I’m currently in Burgos, Spain, in the second week of a month-long writing retreat while travelling to research the third novel in a trilogy. Travel is an extraordinary thing. It makes us change gear, it takes us out of our comfort zones and normal routines, it makes us experience life as the outsider in some small sense.
In short, it teaches us a great deal that should make the writing stronger and deeper. I got a sense of this last year when I had the opportunity to research my latest novel, A Remedy for All Things, the follow-up to This is the End of the Story, in Budapest. But what I’m learning has been massively added to by this trip.
1. Exhilaration changes us
Abraham Maslow describes peak experiences as:
rare, exciting, oceanic, deeply moving, exhilarating, elevating experiences that generate an advanced form of perceiving reality, and are even mystic and magical in their effect upon the experimenter.
Experiences that interrupt our routine rhythms, that give us the chance to experience awe and gratitude, result in adjustments to how we perceive the world.
2. Time is precious, yet it’s possible to be time rich…
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