Many of us dream of a place we want to go to or what our ideal trip may be like, but we need help knowing when and if it will be safe. So many what-ifs and uncertainties may get in the way. All this worrying can put a damper on actually enjoying travel, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of too rigorous planning that keeps us from being creative and spontaneous.
Chanel and Stevo Dirnberger, a couple and award-winning ex-advertising creatives who run the blog “How Far From Home,” created a brief, 28-minute course on Skillshare on how the average traveler can look for sources of inspiration and creativity while they travel. With the resulting course, “Travel the World: Reinvigorate Your Creativity on the Road,” your dream may come to life by following the inspiring tips the Dirnbergers learned the hard way.
Table of Contents
Chanel and Stevo Dirnberger's “How Far From Home”
It all started in early 2015 after they finished their advertising jobs in Johannesburg, South Africa. Travel crossed their minds as the next big step. Little did they know at the time that they would enrich their life experiences to the maximum by traveling 50,000 miles and 60 destinations in one year. They didn’t just want to see how many kilometers and miles they could reach; they wanted to see how capable they were getting out of their comfort zones. From scrubbing toilets in Sweden to sailing Greek islands, this couple has had countless memories on six continents.
Travel is more than just staying at a hotel or campsite and visiting nearby stores and restaurants; it’s also a way to learn new skills, discover new hobbies, make lifestyle changes, and increase your social circles. For instance, the Dirnbergers became passionate about woodworking because of a Norway trip and switched to a vegetarian diet after an Italy trip. Their adventures have been captured in their blog, How Far From Home.
The course has seven videos, which vary from 25 seconds to just under 10 minutes.
- Introduction: The introduction contains a brief background on their journey. It also talks about how people can get stuck in a creative rut and need ways to feel inspired. In addition, it mentions the class project for students, which is to travel to an unfamiliar place and then use the experience to create a piece with unfamiliar methods.
- Travel and Creativity: This section explores how even when people or things inspire us, it can be difficult to be creative right away unless we have set deadlines. Time management is a crucial skill in a project or life change such as this. Set goals, and don’t let them go. For example, setting goals such as creating for a few hours daily, writing one blog post a week, and posting one Instagram photo a day can ensure that you have something to show for your original goal.
- Deciding Where to Go: This part acknowledges how the world is so big (maybe it’s a small world when it comes to the occasional coincidences. Otherwise, it’s big!). Therefore, the opportunities are endless.
The Dirnbergers highly recommend volunteer work to learn more about culture, different materials, tools they use to increase social networks, and much more. Workaway, which is a volunteer service, offers two-year memberships for low prices.
- Experiencing the World: “Regain the creative spark!” is the Dirnbergers’s main message in this part. They explain how, during their time in Sweden, they isolated themselves from social media, family, and friends for the sake of doing something unfamiliar to spark change. They had more face-to-face conversations than usual, explored libraries and museums, and had the time of their lives.
- Stefan Sagmeister, an Austrian graphic designer who splits retirement years into working years
- Andy Puddicombe, a British writer who went to many places around the world and eventually launched Headspace
- Miki Agrawal, a lactose intolerant person who created a lactose-free pizza company (and the creator of an excellent Mindvalley course)
- Tim Ferriss, an author who wrote the book “The 4-Hour Workweek”
- Sophia Amoruso, a business owner who made Girlboss a multimillion-dollar organization
- Alex Cornell, an author who created “Breakthrough”
- Sharing Your Journey: The first thing the Dirnbergers mention in this section is the importance of collaboration. I can totally relate to this because I find that whenever I plan a project by myself, I don’t always meet the desired objectives on my own. Often, I will need family or friends to help me with my missions.
- Final Thoughts: The Dirnbergers hope the audience is inspired and that the more uncomfortable and challenging a journey is, the better. Chanel says, “Get your creative juices flowing again!” at the end of this clip.
- Perspective: In this final clip, the Dirnbergers recommend differentiating yourself because many people may be doing the same things and doing some research to do something different. In other words, challenge yourself to push yourself to the limits. For example, dozens of people take pictures of the Eiffel Tower daily, but how can you make yours especially unique?
Pros and cons of this course
Motivating: Many of us may struggle to change our lives for the better, and we may not always know how to take the next steps. The Dirnberger’s course proves to be a game-changer in helping people overcome creative block and a lack of motivation.
Mentions sources of inspiration: It’s always important to recognize role models and original sources of inspiration because we want to know how it all started.
Goes in-depth about travel: This course focuses on how frequent travel can benefit one’s creativity to the point where people may soon be walking encyclopedias about a wide range of topics.
Addresses specific situations and offers tips: The Dirnbergers don’t just talk about broad topics related to travel; they also mention what to do in specific situations. A short trip? Look for the first yellow thing you see and write about it. An indoor trip? Look for faces inside a building. In addition, how long does travel take to hit the “too close to home” goalpost? About five weeks. There are straightforward strategies to make your comfort zone journey work out while traveling.
The course is short: Although not typically a big deal, especially for courses that don’t include tons of concepts related to business, science, or math, I would’ve liked to hear even more detailed stories about their travels. Maybe they could have asked their parents and friends if they’d be willing to allow them to share specific examples of how travel has benefited their motivational well-being.
The more uncomfortable, the better isn’t always accurate: Near the end of the course, the Dirnbergers mention that with traveling, “the more uncomfortable and challenging the better.” While everything should always have at least some challenge to ensure personal development, sometimes uncomfortable situations can be too unbearable for people to cope with, especially for people who have low frustration tolerance. If a trip is uncomfortable because the risks heavily outweigh the good things, it may be something to reconsider.
Lack of visuals and b rolls to show their travel journey: For a course about travel, I was hoping for many photos and videos to be incorporated into the course clip regarding their travels. Particularly in the photography part near the end, it would have been nice to see examples of how taking photos at sunset and sunrise can lead to better exposure than mid-day shots.
Final thoughts and recommendation
Even though it has its cons, very few things are perfect, and the pros outweigh them. If the Dirnbergers showed additional visuals and details in the videos to make it even longer and more in-depth, coming up with cons would have been a big struggle because the course is that inspiring. As a whole, I recommend “Travel the World: Reinvigorate Your Creativity on the Road” not only to people who want to travel but also to people who may be stuck in a rut and are unsure how to make positive change.