30 Ways to Be Creative on the Road

All my life, I have been a wanderer and a creative. But somehow I have struggled to marry the two, incorrectly believing that I must be stationary and settled—preferably with an artist’s studio—to properly develop my creative practice and voice. While I have always found a way to be creative—be it functionally or aesthetically—my curiosity of various mediums and my all-or-nothing mentality has caused my creativity on the road to be more happenstance than intentional.

It is my desire to someday be a master of something—or even a few things—and to also live nomadically and travel extensively. While it can be difficult to develop a creative practice in an unstable environment, the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual nourishment that comes with a transient lifestyle is worthy of the challenge. Thus, I have committed myself to exploring and refining my creative expressions through simple and portable avenues, and to finding inspiration and clarity in the limitations.

Here, you will find a curated list of 30 ways to be creative on the road.

  1. Do blind contour drawings.
  2. Write poetry in the sand.
  3. Craft a collage from collected maps and guides.
  4. Keep an illustrated travel journal.
  5. Embroider a set of handkerchiefs.
  6. Make and send watercolor postcards.
  7. Practice penmanship or calligraphy.
  8. Keep a zentangle journal.
  9. Create found poetry.
  10. Write a letter by hand and doodle in the margins.
  11. Make a pop-up card or book.
  12. Fold an origami something.
  13. Paint with vegetable dyes.
  14. Plant love letters for strangers to find.
  15. Make block printing stamps out of potatoes, apples, celery, and more.
  16. Mend something you will wear while away.
  17. Find a bead shop and make a bracelet.
  18. Prepare a beautifully arranged meal.
  19. Knit or crochet a pair of socks.
  20. Learn to play the harmonica.
  21. Build rock piles or inukshuks.
  22. Write haikus by hand.
  23. Photograph found art within nature.
  24. Look for familiar creatures or objects in cloud formations.
  25. Develop your storytelling skills.
  26. Build a capsule wardrobe.
  27. Weave a small wall hanging.
  28. Draw on your napkin while dining out.
  29. Go to an art walk or poetry reading for inspiration.
  30. Make tiny anything you would make big.

In every moment there is an opportunity to be creative. How do you take creativity on the road with you?


  1. I love these ideas! I can honestly say I have done a few of them. Some journaling, a little photography and some haikus. A few I want to try are the zentangle journal (I had to google what that was!) and develop story telling skills. How would one do that? Listen to good story tellers maybe?

    1. I loved writing the haikus with you and Drew in Germany! It was the first time I’d done it while traveling and I found its simplicity both grounding and revealing.

      Like you, I would love to develop my storytelling skills. While I’m not yet an expert, I’d say listening intentionally to those you believe to be good storytellers is a perfect start. And when you are done, maybe write some notes on why you were so captivated by their storytelling. Or keep a collection of mental notes, like I do. Another helpful exercise would be to write stories as you’d like to tell them, as it organizes the way your brain thinks about stories. The other thing you could do is practice telling stories in a mirror. Silly, yes, but effective.

      After I become a more seasoned storyteller myself, maybe I’ll write a helpful post about it. 🙂

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