Inspiration Through Traveling

In my experience as a guitarist, the spark of inspiration to play can come in many different forms. The inspirational factors behind consistent practice and creation can be quite personal, while also connected to the common root of a desire to improve. Think of inspiration as a spark that can ignite your motivational flame. Once lit, the energy from this flame will propel your desire into actions. But as we all know, while a flame can burn bright and strong, it can also flicker and even go out. As that internal desire may remain, it’s the actions of following through with the practice which can prove to be challenging. There are many ways to continue to grow musically. On my path as a musician, significant inspiration has come to me through traveling.

It’s well known that we live in a rapidly changing world. For many people, there are now more physical and emotional distractions than ever. Through all the positives and negatives of our modern advancements, there are tools that can greatly aid musical development, while others can hinder it. The thirst for instant communication, knowledge, and gratification has changed the way people approach life. Of course, music has also changed along with these advancements. The ways in which we, create, record, distribute, and acquire music have all changed. Unless you’re a musical genius, one thing that hasn’t changed is that practice is necessary to improve.

Over the years I have definitely become distracted at times. Because of this, it has caused me to lose my musical focus, and ultimately my motivational flame. To regain a fresh outlook, one approach I’ve tried is changing my environment. In some instances, I’ve traveled half way across the world, in others I’ve simply gone for a walk nearby.  For me, the larger trips have offered more impact inspirationally. However, exploring a new area in your hometown can also provide new visions of a familiar place. Further travel to an unfamiliar place can truly offer exposure to astonishing sights and sounds. The music of other cultures can prove to be especially inspiring. Also, being a musician with an instrument in another country can open doors to meeting new people. Playing with others can allow you to grow in many ways and has helped me greatly over the years.

One of my trips a few years ago I consciously made a decision not to bring a guitar with me. I made a decision to take a break. But not long after I arrived, it seemed as though guitars were showing up everywhere I stayed. It actually turned into a very creative period for me. At times, I think of my journey as a musician like a path. You can see what’s directly in front of you, but only a small distance ahead. There are also many smaller paths stemming off the main path. Often I’d looked down these smaller paths, which felt very foreign, and pass them by. I think of traveling as following these smaller paths. They eventually lead back to the main path, but in the mean time some unforeseen inspiration can transpire. In the past few years the guitar has taken me to some interesting places and led me to meet many incredible people. To me, this is truly inspiring.

Photo Credits

All Photos © Chris Finch

Chris Finch, 2009

© Synaptic Systems Inc., 2009


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