Sometimes spontaneity breeds creativity. We can all get stuck in the daily grind, finding ourselves uninspired, and needing a little kick to get our creative wheels turning again. I don't know about you, but in the midwest this time of year, for me inspiration can prove especially difficult. The skies are low and gray, the streets are gray, and the ground is even gray as we haven't had much snow. Plus we've been traveling a lot and speaking to libraries and camera clubs to promote my newest book, so we've been pretty busy.
This past week Staci and I had the pleasure of speaking to a wonderful group of photographers at the Fort Wayne Camera Club, and when it came time to leave the next morning, something wonderful happened. We were sitting at breakfast when we both realized that we had nowhere to be for the next 3 days. That never happens. The kid was taken care of, the dogs were with the in-laws…and we didn't have any clients or workshops or meetings. We had a to-do list, but nothing that couldn't wait!
It was then that I turned to Staci and said, “Let's road trip!” So with only the clothes on our backs, and more importantly a camera bag in the car, we decided to head out for the weekend. We both immediately thought about touching our toes in the sand and watching a sunset in Florida. But that was a 17 hour drive, and we only had 3 days, so that was out. Then we looked at the map, checked the weather, and decided to head down to Indianapolis. The only rule was that we wouldn't rush, we would take back roads, and would stop whenever we wanted for photos or anything else that looked fun. Since it was only a 2.5 hr drive, this was more reasonable.
The last time I was in Indianapolis was to attend the Indy 500 nearly two decades ago, and while I figured it had changed, the race was my only memory of the area. We had heard really good things about the city, so we went for it. Anyway, as Staci reminded me, the destination didn't matter nearly as much as grabbing some downtime with one another and taking our time. I think my daughter implied that we deliberately planned a “vacation without the kid,” but I reassured her when that day came it wouldn't be a weekend dash to Indianapolis. 🙂
The drive down proved to be pretty inspiring. Lots of lone trees in huge fields, old farm houses, and the windmills I've always wanted to photograph but never had to the time to drive back to them.
We had a great time, enjoyed a wonderful drive to a fun city, slept in as late as we wanted, ate candy in bed, and I had a chance to reignite my creativity in on the back roads of Indiana. I would say the spontaneous road trip was a success!