French. Yes French. I have been studying French for over 5 years and where has it taken me? Nowhere. Sure I went to Paris for a few days with my orchestra. I think I said 5 sentences and most of them I botched up. Admittedly I want my second chance and I am one step closer to getting it.
I am hoping to study abroad in Paris next year. I am both excited and nervous! I still have to apply to the program but I am hoping to get in and be able to spend time in the city of love!
As I was thinking about it today I thought back to all the ways that travel has shaped my writing. Traveling is an incredibly inspiring tool for a writer and one I would encourage others to pursue as well.
Whether you’re perusing markets in India, sipping coffee at a café in Paris, white water rafting in Australia, or trying a taco for the first time, there is nothing more inexplicable than the joy of trying something new.
Traveling takes you out of your comfort zone. It forces you to be somewhat stressed and confused as you enter into a completely new culture. However, this discomfort forces you to think more. You see a bigger picture when you travel and that is part of what I love so much.
A voyage is food for a person’s soul (a writer’s especially). New sights, new food, new languages, new culture. There is so much to see, so much to do. Some might think traveling is only useful if you are going into travel writing, but I would have to disagree.
Imagine writing a poem at that Parisian café and how different it might be from one written in your bedroom? Imagine the exciting novel you could write after your whitewater rafting trip? There is so much more potential abroad.
Of course I am not encouraging readers to abandon jobs, spend countless amounts of money and leave America for the rest of their lives. Rather I am encouraging those who have not seen much more of the world than their small town to venture out. It doesn’t even have to be abroad. It can be a hiking trip. It could be a local town you haven’t visited yet. Explore. Go out. Have an adventure! You never know what you might find along the way.