“When travel is viewed through a lens of personal development, it becomes more than a getaway and more of a gateway; we travel not just to change location, but also our perspective. Yet it’s only when combined with active observation and self-examination that a voyage truly change us.”
I have been procrastinating this blog post for quite some time as this book made a wonderful impact on my writing but if you are a regular follower of my blog, you may have noticed that I am referring to this special writing in some of my previous posts. The purpose of procrastination was to allow time to ripen the gained insights.
Writing Away should be every travellers’ bible: both on their selves and in their backpacks. This profound piece of art is not just about how to chronicle our travel experiences but also about the way we behave, feel and perceive the things that are happening to us outside of our comfort zones as unfamiliarity is something that can truly change us and the way we look at the world. Its aim is to show how to observe the new environment – and our role in it – and preserve the meaningful aspects with a more conscious approach. Having said that, this book has psychological and anthropological meanings: we can learn how to slow our cognitive process down in the moment and learn to preserve the newly gained insights in a way which would not only help to re-experience the written world again but also to provide a profound story for our future generation.
The author recommends having a blank journal in order to not feel limited between the lines: it helps you to spice your story up with pictures, drawings in order to truly preserve a memory. Creating your own creative world without being restricted is the core thing in travel journaling as “an absence of lines leaves room for imagination to take over.”
The end of Chapter 3 focuses on writers’ block and provide some ideas on how to move on from this limiting period. As far as I am concerned, I don’t believe in writers’ block. Chances are that infertile days, weeks or months occur without chronicling anything meaningful, however, it does not mean that there aren’t any ongoing war in the wild woods of a writer’s soul. So my core theory that a writer’s mind is never empty, it is always observing and analysing something, it is unstoppable. And the silent periods are indeed and inseparable part of any creative process where the purpose of time is to ripen any meaningful realizations into something innovative.
I am not a highly experienced traveller, like Lavinia Spalding, but since I live in London, I have first-hand experience about the forming effect of leaving our familiar environment. Wherever we travel, wherever we relocate, one thing remains the same: our inner barriers, the never learnt lessons, the insurmountable obstacles that we are carrying with ourselves to everywhere. Chances are that a new environment won’t reveal these things for a short period of time because of a new experience, but as the new becomes a well-known routine, we will soon face the problems that we have not solved in the past.
Writing Away functionates as a profound life-discovering journey and it is highly recommended for every traveller for an exciting journey throughout the world and into ourselves.