I am by no means an expert on traveling. I'm not a travel agent nor do I have any experience traversing the world on foot; but while I'm not an expert, I know the value of it. With this journal I wanted to share my views on what it means to be a nomad; to take experiences and interactions and turn them into something that can fuel creativity. This project is a manifestation of my own beliefs about travel and creativity, and like any creative endeavor, you can take it or leave it.
There are countless scientific studies, online scholarly articles, blogs, books, and YouTube videos that cover the definition, concept, psychology, traits, and overall essence of creativity. It’s not a simple concept to define or identify because it’s up to an individual whether they identify as creative or not. It’s like love—only you can decide if you feel a certain way and if it’s genuine. The experience is different for everyone. Only you can decide if you’re creative, and everybody’s path is unique.
So the question is this: do you identify as a creative? Do you have an innate belief that you can bring something new to this world? An idea? A unique aesthetic? A new perspective? If so, then this journal is in the right hands.
Expensive resorts, fine dining, and exotic lands you can’t pronounce do not define travel. You don’t have to earn a six figure salary, cross an ocean, trek through dense jungles, or conquer Everest to identify as a nomad—that’s like saying you have to paint like Michelangelo to identify as a creative. Bullshit.
You do have to get off your ass though. If that means walking five blocks down the street to sit in a coffee shop or taking a walk in the woods and planting yourself under a tree, then so be it. It doesn’t matter how far you go because true creative nomads simply take time out of their busy schedules and relocate themselves to an unfamiliar, stimulating environment to absorb their surroundings—all with the intention of discovering something new or interesting that can be used later to fuel creativity. Inspiration is all around you.
What's that troupe? It's not what's on the outside, but the inside? So what's the meat of this thing? There are three main chapter prompts. Each part will either focus on a different aspect of your trip and provide prompts appropriate to the topic, or it will give you free reign. These aren’t assignments and you shouldn’t treat them as such. Blank pages are intimidating, but so are strict templates.
CHAPTER 1: THYSELF
Introspection is an art form in itself. It’s a strength not everybody possesses. For some, it comes naturally, for most...not so much. There are countless benefits to knowing your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes, your hopes and dreams. It helps when you focus on what matters to you, and that’s when learning kicks in. What it boils down to is listening to yourself and asking the right questions.
CHAPTER 2: PEOPLE
Unless you’re backpacking into the wilderness, chances are you’re going to encounter some people along your journey. It’s your choice whether or not you gain anything through these interactions, but it’s highly recommended. There are a lot of people on the planet—each one with a unique background and story. What would it be like to put yourself in their shoes, even for a moment? How different would their life be from yours? How similar?
It’s a big world out there. There are seven continents with 195 countries on the planet. That’s not including the 139.7 million square miles of ocean. Chances are you’re not going to travel every single square inch it. If you do, you’re not going to fit it into one journal. Rather than checking off places like a to-do list, take time to really learn about the place you’re traveling to or currently in. In this segment, you will focus on your physical whereabouts. Focus on your surroundings and environment. Breathe in the air and embrace the scenery.
A section for the avid hoarder. 3 pockets for tickets, stubs, receipts, and whatnot.
PROCESS: MAKING A JOURNAL TAILORED FOR TRAVELERS
The project began as an 8 month endeavor for my senior thesis at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. The following is my process and the end result of my senior thesis project. I'm far from done developing it.