It may be known that I don't like February so much - winter bleakness bums me out! - so it's a time rife with fantasy.I block weeks out of my calendar with things like "Go to California" when I haven't booked a ticket or made real plans.
I ask myself things like, "If you could go anywhere next month, if money and time were not obstacles, where would you go and why?"
Then I answer.I'd go to Bali. I'd go there because I hear it is beautiful, colorful and sacred, and when the winter blahs come after me, I need those precious things.
By the way, after I declared that I wanted to go to Bali, I was invited to go speak at a writing workshop there. Unfortunately I'll be in Rome in October, but I can't help thinking it was a bit of journey juju, n'est-ce pas?Share your dream trip here so you can enjoy your dream and real trips even more. And maybe invoke some of your own journey juju!
One winner will be drawn at random from comments left here before March 1st, 2010. Tell your friends - help everyone defeat winter blahs with luscious travel fantasies!
Bonus giveaway! Name the locations of the first two photos above and I'll give you a copy of The Creative Toolkit for Travelers for being extra clever. The last photo was taken in Portugal, near Sintra.
Curious about my upcoming Curious Amsterdam Excursion?
Please join me for a telephone call to quench your curiosity about this unique creativity workshop.
The free call will take place on Wednesday, February 24th at 9:00 am MST (8 PST, 10 CST, 11 EST, 5 pm in Amsterdam). I will record and publish the recording so you can listen if you cannot come on Wednesday.
Call this number 1-218-936-4700. When prompted, enter this secret code: 194333.
There's a lot to talk about so please send me your questions in advance. Or just show up curious.
Curious Amsterdam: Tap Your Creative Juju June 13 - 19th, 2010. Early registration discount ends February 28th.
Sign up here. Bring a friend and save $100 - enough for bike rental and a meal or two in Amsterdam!
Stay tuned for more information about Amsterdam for creative travelers, including my biking tips, market recommendations and shopping gems.
I love bicycling in Amsterdam and want to share a short video with you. Come ride with me in Amsterdam!
Watch closely for Vondeldog!
Want to go biking in Amsterdam? Join my Curious Excursion for a unique creativity and writing workshop in Amsterdam, June 13 - 19th, 2010.
Curious Excursions from Original Impulse
You see inspiration for art in the world all around you, but you haven’t picked up a paintbrush or even a piece of sketching charcoal in months. You know that you want to be a writer – but you have pages of notebooks left unfilled. You’re starting to question your creative capabilities. Maybe you don’t really have the magic to create art inside you.Don’t despair. If you’ve lost your creative juju, we know the perfect way to gather more.
When my computer died in Paris in February, I still had five weeks left of my life as a creative nomad in Europe. I really wanted to crawl into a cave and hibernate but circumstances forced me to keep going. (As they often do.)
The only thing I felt I could change was my pace. I decided to slow down. Slow way the heck down.
I believe that it's hard to be in a state of grace if you're hurrying.
This lesson pretty much accompanies everything I do. In every moment I can slow down, be more present, more full of grace.
It's what I want most for myself and for all of you. Try it, today, a bit of a slower pace.
Still, window displays in Europe are killingly tempting and it’s hard to resist the lure of a stunning garment artfully displayed. The clever and classy windows of Florence and Paris are part of the urban art and demand to be appreciated. It’s free to look and slowing down for leche-vitrine (window licking, in French) is part of slowing down to relish the city’s artfulness.
Boots and shoes in particular became the focus of our shopping. Florence, famous for leather goods, flaunted an abundance of footwear. I scanned shop after shop for boots because I’d decided that I could stand another pair of boots.
After breakfast in Cinque Terre, lunch in Florence, we bussed to the airport, where I applied a spritz of Bulgari perfume, and got on a plane to Amsterdam.
We arrived late on a Friday night. Mr. B and I made our way to our apartment, dropped our stuff off, went shopping for breakfast supplies and laundry detergent, threw a load of clothes in, and headed out for a late dinner.
The guy we rented the apartment from gave us directions to a street where he assured us there were plenty of restaurants. But when we found the street, it was like some kind of joke. We passed Italian restaurant after Italian restaurant. “No!” I shouted every time I saw one. Then burst out laughing at the absurdity of it. This is some kind of weird food juju.
Finally we found a place that looked open and not Italian. It was Daar Baand, a Persian restaurant. I have eaten Persian food, homemade for me by my friend and leadership tribe mate Parisa, who is from Iran. But this food was different.
We ordered several small dishes: two kinds of eggplant, dolmas, Everything that was hot had a crust of cheese baked on top. I’ve never eaten dolmas hot with melted cheese. The eggplant dishes were the best. All of it was great, washed down with beer.
If I’d not been so travel weary I would have written down or drawn what we had. All I have are some bad photos.Daar Baand for breaking the Italian food spell.
Considering I took two five-week-long trips in 2009, it’s hard to choose a best one. But the memory that thrills me the most is visiting Cinque Terre, Italy, for the first time in April.
I was alone, and despite this being a place renowned for its romantic aura, I was absolutely delighted to be there. The water, the pastel houses stacked on the cliffs, the seafood and pasta, the hiking I was blissed out.
I loved it so much I went back in October, and it was just as beautiful. My two favorite photos of myself were taken in Cinque Terre.
I’ve enjoyed plenty of travel this year (two five-week trips in Europe, phew!). I’m happy to store my suitcase and buckle down on my winter projects. I have a backlog (would that be a back-blog?) of posts about my recent trip that I’ll be posting soon.
Stay tuned for reports on shopping in Europe, the variety of European markets, best places to eat in Venice and the best overall food award…it’s probably not what you think!
And watch for news of my 2010 European creativity excursions. I'm developing the curriculum now!
My posts about how to make writing and creating easier are on the Original Impulse blog. Travel-related posts will be on the Journey Juju blog.
Be sure to subscribe to both blogs for tips and inspiration on how to be most creative at work, home, in the studio and on the road.