When I need time to reflect on what I’ve seen, to process incoming information, I take a long walk without my notebook and let thoughts flow.
If anything really important comes to mind, it can be written down when I get back to my room or bolt hole.
The idea is to release myself from the pressures of having to notice and write. Usually, a couple of hours “off duty” provides a fresh start.
Interesting that some of my most compelling travel encounters happened while I was just wandering without a particular objective. Just be where you are, with calm awareness.
Trust that you’ll find enough material to write about, so that you can take time away from your plans and objectives.
As Shunryu Suzuki writes in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind,
“When you do something, if you fix your mind on the activity with some confidence, the quality of your state of mind is the activity itself. When you are concentrated on the quality of your being, you are prepared for the activity.”
Make time to focus on yourself and how you are feeling as a traveler, then inspiration and activity will emerge. Concentrate on sensing yourself in the place where you are, noticing all that is going around you. Put your energy into your senses, so that your eyes, ears, nose, skin and mouth take in all the ambient information. Prepare yourself to be an attentive observer and you will be doing the activity itself.
Excerpt from: Travel Writing: See the World, Sell the Story
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