Until very recently, I haven’t really thought of myself as much of a traveler or explorer. I know that sounds a little odd coming from someone who just spent 4 months traveling around the world. I know that I’ve been truly lucky to have been afforded so many opportunities for traveling – I’ve been to almost 20 countries around the world – and that objectively, that’s a lot of traveling. But all truth being told, until very recently almost all of that traveling was arranged and led by other people – I had a family vacation to Germany, a choir trip to Japan, a college semester abroad in East Africa – and I felt like I was just along for the ride. I loved the opportunities and experiences, but I don’t feel like it makes me a “traveler” when I’m just following along. Several years ago work took me to a meeting in Italy so I scheduled a week of vacation on my own afterward, and I was so miserable and anxious that I came home early.
I’ve always been fascinated by other places, different people, and different cultures. But it has taken learning more about myself to feel comfortable leaving my home and exploring them. I have learned that I don’t like to travel on my own. I get overwhelmed making all the decisions and I don’t appreciate the exciting things as much when I don’t have someone to share them with. But that’s okay. I can be a “traveler” without traveling on my own. I’ve also learned that handling lots of logistics of getting from point A to point B stresses me out. But that’s okay, I can be a “traveler” by going to fewer locations and exploring them each more deeply.
Of course one of the things I’ve learned to love about travel the exposure to textiles – whether it’s is learning about Hmong fashion in Vietnam (like I did a few months ago) or finding the perfect day-glo pink stretch denim in New York City (like earlier this week).
Do you travel? Do dream of traveling? Do you draw sewing inspiration from traveling?
Each week this year I’m going to reflect on an aspect of myself and how it affects me as a sewist, crafter, or blogger. It may get deep, it may get emotional, it may get totally silly. It may be something I’m proud of, it may be something I cringe at, it may be something I aspire to. I may say a lot, I may say a little, I may ask questions, I may not answer them. I don’t quite know where the project will take me, but I’m excited about the journey. I’d be honored to have you join me on this journey. Chime in any time this year in my blog comments, on Twitter, Instagram, or your own blog. Join me in my theme for the week or make up your own.