I recently read this article on Fast Company about why people with multicultural experiences are more creative. It made me reminisce on some traveling experiences that have really inspired and influenced my own level of creativity. I share three of these as recommendations:
1) Anne Frank House – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
When I was a teen, I had read The Diary of Anne Frank and so for my trip to Amsterdam, it was an absolute must to visit the place in which this remarkable young girl had written her story. I still remember the feeling of being in the secret annex, gaging the space her family hid in for two years and her words stirring in my mind, “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” Video clips were also shown of her father, the only survivor of the family, sharing heartfelt reflections on his daughter’s memoirs and their relationship.
The museum also provides an overview of the Holocaust but what I liked even more was there was a dedication to highlighting issues of racism, discrimination and injustice taking place in present day, in places all over the world and forcing the question of how each of us individually play a part in it. It was a great takeaway from an anthropological perspective.
2) Fuorisalone – Milan, Italy
Fuorisalone takes place every year in Milan and it coincides with the International Furniture Exhibition, Salone del Mobile. It is considered one of the most important events for design on an international scale, specifically industrial design and decor. Throughout the city, there are a range of events and exhibitions where you can explore the avant-garde and the best part is it is absolutely free for you to check out. So if you’re thinking of making a trip to Milan, I suggest planning it around the same time as Fuorisalone so you can soak in all the creativity.
3) Fotografiska – Stockholm, Sweden
To date, this is my favourite museum that I’ve ever been to. It exhibits photography from all over the world and at the time I went in 2012, there were some standout exhibitions: Stories from Another World by Helena Blomqvist, A Steve Schapiro collection and My France by Andre Kertesz.
Helena Blomqvist intrigued me as her photographs were of constructed sets she created using dolls and other props. They were often dark and played on familiar themes such as war and childhood. Steve Schapiro resonated for his captures of the Civil Rights movement, having followed Martin Luther King up until the day of his murder, with the collection including a still of his hotel room hours after he had been shot. The exhibit also included his famous stills from being on the set of movies like The Godfather and Taxi Driver. The museum even had small viewing rooms for each of the films. André Kertész’s exhibition focused on his time in Paris, a city in which he fell in love with after leaving Budapest in 1925. His work and his aim to capture “the poetic in everyday moments” has really influenced my own style in the photos I take when traveling.
Fueling creativity does not necessarily require traveling. As the Fast Company article points out, it’s all about trying new experiences and allowing yourself to see the world in a new way.