Are You a Wannabe Traveler?

Millennium Bridge in front of the Tate Modern Museum in London, England

Do you love the idea of travel?

Does the thought of taking a weekend or a week to focus on your writing seem like a dream?

When Jenna and I were planning the London writers’ retreat, so many people commented, “I’d love to do that, but I can’t because….

“I can’t afford it.”

“I have to be home for family members.”

“I don’t have a passport.”

“I can’t be away that long.”

And on and on.

Here’s the truth: If you have a job and/or a family, it’s never easy to get away—even if getting away means secluding yourself at the local coffee shop for a few hours.

I recently received a newsletter from my friend and fitness coach, Ashley Mahaffey. Her words struck a chord with me, and if you’re a closet adventurer or wannabe traveler they may resonate with you, too. Here’s what she wrote:

Have you ever considered scheduling your adventures?

There is an exercise that I do regularly each month where I list the 3 ways I’ll put adventure into my month.  It doesn’t have to be a plane trip away.  It could be as easy as taking a 10-minute walk under the stars after dinner.  I guarantee that there will be a shift when you return.

I challenge you to pick 3 adventures you’ll put on the schedule this month.  Write them down.

A trip—whether it’s across town, across the state or across the ocean—doesn’t happen without planning. And if it’s a big trip, like a European excursion or a Caribbean cruise, you may have to save up to cover the expenses, fill out and turn in the paperwork for your passport or passport renewal , and secure your hotel, car, air travel and childcare arrangements several months in advance.

Some of those things can be handled now. Why not take Ashley’s advice and schedule your adventures… or at least plan for them.

  • If you don’t have a passport, get one!
  • If you don’t have extra cash lying around, start a serious travel fund.  (Serious means saving upwards of $85-100 a week so you can take a trip in the next few months… not in the next few years.)

In the meantime, create your own mini writing retreats. Regularly block out a few hours a week for uninterrupted writing. Rather than thinking, I’ll write sometime this week, put it on your calendar. Let your spouse and kids know you will be writing for three hours on Saturday morning or Thursday evening… or whenever you can find an open chunk of time in your schedule.

Ashley said “there will be a shift when you return.” She, of course, is speaking from a health perspective. An adventure refreshes and re-energizes you physically and mentally. But getting away from your daily routine—whether it’s for a few hours, a few days… or even for a few weeks—also allows you to look at the world and your writing in a different light.

Start scheduling your adventures!  The idea of travel is great, but actually taking a trip is absolutely fabulous. Don’t just dream about it… do it.

To whet your appetite for adventure I’ve included a few pictures from our “European excursion” this summer. The retreat was in London, but Jenna and I flew in early and visited Paris. After the retreat I went to Vilseck, Germany and Verona, Italy, and Jenna went back to Paris. Kristen Eckstein, a friend a speaker for the retreat, stayed in London for a few days then trekked to Scotland.

(Travel tip: Getting there is half the battle! If you’re attending a meeting or retreat, plan to stay a few extra days or weeks and see the sights!)

Jenna in front of the Lourve Museum in Paris

Erin, Jenna and Kristen in London

Erin visiting the Bamberg Palace in Germany

The view from my room in Verona, Italy

We’re already planning ahead for another writing adventure. Where in the world would you like to go? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Love to write? Love to travel? Do both on our next My Writers’ Connection Workshop & Retreat! Register today!

Kristen Eckstein - October 5, 2011

Well you know I love to travel, since I’ve attended one cruise & spoke at the London retreat! I recommend, especially on the non-cruise retreats, that you schedule extra days (or weeks) to explore the culture. After all, the airfare costs the same either way! My husband accompanied me to the London retreat and for the following two weeks we rented a car and drove through southern England, Wales, and Scotland. We visited countless castles, a few cathedrals, and got to see a lot of amazing sights, plus learned about the culture both past and present. The research we did visiting places will help in the fantasy book series my husband is writing, and I was able to shoot video tips along our journey to teach valuable writing tips and insights. It was a ton of fun, so make sure you seriously consider signing up for a My Writers Connection retreat soon!
~Kristen 🙂

    Erin K Casey - October 10, 2011

    Thanks for sharing, Kristen! We were thrilled to have you join us as a speaker and loved meeting Joe!

    I think you’ve mastered the art of combining work and fun!

Ashley Mahaffey - October 5, 2011

This is great! I know you all lead amazing writing adventures. How cool that you can cruise the blue waters then hit Big Ben, too.

    Erin K Casey - October 10, 2011

    It is pretty amazing, Ashley! And I appreciate that you teach people like me how to add a little fitness in while I’m traveling. I wish I had kept track of all the miles I walked in Italy!

Michelle Colon-Johnson - December 13, 2016

I recently participated in your Caribbean Cruise Writers Retreat and it was just what the doctor ordered. I planned ahead, made accommodations for my family at home, and even made accommodations for my own personal health concerns. As NIKE is known for saying,” Just Do It!”. I could have made a million excuses on why I could not get away– but in the end it came to how could I not get away.

I met some amazing people, had a great time, kicked my creative juices into action, and made some memories!

    Erin K Casey - December 13, 2016

    I am SO GLAD you joined us, Michelle! Getting away from the daily grind gets our creativity flowing, for sure! Thank you for being part of the 2016 event and for sharing YOUR wisdom and expertise with the group. Blessings!

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