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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Travelling Feet

In the past few years I have been fortunate to travel abroad with groups of artists exploring and painting our way through the foreign countryside. It's wonderful to be around like minded people - living, breathing and talking about art and life. It's also a great way to gain some self confidence as you learn about the travelling process. It can be very intimidating to travel alone abroad for the first time but something I believe everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. It will open you up to a whole new experience.

It has changed my life.

Eagle Reflections, Canada

I have noticed that most people I meet when travelling have a unique outlook on life. They have a spirit that seems to be more alive and happy about living the days they've been given. I suppose one could argue that they are on holiday and they would be happier because of this but I suspect they are this way even in their regular lives. Some simply have a happy vibe about them and in turn has a way of lifting others up. Nice!

When in a group setting I find I get to know many of them very well by the end of the trip but I tend not to talk to people from outside of the group.  I do love to learn about different cultures from around the world and find the best way to do this is to travel solo. I have been asked by many how it is I have so many wonderful experiences as I make my way along. I never knew this wasn't always the case for others and after careful consideration, this is what I came up with.

Ascending Light ~ Greece

For me the formula is this. First, one must have an open mind. Not only must you be open to talking to others but one must be truly interested in them and their journey. Everyone has a story to tell about how they came to be at this point in their lives; why they do the things they do. As the conversation unfolds we learn not only about each other, but more about ourselves as well. That is the really beautiful part! In my younger years I was incredibly introverted. So shy in fact it was painful. I find it hard to believe I am that same person now as I thrive on talking with others for the shear joy of it.

Secondly doing something interesting opens channels for conversation. For me that would be working in my sketchbook. When travelling I am always sketching which piques the curiosity of people passing by and many are interested to learn more about the process. The open sketchbook is an invitation for others to ask me questions, to share stories of their lives and this in turn enriches mine. Thank you!

I've met many people telling me they've painted in the past but it had been years since they had touched a brush. There were at least 20 on my last trip who have told me they would now start again. There is no greater feeling than knowing I have inspired others to get back to the joys of creating art. I do hope to hear from them some day or better still I hope to see them painting away in a narrow street in some foreign land as they too continue on their artistic journey.

Everyone has a story to tell. What will yours be?

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