Inspiration: Travel

Published by Catherine Nguyen

I’ve never been one to simply stand still. For me, the adventure of travel provides new perspectives on life. From the people to the architecture, the art, and the history—even the sounds of another language or dialect. More than a window to the world, travel is my chance  to step through the glass and find new creative inspiration. It’s my antidote to life becoming a routine at home.


I’d love to travel every few months but, realistically, I can only manage one international splurge per year. Between those trips, I do try to sprinkle as many smaller, domestic trips as possible into my schedule. While perhaps not as grand an experience, local travel can still offer the same benefits as exploring abroad.

I don’t know that any of the trips I’ve taken overseas stands out as a favorite, because pieces of each journey stay with me. For instance, when we visited Japan a few years ago, we stayed at a resort in Kyoto called Hoshinoya. We had just spent a week in Tokyo surrounded by the bustle of an enormous city, and our time at Hoshinoya couldn’t have been more different. As we waited to board the small wooden boat that would take us to the resort, the staff quietly whisked our luggage away while we sat in a very Zen greeting area, enjoying tea and hot towels.


It was magical.


We arrived at the resort as the sun was setting and were met by a concierge who gave us a tour of the grounds and our private villa. The resort featured a meditation room, a place to learn the art of calligraphy, and a quiet garden—all built in the style of traditional Japanese architecture. As we entered an intimate bar, we found champagne and small sweets waiting for us. The hospitality was never-ending and, I suppose, that is why this memory stands out the most.

When we planned the trip to Hoshinya, we knew it would be the trip of a lifetime. We were surrounded by modern amenities while in a traditional ryokan setting. Even the ride up the river was gorgeous as the green-blue of the water mirrored the twinkling lights along its banks. Each morning, the fresh air took on the scent of dew droplets clinging to the moss on ancient trees.


Of course, I find lessons on each of my trips. The reminder to enjoy each moment, especially the quiet ones, is so important. It’s easy to forget to pause as we go about our daily lives. Travel reminds me to take that pause and truly look around to take in the beauty that surrounds me.

Our trip to Hoshinoya solidified my resolve to plan more of these once-in-a-lifetime moments. Of course, that means working hard the rest of the year! But knowing that I’ll be able to pack my bags again soon keeps me focused.

Our next adventure will take us to London, another totally different world than the one I’m most familiar with. Soon, I’ll have a brand-new album of memories to be enjoyed, and I can’t wait to get started.

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