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CwL on the road Ep 7 – Observations and Travel as a Creative Catalyst

LC - Lisa Corduff Rebrand 2023-19

Lisa drops in from Osaka (four days into her trip) to give us her first impressions of Japan (beyond the frightful excess of single-use plastics). 

One of the key drivers for this trip of a lifetime with the kids, was for Lisa to find her creative spark again. But is that even going to be possible while travelling with three children? 

You’ll have to listen to find out.

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Prefer to read? Access the transcript here.

Hey. So I’m hoping that recording this is not going to wake the children. You have to be up very early because we’re hitting Universal Studios tomorrow. I just wanted to check-in with a little bit of an update, and Let you know, I guess, a few observations that I’ve made about Japan in my 4 days since being in this country. So take it all with a grain of salt. 

But I also just wanted to share a little bit about travel as, like, a conduit for creativity, because it always has been for me. And, I just need to get away. I just need to get away from my normal life, mostly on my own, and Ideas are sparked, and the creativity starts to come, and I’m having downloads, and I’m getting all excited about things. I was worried about whether that would actually happen if I was with my kids 247. So I’m gonna give you an update on that. 

But firstly, just some very random observations about Japan so far when we first arrived. I was surprised because I had an image of Tokyo in my head, and where we were staying sort of didn’t match up with that view. And it’s so interesting because I actually felt like I had no expectations, but I did. And it made me think about all the times in my life when I felt a bit Disappointed or something sort of didn’t match up. And, I had thought I was going in without expectations. Really, we mostly do. Let’s be honest. 

So I actively started to think, yeah, I need to just really go in with all new stuff, even the places that I’ve been before and the people that I’ve seen before, I’m just dropping it all. I’m just here for whatever it is right here and now. I’m gonna really be experimenting with that energy. Anyway, We arrived, we have really just done Tokyo, and we moved to Osaka today . 

My pronunciation is terrible. The kids just cringe every time I say, And I tell them, I’m just trying to use some very simple phrases because I think it’s good manners. And they’re like, no, mom. Mom, that they’ll understand. Just say it normally. You’re not saying it right. And I say, guys. this is a part of it. We don’t at home, we don’t expect someone who lives overseas to use a perfect Australian accent when they’re using our words. No. We don’t. So, I still think it’s very, it’s good manners to give it a go. So, giving it a go much to their embarrassment. But they’re coming along on the ride to them like, I expect you to use your manners. here like you do at home, so just try. Anyway, it’s hot here right now. 33 doesn’t sound all that hot. 34 is pushing it. But here, It just feels stiflingly hot. 

And do you know what shocked me? It’s not many people who wear sunglasses, strange observation to make. But said to the kids, am I making this up? Can you find me people who are wearing sunglasses? And they’re like, that person is not a tourist. That person, a tourist. 

What’s with that? Why are we not wearing sunglasses in Japan? We certainly need them. And, actually, in saying that, I’ve my favorite pair and only pair of sunglasses that I bought. I don’t know how I’m gonna do Universal Studios tomorrow out in the sun all day without sunglasses. 

The other thing is the fans that they use to cool themselves down, look extremely handy, and probably at some point tomorrow. it won’t even matter what they’re charging for them. I’ll be buying some of that stuff and going on all the rides that say, There’s a chance you might get wet. I’m like, I’m up for it. But why then the long pants? Why are we wearing long pants, but needing a fan to keep our faces cool? Explain this to me. I don’t understand. 

I am observing the things, and I’m curious to all of the things. I think if there was one word I would use to describe Japan so far, it would be gentle. It’s gentle. It’s easy, does it. Everyone’s very organized, willing to wait in lines, in rows, like, just Just happy to do it. Or are they? Or are they hiding some rage underneath there? I don’t know, but it feels very gentle. manners are real, order, and quiet. Like, it’s quiet. 

My son has been learning all about the culture, wanting definitely to do things the right way. Is that kind of guy? And was very upset when I was talking to my daughter on the train because, you know, I meant to talk on trains. Or at least not talk loudly, also not not walking and eating or drinking. And it’s just so interesting when you observe the tourists who are walking around with their stuff, and the Japanese just aren’t. It’s amazing. I’m loving learning about this culture and what makes them Japanese. And always the things that we can learn. 

You know what? I’m not impressed by at all. Not impressed. Like, really getting me riled up actually is the amount of single use plastic. It’s out of control. There is so much plastic. I had to buy carrots that were wrapped in glad wrap. What? Why are we doing this? Unnecessary. And I just sort of think, like, why is this happening? Or am I just noticing it more here and Australia is the same? I’m not too sure. 

I would also like to say that I’ve definitely observed there is a uniform that men in the city wear, to work, and that is black pants, black shoes, and a white short sleeve t shirt, they also will most likely be wearing a black backpack or black, like, over the shoulder satchel type arrangement. This is the uniform. I vary from it, and you are very unique. I went to different parts of the city, and it was the same. It was the same. So, I’m not too sure what’s going on with that. There is a lot of black and white. going on just in general in clothes. Not as many, not many big, bold patterns. at all. 

And in saying that, it really has brought home to me just how multicultural Australia is. Because there’s no sort of it doesn’t feel I mean and I’ve gotta say 4 days, one city. But I expected Tokyo maybe to be a little bit more multicultural than it was, or at least that I observed where I was in the places that I moved around. I don’t know if this is right or wrong, but it does give this beautiful sense of culture here, like strong culture, tradition. I find it beautiful, almost sort of comforting. And as I said, these are all very casual, just a few days in observations.

 I’m actually sort of forging a deeper curiosity about this country. Because things do seem to be a certain way. The places that we’ve stayed in, once again, too. This is not a hugely diverse sample size, but the order and the way in which things are organized and everything has its place, I just love it so much. It’s predictable. It’s comfortable in its predictability, almost. They are ninjas with design and space saving. And now that we’re in a more traditional kind of neighborhood in a circle. I can see why the houses are close together, and they’re small. They this and, yep, I’m just here for it. I have never renovated at home. I but I have also never had a big home, and I’ve also never bought a home. 

So I’ve always rented and have thought so many times that there’s better ways that things could be organized, but not in an IKEA way. This is like really, really smart. And if you’re following along on my stories, on Instagram and Facebook, you’ll see I was I shared a little bit about the first place that we stayed in that was absolutely tiny yet had everything we needed. I must say I am loving this second place, though, because I’m sitting in a room that’s totally separate to where my children are sleeping that is refreshing and good. 

Okay. So they’re my very casual superficial observations of Japan so far. And I guess, you know, I’m making lots of observations about the children and myself, for sure. It already feels very different to how I imagined it, and it’s a better different, which is good. 

But the one thing that I was sort of unsure about was all of this time with the kids. and whether I would just feel cramped and like I had no space. And mostly, it’s like, space in my head that I really wanted. And I’ve discovered a few things about this. I love that space because it sparks creativity, and I am a creative person. I never realized that until sort of quite recently, actually, But I wanted to find that creative spark again. I recognize I’ve probably been a little bit attached. to that happening quicker than it needs to. 

Nevertheless, it was a lovely surprise to know that Amongst this trip, it’s happening. I’m getting those sparks. And I think it’s due to well, probably a few things. But I have always considered travel as a catalyst for creativity because of the amount of space that I get, On my own, I’ve always thought that I need that it’s the a day to myself where I am not demanded anything of that is the thing that kinda allows other thoughts to come in. 

I mean, it’s consuming this holiday with the kids, which is with logistics and what we’re eating and, you know, all that sort of stuff, but it’s all very immediate. And it’s packed up, but what it allows for are these extraordinary, almost orgasmic spaces in between that just kind of are brimming with things to be thought or realized or uncovered. And, I was wondering why that was. I was wondering if it was because I’m not using a sort of thought. All I’ll do is I’ll snap photos throughout the day, and then at nighttime when the kids are sleep. I’ll just upload things to stories or to my social media or whatever. So I’m not on social media throughout the day. 

I experimented today with what it would be like to take people in real time along on a journey, and I decided to do that on a traveling day because it was just that, you know, it wasn’t gonna be anything extraordinary that I really wanted to be present to. I’m gonna keep playing around with that because it was kind of fun to be in conversation with everyone as we went. 

But I think it’s because being away, we all know this, just not having the extra day to day clutter of life in my head. It’s just allowing space, I don’t know quite how to express it, all I’m focused on at the moment, is quite literally what are we doing today, or what are we doing tomorrow, how to prepare for that. Sure. still got a few logistics to sort out. I have not fully sorted the island stretch of this trip, But that’s fine. That’s all gonna be fine.

 And there’s still some work bits for me to do, but it’s just the oh, yep. We’ve gotta get her over to there. We’ve got a carpool, netball on Friday because I’ve gotta run him over there. Yep. gosh. Gotta do my market shop because I’ve got this what’s coming up this week? What do I need to have food for? Who’s coming over? Or we need to have a birthday present for them? 

It’s always a lot. And it’s just it’s just not only that. It’s it’s all the things that make up life as a mom, and I guess for me as a solo, parent, and business owner, and all those things, that just I’ve just kind of removed them And so, it means that outside of the logistics, and the chatting and the the stuff that just needs to be done each day, it allows room. For meandering thoughts, creative bursts, writing. You’re feeling free. For sure, it allows room for My good friend rumination and going over things, and, you know, I don’t punish myself for going over and over things until like Lisa, we’re done here. This is not helpful at all, and I really put a stop to things in my mind. 

I had a morning the other day where I woke up before the kids, and I was just going over stuff. I was getting myself into a real state, and I thought, I just need to get going with this day. I just need to start doing stuff because that’s gonna distract me from this. And, of course, then the day didn’t really happen because my youngest wasn’t well. Her sister still sort of getting back from not feeling super well either, and we stayed in the apartment the whole day. which was, I guess, its own level of consuming, but I just feel like those thoughts, the processing that I can create space for is a beautiful thing. sometimes can get lost amongst just keeping up with the day to day. 

But what was happening at home, to be honest? was just long stretches. The day’s kind of I’ve shut down a lot of things with work. I’ve shut down a lot of my time working with people, doing coaching, doing live teaching, I started to sort of bring that back with the change method this year, which I loved. but which I won’t be doing, but which I’ll have news for you about how you can get access to that very soon. And so I kind of I wasn’t utilizing the time. I was very aware of this, and I was frustrated with myself. And so I would do things to try and help myself do, you know, get some stuff done, or I would meet someone for lunch, so that I could really feel like I needed to have a productive morning, but it all felt like an effort. It all felt like just a lack of productivity, a lack of a buzz a lack of purpose, most certainly a lack of creativity and drive. And being in action, being in activity, 

I knew I thought I was ready for it. I was nervous, though, because everything’s been so mellow for so long. But what I’ve realized is I don’t need big stretches of time right now to myself. Sure. I’ll take it if I get it. But this trip is already a catalyst for creativity. I can feel it in myself if you are someone who is a bit creative yourself, you know, or if you’ve used travel to you know, reflect or plan or whatever it is that you like doing while you’re away. 

I just I’m really glad it can happen within the context of being with the kids. Look. In 2 months’ time, I might be like, What was I even thinking back then? I was just on a bit of a high. This is consuming. Who am I even kidding? But right now, I’m feeling the juice is flowing. I’m just feeling just feeling a little bit pumped about things. Things that I haven’t felt pumped about for so long, because life was just really laughing me. as my friend Lisa Carpenter would say, life is life to me. And now I’m life in life. 

Feels like I’m getting to pull the strings a little bit here and it’s opening up all sorts of stuff. That was my tummy. You heard that? So there’s my observations on Japan. That’s a little bit about how I am enjoying creativity amongst the consuming nature of this trip, with my kids, it is there, It is just sitting, waiting to burst through, and it is. Oh, god. What a relief who knows this is gonna lead to by the end, but I’m keeping notes. 

And I’m happy to share with you, but you know when you’re sort of just in the What would this mean kind of vibe, but that’s where I’m at right now? I’m gonna allow it to take all the time it needs, on the advice of a friend who on about day 2, I was telling her I’m not sure. Maybe I made a really big mistake. maybe I’m just gonna come, and all this is gonna be is just telling kids they can’t have ice cream every half an hour. She’s like, babe, give it some time. Just be in it. Just be in it. let it do its own magic, stop forcing anything. And as soon as she said that, and I did. Well, we just have to allow, don’t we? Instead of gripping on too tight to outcomes. Lennon all the things. And, hey, thanks for being here on the ride. See you in the next episode.

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