Experimental Travel? – A Mind Map

Experimental Travel? — Tourist, Traveler, Explorer?


I did a Mind Map exercise using Experimental Traveler as the nucleus word. 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. 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.

The idea of Experimental Traveler is based on the assumption that we are not perfect. We go through life experimenting, trying this, or trying that, making mistakes along the way, learning and regrouping, hoping for one day to achieve something our hearts yearn.

From doing this mind mapping exercise, I came up with the following ideals of how an Experimental Traveler might live his or her life.

Experimental Travel – A Traveler who

  • is not afraid to push the envelope,
  • breaks out from the comfort zones,
  • digs deeper even when traveling as a tourist,
  • goes beyond tourist destinations,
  • seeks for 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,
  • is humbled,
  • is empowered,
  • is compassionate,
  • 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.

Of course, what came out from this mind mapping exercise is only my take on the ideal ways of the Experimental Traveler. You would probably come up with a different take. And that’s what makes this world interesting. We are all different. Yet at the core we are all the same. We are seeking for something.


Gabriele Lusser Rico

A Professor of English and Creative Arts at San Jose State University, died on 15 March 2013 (her obituary). 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, visit Gabriele Rico’s homepage, Writing the Natural Way. You might find that kick of inspiration you were looking for.

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