Weekly Inspiration: Sufjan, Nomadism, Creative Types & Jealousy

Jessica Peterson


I’m starting a new department here on Global Girl Travels — a round-up of stuff on the Interwebs that inspires me. Perhaps it will inspire you too. From cool travel blogs to Mindy Kaling quotes, there really will be no rules on what I share.

This Couple Quit Their Jobs To Travel And Now Scrub Toilets To Get By


This is a candid interview with one of those beautiful power couples who travel the world seemingly without any money worries. In the article, they reveal that less than six months in to their full-time travels, they are doing manual labor and scrounging for room and board. Nice to see travel bloggers come clean about just how difficult a nomadic life is on all levels. Read my candid interview with travel filmmaker Brandon Li about life on the road.

A Short Lesson in Perspective


There’s a line in Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity” about a man and a woman on a good date that goes like this:

“You remember that kid’s game, Mousetrap? That ludicrous Heath Robinson machine you had to build, where silver balls went down chutes and little men went up ladders, and one thing knocked into another to set off something else, until in the end the cage fell on to the mouse and trapped it? The evening goes with that sort of breathtaking joke precision, where you can kind of see what’s supposed to happen but you can’t believe it’s ever going to get there, even though afterwards it seems obvious…We have one of those conversations where everything clicks, meshes, corresponds, locks, where even our pauses, even our punctuation marks, seem to be nodding in agreement.”

That’s how I felt reading Linds Redding’s post about the futility of working in advertising. As a self-driven creative, I totally related to his assessment of the kind of frail vanity required to be a commercially successful creative type. He offers brilliant insights into, not only an industry, but the people who drive it. I’ve worked in advertising/marketing/journalism since I was 19. I started when we did literal paste-up of ads on paper (yes, computers had been invented, but some publications were still transitioning). Reddings’ post references the ’80s and ’90s, but his life lessons are timeless.

It put into perspective my own insatiable desire to conceive and execute creative concepts — from this blog to my first film. Of course, I do commercial client work too, but thankfully I cherry pick the projects these days. If you’re sacrificing time with your loved ones, your health, or anything else that makes you happy, it’s time to step back, readjust, and get balanced again. I decided to do that this week after months of fulfilling, but exhausting production on my doc. I decided to be a tourist in my own ‘town,’ to sip cocktails on the beach with friends, and hike to limestone cliffs and catch the backside of sunsets. I’m going to do this kind of stuff more often and work when it feels right. After all, I am my own boss.

True Myth: A Conversation With Sufjan Stevens


I’ve been a fan of the pensive singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens for years but I’ve never seen him live. I was planning to visit Oslo for his show this month, but decided to staycation on Guam and finish my film instead.

Sufjan is a singular artist that can evoke a torrent of emotion with sparse instrumentation and his hushed, pretty voice. If I sound like a fangirl, it’s because I am. This Pitchfork interview is incredibly thoughtful, revealing, and just plain smart. Read it and then check out Sufjan’s tender ode to his troubled mother (now deceased) on his latest album, “Carrie & Lowell.”

The 2015 NatGeo Traveler Photo Contest Winners Will Blow Your Mind

natgeo photo

The NatGeo photo contest results inspire a mix of jealousy and awe. These photos push me to be a better photographer — to keep shooting until capturing these “wow” moments goes from being a once-in-a-lifetime event to a regular occurrence.

Have any of these stories inspired you?

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