, it's a perfect time to sit and write. I love those wide-spread surfaces the have and how I can just spread out and write. Not to mention there's always a lovely lamp for the end of the day writing sessions I fully intend to have.
3) During Jet Lag
You're not sleeping anyway, right? Jet lag times are my best times for writing. Being in a completely different timezone's poorly mixed with my insomnia and after hours on a plane, my portable video games and books have just lost their vigor. Well, guess it's time to write until my mind decides it can sleep. If you're roughing it and didn't get the oversized desk in the corner, I'd recommend a portable clip light. They sell them everywhere.
4) During All Transit
I already touched on this one before with an earlier point, but there's more to say on this one. Long flights, train rides, railways, etc. are great times to get it out, especially when you're on the initial and final trip of your journey. The flight to your vacation is always super exciting, so channel that hype and get writing. The trip back gives you that somber yet satisfied feeling that you're ready to get home but still want to live in the magic of having just explored something new, let that flow into your writing. Don't underestimate the power of both anticipation and reflection, primarily when you can use those feelings to enhance your writing.
Summer vacations are so much fun and always the much-needed getaways everyone needs, remember that inspiration will be lurking in every inch of wherever you're going next. Holiday or not, don't let the inspiration of different worlds go to waste.