|The Eiffel Tower, after 10PM :)|
Backpacking western Europe for three weeks, from mid-July to early-this month, was a seriously amazing and unlike-anything-else experience. From London to Rome, my BFF/travel partner and I took a lot of rides on the aforementioned Feelings Rollercoaster. We dealed with issues we couldn't have predicted, and we saw beauty we couldn't have imagined. I came home with the sense that I had inadvertently learned a few things - not just about traveling and myself, but about writing.
It's easy to apply travel lessons to story-writing, maybe because the two activities are so similar. Just like traveling, writing takes you into another world, one where you don't know exactly what's going on, but are always hoping for the best. To use two cheesy expressions, both writing and traveling expand the mind and help you see things from a different perspective.
So what were these double-applicable lessons? I'm super happy to share!
|Outside the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice! :)|
#2: Negative thoughts? Kick 'em into the Seine! Arriving in Paris, the BFF and I were met with clouds, rain, and cold. It mostly stayed that way for the four days we were there. But you know what? It wasn't that bad. It would have been easy to spend the whole time complaining and wishing it were sunny. But we were in Paris - and traveling there was awesome, cold rain or not. It's good to think of writing in the same way. Even when problems arise - even when it seems like the clouds will never part over your story - remembering how wonderful it is just to be writing can mean the difference between existential despair and a finished draft.
|The beautiful streets of Nice!|
|Rome's tiny cars FTW.|
Is it good to take precaution? Definitely. Pre-planning, outlines, rough drafts, travel insurance, safety gear: these are all things meant to stop mistakes from occurring, or at least from having long-term consequences. But mistakes themselves aren't bad, and it's no use avoiding them like they're death traps. You can always recover (i.e.: by thanking the stars your travel partner had an extra copy of your train ticket) and walk away having gained important knowledge (i.e.: don't leave train tickets on hostel beds). And gaining important knowledge is part of what traveling and writing are all about!
Well, that's it for writing lessons learned while backpacking Europe. The trip really was incredible - I wish every single one of you had been there with me. And I can't wait to go on another one... and possibly learn a few more things! :) Bon journée, everyone, and ciao for now!