Down the Cobblestone Road
People often asked where I get the inspiration for my stories. For those of you who know me personally, you might know that my inspiration comes from the photographs I take. Party of my creative process is making time to explore with my camera, looking for broken down, colorful and sometimes strange settings or objects that tell a story. Most of the time, I wander my neighborhood or downtown Phoenix. But occasionally, I wander a little further from home.
This year my family and I made it across the pond to Lisbon, Portugal. We hadn’t been to Europe before, and there was no way to know it would feel like we had landed on another planet. I thought I knew what the word ‘old’ meant…I’ve taken tons of pictures of ghost towns, old towns, abandoned buildings, and rusted vehicles with landscape growing through and around them. But they had nothing on Lisbon.
The history of the city was written everywhere in the textures of the architecture and the uneven cobblestone roads. People walked everywhere and all the time. The faces of the buildings were peeled back to reveal a previous life when it was tile or stucco. I’m sure if any of you have been to Europe or Asia, you will know what I’m talking about. The fact that those buildings, those roads, and even the people could survive the wars and hardships of previous years with such grace was remarkable. For once, history had come to life for me. We all felt it. And we were all inspired.
Of course, the cheese boards, pastries, and wine didn’t hurt the experience. We sat for hours on restaurant patios, visiting with waiters and other travelers and no one was in a hurry to get to the next place. It was a time to explore, to decompress and be amazed by our surroundings…and of course, take pictures and get inspired all over again.
Travel is a magical thing, it opens our minds to new ideas and people, but for those of us who don’t always have the opportunity to go to exotic places, there are wondrous experiences to be had right out our back door. And don’t forget to take your camera, you might find some inspiration of your own!