October 2014

Traveling in new directions

by Steve Brock on October 17, 2014

Yoho Waterfall

One of my favorite travel quotes is from Martin Buber:

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”

How true.

When I started writing The Meaningful Traveler, the intent was to write about issues that aligned with the book I was working on at the time. Issues regarding travel and faith and how any trip could be a spiritually meaningful one.

I still want to share stories and thoughts along those lines, but increasingly, both the book and my own thinking has been drawn to new, albeit related, areas – “secret destinations” I have played with but not pursued in depth.

Thus, as I mentioned last time, starting this week, I’m launching a new website to cover issues I can’t fully do here on The Meaningful Traveler.

The new site is simply this: www.StephenWBrock.com. On it, I will continue to write about travel but with a different twist. The focus, and even the sub-title of the new site is “The Art of Meaningful Experiences.” I’ll look at many of the same issues as here on The Meaningful Traveler, e.g. how to find meaning in short trips and long ones, how to see the world differently, how to engage and be present to all you encounter.

But an additional focus will be on creativity and innovation. I’ll look at those areas from both artistic and business perspectives with the main emphasis on how to use creativity to provide greater meaning, for you, for others and for the world.

The new site allows me to address topics that arise regularly in my work life at Brand:Wallop as I help clients to create meaningful experiences through their brands and their marketing. I’ll look at some of the most recent findings in how to improve your creative abilities for work but also just for your own enjoyment. And most of all, I’ll explore the intersection of creativity and travel showing how applying principles from travel to your work can enhance your creativity and how using techniques that artists and other creatives thrive on can make for a better trip.

Because I’ll be writing to a broader audience on www.StephenWBrock.com, I will keep The Meaningful Traveler more focused on the specific issue of how faith and travel intersect. Thus, you can think of this site as being more about the spiritual nature of travel and the new site as being more about the creative nature of travel and the adventurous nature of creativity.

I’ll be posting more frequently to the new site and will be offering a number of additional Resources for travelers and those wanting to improve their creativity. But I’ll still keep writing entries here, just not as frequently, at least for a while since it will take a lot of time and effort to get the new site going.

You may recognize some of the posts over on the new site since I’m moving about a dozen ones from here that relate more to travel, learning and creativity. But everything else there will be new. Even the format will be less about my travel experiences and more “how-to-oriented” to be of greater value to readers.

I hope you’ll join me over there as I think you’ll find it useful. But don’t worry. I’ll still keep writing here, just with a greater emphasis on how God fits into our travels.

The new site still needs work, I admit, but it’s a start. Take a look and see what you think. It may be a new direction, but I’m hoping you’ll find it to be a good one.

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Looking forward

by Steve Brock on October 3, 2014

Wake of shipAnticipation isn’t just something we practice before we leave on a trip.

It’s an experience that goes with us even as we travel and, for the creative person, something that fuels our returns with as much excitement as when we set forth on the trip.

On virtually every long trip I’ve taken with my immediate family, the last day or two gets filled with several concurrent conversations:

  • “Now what?” Sometimes this involves trying to pack in as much as we can in the remaining hours we have. More often, it means adjusting to a quieter pace and relaxing on the last day or two, savoring all that has come before.
  • “Remember when?” The end of the trip is a time of initial reflection, an attempt to keep the enthusiasm high as we relate to each other high points from the past several days or weeks.
  • “I can’t wait to…” This is where what I call “reverse anticipation” kicks in. Here, everyone begins to give words to dreams that are formed around returning home. Sometimes, we discuss friends or family we’ve missed and long to see. Other times, we think of tasks we need to perform. But usually, something on the trip has sparked a dream.

This last direction causes us to rhapsodize about creative projects we want to continue, the distance from them and home adding greater impetus to our desire to see them accomplished.  Or just as likely, we become enthusiastic about new projects we want to start as a result of something we encountered on the trip.

In any case, we enter into a new form of anticipation as we look forward to our coming home. We see return not as the end of our trip and all its fun and excitement, but as the beginning of a new opportunity to extend what we have learned and become on the trip. Thus, the trip continues in ways we never would have suspected before we left.

Here at The Meaningful Traveler, I’m about to venture forth into something new as well. Not the end of this trip of writing on meaningful travel, but more like coming home to start something very new and yet really, just an extension of what I’ve been doing here at The Meaningful Traveler for the last four plus years.

I’ll share more about this next time, but I leave you with this reminder: Great trips never really end. We just extend them into the future, drawing from them and using what we learned from them to anticipate our next adventure.

And as with life itself, in so doing, even as we learn to value the present moment more, we simultaneously live in a manner that is always looking forward.

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