I'm joining pals Sarah and Elizabeth to write every day in the month of December, feel free to join in any time! Today's prompt: What inspired you in 2015? Where did you seek inspiration?
I'm a little childlike in the way I get easily taken with new ideas or concepts and become inspired to make them my own. Like when I was inspired last year by some amazing photographs of a wedding with paper flowers, and we ended up with a gigantic paper flower arch to get married under and paper flower centerpieces on every table. I made it my own project, but the realization that paper flowers were a thing, even a possibility, planted the seed for me.
I just need a seed, a taste of something, to make it take root in my head. This year, I've had the privilege to travel a lot. I get inspired by the places we visit and bring back pieces of those experiences and integrate them into our everyday life. When we were in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in March, we had some of the most delicious sashimi at one of the restaurants at the resort. Ever since then, I've been obsessed with sashimi and order it at our local japanese spots. Before we went to Key West, FL in April I had it in my head that key lime pie was not my thing. We had amazing key lime pie. And then tried key lime cookies, and key lime barbeque sauce, and key lime body lotion. And I'm still using the Key West Aloe company's lotion and lip balm to this day. Just to name a few...
So when we took the ultimate trip, to New Zealand, I expected that we would be inspired by some food or product. But we were inspired by their way. The people in that country prioritize completely different things than here in the States. They put us to shame on the what-really-matters scale. We prioritize the accumulation of wealth, commercialize every square inch of our space, and glorify celebrityism and the media. They prioritize the conservation of their land and native culture, their quality of life, and time spent outdoors.
I was struck by a conversation we had with our kayak tour guide, Nic, about the culture. He said that what he loved the most about Kiwis is that there isn't a "better than" mentality. There isn't a hollywood or huge entertainment industry there in New Zealand, so they don't have celebrities or other pop culture leaders and the people there don't get carried away with a comparison game. People there are just equal, and their friendly unassuming way reveals a lot about how they live in completely noncompetitive way with each other, and the rest of the world.
We actually felt that when we were there. We were put so at ease by that when we were there. Yes, we relaxed and enjoyed ourselves because we were on vacation, but it was much deeper than that. We experienced a sense of belonging to a place we weren't from, welcome by all we encountered, invested in every moment of every day, longing for more time and less stuff... we left a piece of our hearts there in that country, awaiting the day we will go back to claim it.