🎨 Are You Capable of This Creativity Trick? | Internetly Vol. 72
On traveling solo, turning Google Docs into a zen experience, and five important lessons from 2 years as a digital nomad.
Greetings from Brazil!
I’ve spent the past few days exploring Sao Paulo, the largest city in the southern hemisphere. It’s a lovely place, punctuated by vibrant graffiti and lush greenery. The best way I’d describe is as a more tropical and walkable Los Angeles.
Although I’m here with girlfriends, a small part of me misses solo traveling. There’s something about being in a place where no one knows you that’s undeniably freeing. You're a clean slate and completely free to re-invent yourself — a major creativity enhancer.
Free from your usual social web and cues of your old environment, you're more predisposed to re-invent yourself. Each time I travel, I ask myself:
Who do I want to be here? Braver? Spontaneous? Or something new altogether?
It’s a form of freestyle, where each new encounter acts as a fitting room to try different personality hats.
I'm reminded of a study published in 2012 by Scientific American. A dozen rappers free-styled in an fMRI machine as scientists monitored their brain activity.
"What we see is a relaxation of executive functions to allow more natural de-focused attention and uncensored processes to occur that might be the hallmark of creativity," one of the leading neuroscientists mentioned.
That's science chat for freeing your mind can let your creativity bloom.
While solo traveling won’t have you trying to rhyme orange with door hinge, there is a loose parallel between letting go of who you're "supposed" to be and your lyrical inhibitions.
The hard part is getting the gusto to travel alone and abandon the version of yourself you're most familiar with. As Isabelle Huppert noted, "Acting is a way of living out one's insanity." The lunacy of becoming whoever you want to be won't come easy, but trust me — it's worth it.
🥒 Content Diet
🥸 Blue Light Blocking Glasses by Diff — I’m a fan of blue light blocking glasses. Even if it’s a placebo, they have reduced that “It’s 3 PM and my brain is fried” feeling. If you’re dealing with techno-exhaustion, it could be a sound investment.
✍️ How to Turn Google Docs into a Zen Experience by Nate Kadlac – Transform the usually oppressive experience of Google Docs (white and black contrast, distracting page breaks) into a calming, safe zone. This is such a game changer for those of us who spend half of our waking hours on Google Docs (hi, writers 👋).
And now, a helpful reframe next time you feel “unproductive”:”
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: 5 Lessons I’ve Learned as a Digital Nomad Freelance Writer
I’ve been a digital nomad slash freelance writer for the past year. During that time, I’ve written all over the world, from France to Portugal, Colombia to Costa Rica, and most recently, Brazil!
It’s been a hectic journey and here are the four most important things I wish I knew before starting:
1. *Never* schedule calls on travel days. “It should be fine, the train is at 9 AM and the call is at 5 PM. I’ll get to my hostel before then.” Listen, if there’s one thing about traveling, is that what can go wrong, will go wrong. I got on the wrong train from Lisbon to Porto – twice – and ended up missing a call with a potential client. Ugh. 🤦🏼♀️
2. Say ciao to a regular working schedule. Let’s say you’re most productive in the mornings, but someone invites you for a sunrise swim. You say yes, because you’re prioritizing memories over productivity. In turn, you must learn to work whenever you have pockets of free time.
3. Select your time zones wisely. It’s a sigh of relief when you’re in a timezone that puts you ahead of your clients. This buys you extra time with deadlines and makes you look extra *organized* when in reality you got up at 11 AM. 🙃
4. Don’t eat out for every single meal. Each time you eat at a restaurant, you have no idea how much salt, fat, oil and sugar you’re ingesting. Compounded over months, you’ll start to feel super sluggish (and your wallet will be sad).
5. Get a new perfume or listen to a new album for each new place. The two best ways to crystallize memories from abroad — scents and sound.
Are you interested in learning more about digital nomading? Or is there something else you’re keen on? Use the poll to let me know — I’m all ears!
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