What I Learned From 12 Trips in 12 Months


12 Trips in 12 Months: What I Learned by Amanda Folk on #createlounge

In 2016 it was my New Year’s Resolution to travel at least once a month.

And I did it! I will talk your ear off about the many reasons why I think you should travel, but it was only after I completed this challenge did I realize just how much travel affects creativity.

Spoiler alert: travel affects creativity IMMEASURABLY! I thought it would be fun to share some creative lessons I learned while I was traveling.

Create Like the Culture

Instead of buying a hand-knit sweater in Iceland, I picked up a skein of Icelandic wool with the intent of creating something myself. When I get the chance to take a cooking class in a place, it allows me to create something in the style of the locals. If you lean in to the culture and create like they do, you’re opening yourself up to so many creastive possibilities!

Planning is a Type of Creativity

Holy MOLY. Getting schedules to align perfectly is something just shy of a miracle. And sometimes you just have to let go of perfection, just like you do in the creative world. How many times do you talk about getting the perfect balance of structure and freedom in your creative process? I find traveling is just like that and it is the perfect excuse to practice it often!

Storytelling is Why I Travel

I’ve had hints and pieces of this put together in my mind before, but 2016 this really hit me. I was happiest when a local or a traveler was telling me his or her story. I’m working to find my voice and the confidence to share my own story as well. Sometimes I do it through blogging, but I am almost bursting at the seams with the possibilities.  

In-Person Collaboration is Something Special

I love Twitter just as much as the next creative, but once you take those relationships offline and sit down with a creative pal and just chat - magic happens. My travels have allowed me to talk to a handful of creatives I met on social media and I couldn’t be happier. There’s something special about chatting in person, and if traveling helps me do that - you can bet I’m staying on the road as much as I can.

New Interests Pop Up...

How many days of my life have I ever thought about carrying around a sketchbook? I’d say close to 0. I have no drawing/sketching ability whatsoever and my art teacher growing up will back me up on this. Through my travels, I’ve seen a bunch of things that I instantly want to try sketching and covering with watercolors. What!? You never know where you’ll find inspiration (but stay tuned to see if I’m confident enough to follow through…).

...And Old Interests Are Pushed to Improve

I love looking at a good photographer’s work. It can immediately transport you to a place and overwhelm your senses. I would LOVE to work on my photography more so I can get a step closer to this. My travels over the past year have really highlighted this and have given me creative direction. When I see many incredible places and people, the desire to “give it justice” grows.

But You Don’t Always Have to Create Something

There are moments when traveling is just enough, when a moment is just enough. I found that if I put too much pressure on myself to be thinking “what can I create from this?” it was easy for me to get sucked out of the moment. Sometimes a perfect moment is all you need it to be. 

Amanda Folk for #createlounge


Amanda Folk is an exercise physiologist by day and bucket list enabler all the time. She finds her creative inspiration through travel and the outdoors, but is “creative curious“ - She doesn’t have a preferred medium and tries just about anything! Fun fact: she can only wink with her right eye…but that doesn’t stop her from making some seriously funny faces trying otherwise!