Ideas of Experimental Traveling

MIND MAP is a useful tool. Many years ago, I learned this technique from a book by Gabriele Lusser Rico, Writing the Natural Way. Rico calls it “Clustering.” She devised the technique so that a writer can write from within his or her heart. Write deeply, that is. She explained that in the writing process, Clustering is the “exploratory stages . . . to untangle a fuzzy mind.” Clustering gives focus. It’s a way of finding that creative spark, a way of tapping into the right hemisphere of our brain.


So, I did a Mind Map exercise using “Experimental Traveler” as its nucleus word.

There are many ideas on Experimental Travel. My idea of an Experimental Traveler is based on my assumption that we are flawed (no is perfect) beings. Life for us is a kind of experimentation. We try this or we try that. We often make mistakes. Sometimes successes) along the way. We learn and regroup. We hope for one day to achieve something for which our hearts yearn. There is, whether we know it or not know it, an end goal for which we all strive to reach.

Applied to the way of journeying, Experimental Travel is a journey of experimentations. Nothing is set in stone. Intricate plans may not work. Sometimes the best way is going with the flow. Sometimes the best guide is our whims. Why not? Let humor, serendipity, and chance be our guides. Traveling should not be about the “bucket list” places to visit. It’s not about putting check marks on the “been-there-done-that” places. It’s about, I think, listening to the places we visit and learning from them Each place we visit, whether it’s just a block down the street or thousands of miles away, has something to teach us, good or bad. It’s about being true to the place using your wondering minds.

Mind Map Experimental Traveler
My Mind Mapping Experiment

Mind Map Experiment – What is an Experimental Traveler?


Here’s my take. An Experimental Traveler is a person who . . .

  • allows the whim as a guide to follow,
  • is not afraid to push the envelope,
  • breaks out from the comfort zones,
  • digs deeper even when traveling as a tourist,
  • goes beyond the tourist destinations,
  • seeks new experiences,
  • is open to new ideas, new places, new cultures,
  • travels with an attitude of wonder,
  • asks questions,
  • searches for what it means to live,
  • makes mistakes, but gets up, and keeps going,
  • accepts the mistakes,
  • laughs at his or her mistakes,
  • is humbled,
  • is empowered,
  • is compassionate,
  • finds humor in all things,
  • finds all the sad things in life,
  • helps people,
  • volunteers to make this world a little bit better,
  • interacts with locals, learns their ways, appreciates their differences,
  • tries to learn new languages,
  • tries new things, food, events, dance, and more,
  • takes risks when risk is warranted,
  • writes down his or her thoughts, and shares them with the world,
  • searches for new destinations,
  • tries to live life in the fullest,
  • uses travel as a way of self-discovery.
Mind Mapper Experimental Traveler in Morocco
Experimental Traveler in Marrakesh Morocco

What Am I Doing Here?


Well, I have this romantic view of traveling around the world. And I wanted a foundation of the way to travel. Experimental Travel is not a new idea. It’s been around for a long time. What I wanted was my take on the idea. A sort of a basic guideline for me to follow as I go through my experience of living.

What I came up from this mind mapping exercise is only my take. You’d probably come up with a different take. But you know what, that difference is what makes this world an interesting place. We are all different. Yet at the core we are all the same. We are all seeking for something. We are all living to discover what this experience of living in this world is all about.

Mind Map Experimental Traveler
In the Moroccan Desert


When I wrote this blog, I googled Gabriele Lusser Rico, Professor of English and Creative Arts at San Jose State University. I learned that she had died on 15 March 2013. Many writers have found inspirations from her books, this writer included. I still reach out for her book, always at a hand’s reach from my desk, when I’m hit with a writer’s block. If you have time, read her book, Writing the Natural Way. You might find that kick of inspiration you were looking for.

Categories: IdeasTraveling


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