Needing to Revive my Travel Heartbeat

I sat down today at a table in Chefchaouen, Morocco intent on writing an article about Paris, but just could; and I loved Paris.  Aside from the 9 Euro pints of beer along Champs Elysee, I loved everything about Paris.  I loved the food, the sights, and I even loved the Parisians who so often get a bad rap.  But, as I look back on my experience, and as I read my notes I can sense a lack of inspiration.

If you’ve been reading along of late, you may have sensed a dampened tone in my writing, one of near apathy.  Despite being completely excited about life, insanely happy with the way things are going with my work and enjoying everything, there is a certain passion that I’ve been missing of late.  Perhaps part of it was the strike to the emotions I got in Haiti followed so closely by the normality of the UK.

In Haiti, I felt that at any moment my heart could force its way out of my chest.  I felt like every one of my emotions was working overtime and that my nerves lingered haphazardly on the edge their ability.  My eyes flickered from side to side with the same force as they do when I’m dreaming.  I found myself either smiling or shaking my head at every instance.  Every free second I wanted to write, explain my emotions even if only to myself.

Or maybe my apathy was because I had been so looking forward to Africa that I couldn’t concentrate on the places I was.

In Europe, I’m finding it a chore to write, rather than a means of expression like it should be.  As I read over my notes I can’t feel anything special, I am not taken back to a particular moment, smell, or feeling.  It has me worried that travel being my drug of choice isn’t healthy.  Like an addictive substance, “light” travel-simulators no longer give me a buzz.  I am in constant need of something bigger, more obscure, and perhaps even more dangerous.  Is this safe?  Will there come a day that I need to quit cold turkey?

So without a knock against Paris, this will be my Paris article for my trip (although I have some photos to come), because I have learned that I should not write what is on the surface of my mind, but what is in my heart.  Writing for me has always been about expressing how I feel, if not for others than for myself.

As I finish off my plate of Kofta in this small Moroccan restaurant, I am listening to strange music hearing a language I don’t understand, and sitting in awe of my view.  I can just feel that inspiration running through my veins.  So as much as I enjoyed my time in Europe, this – Africa – is what I need right now, because it has my heart beating like the first time I fell in Love.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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  1. …”because I have learned that I should not write what is on the surface of my mind, but what is in my heart.” I want to do the same.. 🙂 I have started blogging only recently, sometimes the ideas are hard to put into words despite the I don’t force myself just for the sake of posting something.. I wait till I really feel what I write… It’s nice to start discovering things too about myself that’s brought by writing.. I hope you enjoy Africa.. it’s my greatest dream too.. I want to find myself in Serengeti someday. Happy travels!! 🙂

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  2. I think we can sometimes really like a place yet still not feel passionate about it. And sometimes if I let the writing sit too long, I just loose interest. Good luck with Europe. Enjoy Africa.

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    • Good point Gaelyn, that’s why I normally write about somewhere, or at least make notes, while I’m there. But I could tell that even my notes had no passion.

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  3. I really appreciate your honesty and felt similarly recently. I had back to back trips to Italy then S. Africa and was really looking forward to S. Africa more than Italy. Fortunately Italy turned out to be wonderful as well, but some places are hard to compete with, no matter how wonderful they are.

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    • Yes Laurel. Sometimes when we have so many great things planned it’s hard to focus on the present.

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  4. Sometimes, even when you genuinely like a place, it might not inspire you to write about it if it’s somehow similar to where you come from, grew up at, etc… You might have liked Paris but… what was there so unique that made your heart pump like in Haiti, for example?

    When you travel a lot, a nice enjoyable just doesn’t get the most out of you as a writer… I guess one needs something different from the ordinary, sometimes something extreme (for good or even bad!) something that connects with you at a deeper level.

    It’s OK to be uninspired… even healthy… because when something really good comes along then one can feel the real difference! 😉

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  5. You have to write about what is in your heart. I applaud you for realizing that this isn’t what you want. Europe is beautiful – one of my favorite places to visit. However, each place speaks to us in different ways. If it is Africa that calls to you, then by all means go. Out of your passion and inspiration will your words flows.

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