For my family, summertime is often a season of travel. Traveling is one of my favorite pastimes and I have been very fortunate to visit many beautiful places. Taking vacations allows me to rest and to see things from a new perspective, which is a welcome break from my daily routine. I so easily find myself falling into a rut with my work and various activities. When I vacation I make it a point to keep my eyes open and soak up as much inspiration as possible.
One of my favorite places to vacation is Asheville, North Carolina, where I can wander the gardens of the gorgeous Biltmore Estate. Gardens, especially flowers, have always been a source of inspiration for me. As I strolled through the streets of France a few years ago, I was struck by the small gardens at the front gate of each home. All it took was a few plants to create a lively and welcoming entryway. Seeing the beautiful flowers encouraged me to keep up my garden and fill my home with fresh blooms. The vibrant colors of flowers are an easy way to bring new life to a space. I love seeing different uses of color to create visual masterpieces.
Spending time observing and admiring the beauty of a new place is one of the main ways that I draw inspiration. On vacations I have spent countless hours wandering through antique shops, museums, and libraries. Taking walks through different cities opens my eyes to different styles of architecture as well. Each time I visit Williamsburg, Virginia, I marvel at its colonial charm. When I walk through quilt shops or fabric stores I am motivated to continue my passion for sewing and quilting.
Seeing new places is always fun, but my favorite part of travel is experiencing the food! From seasonings to cooking techniques to presentation, edible creations vary so beautifully by region. I love Cajun spices, low country boils, and other regional cuisine that brings food to life in unique ways. When I return home, I enjoy trying to recreate my favorite dishes from my travels. Challenges like that are just the thing I need to kick start my culinary creativity.
Ultimately, no matter where I travel, I am moved by the creativity of others. When you see what someone has created you are truly seeing part of who that person is. It is incredible to see how people all around the country and the world are using their talents to the best of their abilities. My goal in traveling is to return from each vacation with a mind full of new ideas, ready to tackle even the ordinary tasks with a new perspective.
Where is your favorite place to vacation?