As originally seen on cerebra.co.za in a guest post.

The creative process is an interesting thing. Everyone has their own methodologies, their own banks they visit for inspiration, and their own preferred times of day to get in the zone. Yet, as creative beings, we are all driven by this need to create; this need to make a mark and take what is in our head and put it out into the world. And, wow, it’s amazing when it happens. Whether it’s a new song we’ve written, a new move we’ve mastered, or new illustration style we’ve created. It’s surreal when we see it come to life.

Engelberg Switzerland | How Far From Home

Sometimes, however, we hit a rut. We get stuck and we don’t feel the inspiration we once felt. We get bored, and we may even look at our work and hate it, thinking either that it’s nothing special, or that it looks like all the other work we’ve created before.

It is at this point, where we need to shake things up. We need to do things differently, look at our world differently, and find a new source of stimulation.

Kallsedet Sweden | How Far From Home

By traveling, or breaking away from the things we call ‘home’ (‘home’ metaphorically meaning anything safe and comfortable,) we challenge our minds to view things through a different lens. We’re shaken up and suddenly we’re using a different part of our brain. Our innate creativity is required to be put to use, as we find ourselves needing to adapt to the new surroundings and new stimuli.

Chanel Cartell | How Far From Home

Travel makes you uncomfortable. It forces you to listen to your gut and adapt to the new environment. It drives you to experience new things and therefore sponge new things. Travel is the best method to rejig your creativity, no matter how far, or how long, you intend to go for.

What am I actually saying?

No, this is not an advertisement for global travel (although I do highly recommend it). I simply want to bring across the point that keeping still, breeds no innovation. Everything alive in this world moves, however subtly, as it flows with the giant forces of energy within. Creativity is a little bit..nay, A LOT, like this. The creative spark we each possess (and yes, we do all possess it) is constantly pulsating, constantly breathing, and constantly looking to expand. By getting outside, getting uncomfortable, and going on a mission to explore unfamiliar territories, we’re simply feeding our creative spark and allowing it to grow.

Lichtenstein original at the MUMOK, Vienna | How Far From Home

So go get out there! Choose a place that is completely unfamiliar to you. It is all relative of course, so depending on where and how you grew up, and what you call ‘home’, your destination will be chosen based on what is foreign and somewhat scary for you. We, for example, grew up in sunny South Africa, in city bustle always surrounded by thousands of people. When we chose our locations for our creative sabbatical, we quite literally, went for the polar opposite side of the world, spending 5 weeks living in Norway, in a town of not more than a few hundred people. We went from living in a clean, luxurious apartment that had sunshine beaming through, to a room in a wooden cabin that had been converted from a store room, surrounded by ice, snow, and muddy forests. The further you can get from your proverbial comfort zone, the better. If you’ve always preferred small crowds (or no crowds) than choosing somewhere chaotic and busy (like a weekend market) would be ideal.

Alta Norway | How Far From Home

You want to challenge yourself to do something that would make you feel uncomfortable and somewhat frightened. Fear and discomfort drive us to adapt in creative ways, so it is by pushing ourselves into these uncomfortable scenarios that we allow our true creative potential to peer through.

If you want to find out more, you can enrol in our latest Skillshare class, where we discuss the cure for creative block, and we challenge students to a fun project. Let us know what you think!


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  • Bruce Hill
    Posted at 11:18h, 15 February Reply

    I must both thank you and congratulate you both. I tend to get wrapped up so tightly in the day to day running of my life that all else seems to not exist. When your HFFH email lands in my in-box it is a stark reminder that there is a massive world out there. Your eyes see differently to mine and it is wonderful to be a part of your world and your travels through your words and pictures but most especially through your unique creative style. Being a photographer myself I found today’s piece particularly relevant and I am going to go and immerse myself in uncomfortableness at the first opportunity.
    Happy trails.
    Bruce Hill

    • howfarfromhomeblog@gmail.com
      Posted at 11:32h, 15 February

      Bruce your comment just made our day! So so happy to hear that we are inspiring you to push yourself 🙂 It’s honestly the best thing, and the more time you can commit to the big wide world, the happier (and more creative) you will be. Thank you for joining us on our journey!

  • Maria
    Posted at 22:46h, 26 February Reply

    Hi hi, guys! I’ve been following you for the last 4-5 month since I decided to launch my own blog. And actually, I was not searching anymore, since I found your blog! Really really compliments! You do what you love and you do it great! Thank you for being and example for me and I’ll be glad to see you at Feetoutofbed.com 😉

    • howfarfromhomeblog@gmail.com
      Posted at 05:16h, 27 February

      Ah that’s so cool to hear Maria! Yay thanks so much! We’ll see you there 😀

  • Andrea San Martin
    Posted at 22:15h, 05 April Reply

    I´ve suscribed to your emails because I love your content and I have great admiration for you guys, your story and creativity. However, I have not read many of them since I always leave them “for later” and continue with my routine life. This is just part of the failure attitude that many of us aspiring to be someone have, which I recognize and I am determined to change it now. Anyway, this post talked to me as a reminder to why I decided to suscribe to your posts, since it serves as a great source of inspiration. I am currently in the blog building process, I find myself sometimes lost looking for the best idea, research, and moving around, but at the end making up excuses and leaving it to the typical “I´ll do it someday”. This zone called “home” is definitely the dangerous one for every creative who has ideas, aspirations and ambitions. It is very hard trying to get out of it and sometimes you feel like you don´t know if you want to. So this post is definitely another more push to get out there, there is a huge world out there and it is worth the effort. You guys help prove it, which makes you just more admirable, looking how you got out of your comfort zone on a big way and how far (literally) you´ve gone from home 😉 Congratulations for so much bravery, see you guys out of the comfort zone!
    Happy adventures.
    Andrea San Martin
    P.S: If you happen to bounce by Central America, may I suggest to add Honduras in your wanderlist, you are not done seeing breathtaking places!

    • howfarfromhomeblog@gmail.com
      Posted at 18:56h, 07 April

      Ah man, that is the best comment to read after being offline for nearly 2 weeks. It’s people like you and stores like yours that make all the hard work we put into this blog so worth it! So so happy to hear you enjoy our adventures and even more happy to hear that you’re getting out your comfort zone too 😀 We’ll definitely add Honduras to the list – and we’ll let you know when we make it there!

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