Little Lessons #2: Change Up Routines

Nubby Twiglet | Little Lessons #2: Change Up Routines

When I’m stuck in the same place for too long, I lose perspective. When I walk the same route down the same streets every day, I don’t notice the flowers around me, the street art or the vintage signs emblazoned with inspiring typography.

The second I step foot into somewhere new, my mind races — I have visions of images I want to create, still lifes I want to arrange and much more ideas for client projects than I have when sitting at my desk. Travel keeps me inspired.

Traveling doesn’t have to be a big, orchestrated event. It can be a day trip to the beach or a smaller gesture like a drive across town to a neighborhood you haven’t explored or simply walking into a new coffee shop you’ve passed a million times but never took the time to stop into.

Last week, I traveled back to Palm Springs even though I’d just been there the month before. I had no good reason to be there. But then again, I had no good reason NOT to be there. Instead of listening to my practical side, I listened to my heart — I was feeling burnt out after a particularly trying month of remodeling around our house and a handful of rush design projects and I needed a break.

Walking through town, I snapped photos of plants, signs, store windows, palm trees, meals I ordered and even though I didn’t buy a single thing (except for the necessities like food, hotels and gas) I had the time of my life. So much so that I stayed in town an extra night.

My practical side always does kick in eventually — that extra night wasn’t in my original budget so I simply sped up a client timeline and delivered a project early which more than made up for that. It all worked out. It somehow always does, doesn’t it?

Sometimes, you need to loosen up the reigns and let yourself run free. Creativity can’t be put in a box. If you’re feeling stagnant, burnt out and lost, a day away might be all you need. Give yourself the permission to have some fun. Fill up the tank, grab some snacks at Trader Joe’s and hit the open road. And don’t forget to pack a notebook and pen because I promise you, that wave of inspiration you’ve been chasing will strike.

16 Responses to Little Lessons #2: Change Up Routines

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. I’ve been looking for a night or two away myself for the same reasons. There’s nothing like a new environment to give you a fresh perspective on things, recharge your batteries and fill you with inspiration!

    • Shauna says:

      Cheryn @ Ruby Square: I think it’s also partially about getting away from the pressures of home. All those little things like undone laundry and a sink full of dishes can make it hard to focus. The second I check into a hotel room, there’s that sense of relief. You can close the door and forget about that to-do list for awhile.

  2. Anni says:

    You’re absolutely right, travel is a great source of inspiration! I think it’s really important not only to pack that notebook and pen, but also to take the time to note down your ideas right there and then, whenever inspiration strikes. Because if you think you’ll still remember your ideas when you get back to your hotel, not to mention back home, a lot of the time you won’t…

  3. Love this. Working from home for an entire winter has certainly dulled things for me! I think we all like to make the ‘but I have no money’ excuse but the truth is that if you really want something, you can usually make it work.

    • Shauna says:

      Natalie / Half Asleep Studio: Portland didn’t even have half as bad of a winter as everyone else but I’ve felt that same dullness. And while I try to budget, there are just those times where you have to throw caution to the wind and live a little. There are always ways to make up for it if you’re crafty enough.

    • Shauna says:

      kat – rocknrollbride: I know….first I skipped out on Whistler and then followed that up by going to Palm Springs without you! Sorry excuse for a friend. 😉

  4. Melinda says:

    Definitely needed to hear this. My anxiety has been wound up tight these past few weeks. Maybe just a day getaway somewhere close by is just what I need. Or a fossil hunt out near Austin…


  5. TOTALLY agree with this. I always feel more inspired when I travel. But even something as simple as taking five minutes away from my desk to make a coffee, or a lunchtime stroll around the park can make a difference too. Sometimes you need to distract your brain so it can be truly creative. Thanks for sharing. x

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  8. Jeanie Aloia says:

    Simply reading your article and all the creative responses was enough to get me up out of my comfort zone chair and out into the open air. I am always snapping interesting pictures of the world around me, glad to know others are also participating in SEE AND BE INSPIRED.

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