One of the benefits of extended travel is that travel encourages creativity. The combination of new experiences, a closer proximity to a nature and a less hurried approach to life inspires seems to ignite a new found creativity in all of us.

Despite buying lots of craft packs, looking at recipes and downloading ideas from Pinterest back home we never found the time to awaken our creativity. Projects were rushed and usually half-assed, then everything was put away for a few weeks when we’d try again. Yet while we’ve been on the road, with limited resources, we’ve done more baking, painting, planning, den building, card making, writing and reading than ever before. It seems travel encourages creativity. 

The kids now use their imaginations much more and can regularly be heard re-enacting experiences they’ve enjoyed, with their dolls and teddies. They also show much more interest in things that Lee and I are doing even if that’s just helping with chores! They simply want to do, make and create more than they did at home.

Embracing creative experiences

Across continents we’ve sought out opportunities to embrace this creativity. We’ve enjoyed making pasta in Italy, pottery in Cyprus, bee-keeping, also in Cyprus and more recently a traditional Balinese painting lesson. This was offered as an activity by the Sahaja Sawah Resort where we were staying. 


A local artist came to the resort one wet morning and we took up residence in the Spa area overlooking the river. The children were taught how to draw animals, flowers and buildings such as houses using basic shapes as the foundation of drawing. They were then shown the traditional Balinese painting technique which uses layers of ink and dye. 

The teacher helped them where necessary and showed them examples of his and other’s Balinese paintings. The children then chose a design each to create on a small canvas. Zachary chose a turtle, his new favourite animal after releasing baby turtles back into the ocean. Anabelle wanted to create a Bali sunset against flowers.


I’ve never seen the kids sit still and concentrate for so long! I enjoyed 3 hours of peace sat by them listening to the babbling river and the rain falling on the bamboo in the woods adjacent to the spa area. Bliss!

When they’d finished the canvases were then signed and framed. I may be a little biased but I thought the finished results were fantastic. These are treasured pieces of art we can keep as precious memories or our experiences in Bali. 

Local activities

Sahaja Sawah are excellent at involving their guests in local traditions. We helped to prepare traditional offerings using flowers and coconut palm leaves. This was a great experience as it taught us more about this important Balinese custom and was the first time that we got to meet some of the other guests. 

On another occasion one of the staff at Sahaja Sawah, Putu, invited us to his home to show us how to make coconut oil. 
There are many festivities and celebrations held regularly in Bali and on Galungan (one of the most important Balinese holidays) children from the local villages came to perform a traditional dance for us all to enjoy. 

There are many more creative activities you can enjoy, the difficulty is fitting them all in! You can enjoy a yoga class, dress up in traditional Balinese costumes and have photos taken around the resort, learn how to cook Balinese food and visit a local pottery factory and take pottery lessons.

The real Bali.

The busy tourist areas of Bali such as Ubud, Kuta and the up and coming Canggu are fun and vibrant and offer wonderful beaches, water sports and lots of activities. However if you want to experience the real Bali and stay on a resort with the perfect balance of East meets West then you can’t beat the Sahaja Sawah Resort. You can read more about the resort here

Have you found travel encourages creativity? Have you enjoyed creative activities while on holiday or in a new location? We’d love to hear all about your experiences, please comment below. 

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