I looked at my camera roll and all of my photos had a red thread that I was absolutely not aware of as I shot photos. The same colors, and lots of texture, kept appearing as I swiped through each pic. It was quite fascinating to see how my brain is still wired to shoot “stories” as I do for magazines and books even though at the moment, I haven’t shot content for either since June.
It felt so wonderful to be able to capture some joie de vivre & whimsy by taking a vacation in my own city. I visited a small piece of Nordstadt, her part of our city here in Hannover, a place I rarely go outside of Engelbosteler Damm where I love to eat. Our time together was incredibly inspiring. It expanded my bubble and I felt like I gave oxygen back to my creativity. My mini-adventure snapped me out of my low mood and gave me great joy. The photos in this post are from this journey. I hope that it inspires you to go explore an unknown part of your city by foot (wear a mask!) and find some new inspirations. Perhaps it will restore your good spirit and creativity… Maybe it will expand your bubble world, too.
How To Travel Without Leaving Your City
1 / Decide which neighborhood you’d like to explore and have in mind at least 2 things you’d like to do there. Then leave the rest up to chance. Let yourself roam.
2 / Bring a good friend who is totally compatible with your likes and interests so that you can share the experience together and even share your visual documentation later on over coffee – it’s fun to share your photos with her and her photos with you. I love to do this because most of the time, my friend saw things that I completely missed, which makes the time even more special.
3 / Don’t plan on shopping. You don’t need bags to carry. You can shop at the end of the day, but save the earlier hours to be bag-free and to just explore and roam.
4 / Bring your camera or phone with you and only take snapshots of things that catch your eye, things that gave YOU an emotional response. Don’t take photos of what your friend is photographing UNLESS it’s also something you first spotted and wanted to include in this visual diary. The reason for this is that you want your impressions to be truly your own.
5 / Plan to spend 4-6 hours on your adventure. Roam streets you’ve never walked down. Pay attention to details.
6 / Don’t Instagram while you’re out and about. I know it’s tempting to do tons of videos and live sharing, but this can cloud the water – it can be a big creative distraction. I started my day with one video showing when we arrived to a beautiful park and then, I didn’t use Instagram again until I was home last night and was ready to share some of my photos. I liked having time while I was out to think about what I liked, versus wondering if what I was sharing was resonating with others. It’s nice to just not care and see what comes from that.
7 / You don’t have to ever show your photos to the internet. They can be purely for fun, for yourself, and that’s it. I went out with NO intention to share anything publicly. I just snapped photos as I saw things that gave me a feeling that was too hard to ignore. Later, when I was home looking through my photos, I saw a “red thread” or a consistency between the photos in color and texture – it was really beautiful to behold because it was purely intentional. After seeing how nice the photos looked, I then decided to share on Instagram and today here on my blog.
8/ Repeat this journey again and again until you have seen your whole city. We don’t know how long it will be before we can vacation to our favorite destinations again, so enjoy what you have and use this pause as a chance to get to know your locals, the small shops, the gardens and parks, and everything else you can find when you just stroll around and let yourself explore.