With the season of log fires, mulled wine and fur lined parka jackets in full swing, you may already be dreaming of your next warm get-away. Even better, you may be hoping for a holiday that inspires your next masterpiece. Worry ye not – if you’re a creative in need of an inspiration holiday, Dutían has some top picks for you: Inspo-liday, here you come!
Google Thailand and you’ll see pictures of beautiful beaches, islands, plush greenery, and delicious cuisine. What Google and the guide books will not tell you is that the contrast between the spiritual, serene Thailand (Koh Samui, Koh Tao) and the busy, cacophonous Thailand (Bangkok, Phuket) provides an out of this world experience. Traveling around Thailand, you’ll feel adrenaline raising chaos in the cities, and before you even fully assimilate that experience, a few hours down the road you’ll be forced to fall hands-free into paradise and land gently on tranquil islands with its spiritual undertones. The Thai people are charming, warm and spiritual. You’ll see nuances of colour and personality in how they interact and go about their daily lives, and the natural grace and gentleness of the culture is comparable with a Debussy piece. Their cuisine is full of colourful palettes and exotic spices, creating explosions of flavours in your mouth. Everything about Thailand, from its landscape, location, culture, people to its food, will awaken your creative senses.
Best of all, Thailand can be done with lots of moolah or on a shoe string budget. Food, transport and daily amenities are cheap and flights are affordable especially if you’re willing to take a connect flight. There are plenty of hostels around where you’ll meet other travellers (although beware of keeping your passport and suitcase safe!). Whilst the fate of Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale in Brokedown Palace is by no means representative of the majority, exercise common sense if travelling on a budget :)!
For anyone living in cities that yearn for space and freedom to be inspired, Cape Town is your place. With the city nestled amongst mountainous terrain and its most southern point being where the Pacific ocean meets the Atlantic ocean, your mind and soul will automatically shed any unnecessary luggage and have space to refill with creative ideas. With every breath of South African’s crisp air and the feel of its warm breeze graze your skin, be sure to inhale as much inspiration as you can to bring back home with you.
With such history to its name, Cape Town’s peoples’ warmth ooze a combination of joy and sadness. The melange of the two culminates in communities and residents with inspiring stories, interesting anecdotes and enlightening thoughts. Tourist locations in Cape Town aside, its natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle emulate a sense of freedom and disruption which often sparks your creative genius. Flights depend on whether you fly into Johannesburg or Cape Town during high or low season, and as public transport is not used much and cabs are essential after dark, the main expense is often taxis so budget well in advance! Transport aside, hotels are affordable, and Cape Town has some terrific deals on Air BnB for entire villas.
When Dutían thinks of India, we think of colours, noise and spontaneity. For creatives with bouts of insomnia, there is no better place for it than India. If you find yourself gazing out the window past midnight, far from hearing crickets, you hear the manic streets which paint the colourful life going on outside. A daytime ride through town will see you pass markets, stalls, offices, kids, before you emergency break to avoid bumping into the cow in the middle of the road. Mumbai in particular, is spontaneous, gutsy, and does things its own way with pride. This confidence and uniqueness is a marvel to see and experience, and you will feel both safe yet uncomfortable, excited yet mellow, sweaty yet cool, all at the same time.
The buzz of India and the disparity in ambience between areas will bring new emotions to your portfolio of feelings. India’s spiritual culture will leave you feeling surprisingly at peace amidst the chaos and liveliness of your surroundings. Take mental snapshots of as many moments as possible, as your memories will be beautifully immortalised on a paint easel or music score.
If you’re searching for inspiration and are open to anything and everything, look no further. Mexico’s history, culture, peoples, location and food has something for everyone, and therefore, inspiration for any genre of music or any form of art.
The pristine beaches of Tulum will see you create overtures and watercolour strokes in your head, whilst the lively mayhem of Playa Del Carmen beach and beachside strip will see you dreaming up contemporary art pieces to fit the emotions, look and feel of your surroundings. Inhale the excitement of Cancun as you find areas and places aimed at spoiling you. As you dig a little more into Mexico’s Mayan history, you’ll feel a deeper connection with its long standing culture and spirituality, and after taking the plunge into one of Mexico’s underground cave ‘cenotes’ with its mineral laden and high calcium water content, you’ll be desperate to create something artistic which reflects the sheer bliss you feel after re-emerging from the spiritual waters. For water sport junkies, there is plenty to do to get your physical sense inspired, and for those who love animals and aquatic life, go further afield and you’ll seek calming solace in dolphins, turtles, manatees and much more.
London has several direct flights into Mexico, and you can splash out on a plush resort or stick with local hotels complete with their unique personalities. The rhythmn of the Spanish language will be a constant beat throughout your stay, and will lull you into a creative zone you'll want to stay in forever.
So - enjoy the Christmas festivities, and prepare to get booking for your next Inspo-liday! :)