what i learned on my way to Cali

Do you ever just want to get away from it all?

I have a fantasy-driven idea that one day I’ll retreat to the sunny coast of California or the rolling hills of Vermont for months and months and just write, be one with nature, and “be creative” in my peaceful solitude.


I’m starting to realize that in reality, I’d probably go a little koo-koo-bird if I ever did that – at least at this point in my life.

How do I know?

Last week I took a spontaneous trip to California. Spontaneous in the sense that I bought the plane ticket on Saturday, and left the Friday after. I had been thinking about going for months now – to visit a friend and to check out a grad school possibility out there – but kept putting it off. So with a little encouragement from a friend (thanks, Sarah!) I did it.

I’ll admit that part of my reason for going was to test out this fantasy I have and see how it would feel to really be away from it all.

Would I be more creative?

Would I discover the meaning of my life in 4 days?

Would I want to stay there forever?


To sum up what I learned:

I was most creative and happy when I was in motion and connecting with people – contrary to the idea that I’d be better off alone in nature somewhere.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that I was almost born in the Lincoln Tunnel, (literally - my mom's water broke on her way back to NJ), but I respond well to being in transit. The in-between moments are where my natural creative flow happens. It’s not about arriving at some magical destination where someone will give me permission to do my thing and be myself. I can do it anywhere. Perhaps the in-between is really the only destination we have.

I’m starting to embrace this, no matter where I am or how much things outside of me are in flux.

I encourage you to do the same.

Next time you’re driving in the car or riding the subway: take a moment to breathe and look around you. How do you feel? What impulses arise? What could you do to feel more like yourself, more at home in the transition?

Try something new while in transit:

  • draw on your hand
  • write a poem
  • wink at someone across from you

OR (if you’re operating a vehicle and want to be safe)

  • sing loudly
  • play with your breath
  • talk in gibberish to yourself or to your travel companion. (My friend Melanie and I had a whole conversation in a made-up language and it was awesome.)

I’d love to hear what you come up with, so please share below!

Are you more comfortable in the transitions or in the destination?

What's the most creative moment you've ever experienced while in transit?