Creativity That Fits in a Backpack

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Lately I have been learning again about my creative soul.

It is pretty widely known that most creative people have multiple outlets. This is not a surprise to me, as I have spent my life chasing after many different outlets: crocheting, drawing, photography, poetry, writing novels, painting, making pot holders, sewing, and sculpting – just to name a few.

Moving into a backpack, however, I have been forced to reassess my creative needs. I have needed to figure out what kind of creativity fits in a backpack.

Obviously, I cannot sacrifice writing or photography. Not only are they my go-to outlets, but they are also the ones that make money. But what else? For this nomad, space is extremely limited. When forced to trade a shirt for a set of pencils, which should I choose?

Originally, I took nothing extra with me. I traveled with clothes and my writing and photography equipment (which is small and sparse and not the epitome of ‘professional’). But something was missing. I found my hands itching in spare moments, reaching for yarn and a crochet hook that wasn’t there. I found my eye wandering toward colors and lines and wondering how to recreate it with charcoal pencils or paint.

I spent the last few weeks nourishing my creative side. I have read books, sketched, painted, crocheted, taken pictures, and written. I have also found myself more energetic and full of new ideas. I have been more motivated during work times, renewed with fresh ideas and perspectives. I have been bursting with writing ideas, and have even had an easier time editing.

I have been forced to conclude that I am simply my best self when I am engaging in many creative outlets.

So I have repacked my bag. I have made space for a sketch pad, pencils, a drawing book, watercolors, a paintbrush, and watercolor paper. My creativity is not something I am willing to sacrifice.

When I first thought of traveling long-term, I had imaged myself sketching at the beach, water coloring a sunset, crocheting a scarf as a gift. I really believe that this is more than a fanciful dream – it’s an investment in myself.

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