Travel AND Create? Can these co-exist?

travel and create

Travel AND Create? Can these co-exist?

travel and createAs I was thinking about plans and courses for the retreats I would like to offer, I came to a realization. Sometimes we travel, and that is enough. We see so much to reflect on and enjoy, that being brought back to the real world and being made to respond to it right away can be jarring. Likewise, when being totally caught in the moment while creating, it is very frustrating to be brought back to reality – no matter how alluring the treat being offered.

That was the easy part of this thought. Now I am trying to work out what the tours would look like if they don’t actively combine traveling and creating. Would the travel be purely for the joy of the experience? Would it be anything more than a curated tour of interesting places and the chance to see artisans at work? Would it be frustrating not to have time even to jot down the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the day? Clearly the two elements cannot be neatly severed if it is to appeal to those who love to create, write and capture experiences.

On the other hand, if the primary purpose is to create, or learn how to create something, then create and share it, then this sounds like an art retreat. Beyond having one’s creature comforts met, it is less important where the retreat is held. The outside environment isn’t the key to the success of the event, instead it is the wonderful alchemy that arises from the personalities and experiences that those who participate bring.

Slowly I realized that my initial idea had been to find a space in a beautiful location, to offer workshops and have what amounts to an art retreat. The location however would serve as a backdrop to the event. There would be time to walk to the beach, visit the nearby village, chat to one another, and at the conclusion to spend time visiting the area simply for the pleasure of seeing it. When the location I had selected proved to be too small to accommodate the number of people I had envisioned, I let that dream go.

Maybe it is now time to brush it off again and consider the reality of hosting a smaller gathering. Not everyone loves being in a large group, so maybe capping the group at 6-8 people would work better. Not only would the smaller number make for a closer knit group, but it would appeal more to those who are shy, or simply prefer to be around fewer people. The retreat would last for 3-4 days, leaving 3-4 days to further explore and enjoy the location – or allow time to continue to create if desired.

The second location I considered has so many artists and folk history to observe and experience, that it could well be too much to return after a day to have an art lesson. I often find myself drawn to writing as a response to what I’ve seen or experienced, while creating art is a later response that takes time to come to the surface. Maybe the second location is one where the primary experience would be to enjoy and consume the offerings of the location, but allowing down time to write, reflect, or simply have a cup of tea. There would be a group of like-minded people to travel with and enjoy the location, which as a solo traveler is something I would enjoy.

So what would you prefer to do on a week’s vacation? Simply create art and maybe travel more or travel and savor, then create at your leisure? How would traveling AND creating look to you?

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