The Travel Inspires Story

Where travel, creativity and environment meet through diverse people and places

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso

Ever thought about why this is the case? Ever wondered why when you travel to a different place that you sometimes you feel younger or more creative? Or perhaps the woodlands or fields half an hour’s journey from your house have a similar effect?

I believe the day-to-day conditioning of a consumer-driven society sucks the “childish artist” out of us. The need to grow up and get a job so that we can buy things that often don’t even make us happy. The need to fit in and look good to others doesn’t encourage individual creativity.

From my personal experience of travel and living abroad especially in Greece and Spain, and returning for periods to Ireland, I am absolutely convinced of the potential importance of our environments. Both at home and away whether in our own country or abroad. (Naturally only venturing out when it is safe to do so!)

The intersection where travel, creativity and environment meet

Photos below left to right:

1 and 2 = Artist Derek Culley’s Dublin 3 and 4 = Artist Salvador Dalí’s Catalonia 5 and 6 = Author Henry McDonald’s Belfast

Dublin Halfpenny Bridge
Birkdale blues mixed media on paper 2004jpg (1280)
Cadaques Night Views Costa Brava
Salvador Dali at Home by Jackie De Burca-1024
Belfast Titanic
Two Souls book launch evite 1024

Can local environments and places to where we Travel Inspire Us?

“This housecum-studio was the refuge of the artist and Gala, at the very heart of the only landscape in which it truly belonged: that of Port Lligat, Cadaqués and Cap de Creus. A landscape that conditioned and stimulated the painter. I would even dare to say it gave him his identity. Dalí identified with it completely.” Montse Aguer Teixidor, director of the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation

The Surreal Spanish artist, Salvador Dalí, was inspired by numerous different places but none outshone his homeland of Catalonia. The above is an excerpt from my book, Salvador Dalí at Home.

Dalí had a fascination with Italy and he lived in a few different places including Paris and America. While there is no denying that each influenced him in various important ways, it was his precious Port Lligat that he craved when in exile abroad.

Famous artists and writers have travelled and lived abroad for centuries. The list is immense. The Dutch painter, Vincent Van Gogh spent time in Paris and Arles where he was inspired to create some of his most beautiful works. From May 1889 to May 1890, he admitted himself to a psychiatric hospital in Saint-Remy-de-Provence and when on intermittent outings he painted a number of his most famous paintings.

He spent the last few months of his life in Auvers-sur-Oise just outside Paris, where today you can follow sign-posted trails that show you not only where Van Gogh used to paint but also other famous artists including Cézanne, Rousseau, Corot, Daubigny and Pissarro.

I won an art competition aged seven and just like the quote at the beginning of this page, I lost this connection as an adult. That is until I moved to Spain and found myself wonderfully inspired by the environment and the light. In 2010, I started to paint again. I also started to explore writing more and more.

So, I believe the answer to the question above is definitely yes!

Photos below left to right – all from my book, Salvador Dalí at Home:

p. 11 Dalí in Cap de Creus 1958, p. 160-61 Cap de Creus Catalonia Rock Formations, p. 152 Dali drawing Gala at Hampton Manor Virginia, 1940, p.99 The Enigma of Hitler, 1939, p. 43 A room at the Students Residence in Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, p. 148 Mae West Room at the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres Catalonia

Salvador Dali Cap de Creus 1958
Cap de Creus Catalonia Rock Formations
Dali drawing Gala at Hampton Manor Virginia, 1940
The Enigma of Hitler, 1939
A room at the Students Residence in Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
Mae West Room at the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres Catalonia

On A Mission

To stimulate creativity plus love and respect for all types of environments and people

Travel Inspires investigates the intersection where travel, creativity and environment meet. Not only this but we are collaborating with different voices from all walks of life all over the world.

Journalists, authors, artists, musicians, creatives…

From the Guardian Newspaper’s senior reporter and author of Two Souls, Henry McDonald to all sorts of other creative people, including the immensely talented Irish artists, Ciarán Lennon, Pauline Flynn and Derek Culley, the tenor, Thomas Cameron, the photographer, Graham Custance and the photojournalist, Robert Bocaiga.

Mentoring younger people

We also mentor younger people such as this group of students from GMIT Galway Ireland. Instead of their college work never seeing the light of day these students ended up having their work published online here on Travel Inspires:

The main collaborative guide is the Lisbon Portugal Travel Guide.

Other articles featured in this Lisbon series are:


From Accra, Ghana to London, UK and from Jaipur, India to Castellon, Spain - the Travel Inspires Tribe range from colourful artists to deaf travel bloggers and from world-class journalists and authors to people who are passionate about olive oil and sustainability. (A small selection of the Tribe - we have 60 or so more to add....bear with us :))
Henry McDonald
Senior Reporter for The Guardian, Author of Two Souls & The Swinging Detective, Henry's interview is thought-provoking and brutally honest. Perhaps it could be considered to be a ground-breaking way to consider his formative environment of Belfast. The interview is intertwined with his 2019 novel, Two Souls, his own life and the places that have most affected his creativity: Belfast, Berlin, Hove and Nerja.
Jackie De Burca
Author of Salvador Dalí at Home and Creator of Travel Inspires, Jackie's intention is to help all sorts of creative people consider the impact of their formative and other environments on their creativity and lives. In this article, De Burca brings you on a journey of Salvador Dalí's most important environments. Learn how the artist connected to these places and get an overnight itinerary to enjoy the route.
Derek Culley
Self-taught Irish Artist and Founding Member of Celtic Vision with painters John Bellany and Denis Bowen, Culley was, born and educated in Dublin. Derek's article traces his steps in Dublin as a teenager and discusses the influence it had on his development as an artist. "Trinity College was my Harry Potter moment!" - For Dublin can be heaven, With coffee at eleven, And a stroll in Stephen’s Green

Ana De Jesus
Originally from Surrey, Ana moved to London to study a degree in English with Education and Social Sciences. Not afraid to challenge the social norm, Ana uses her role as a freelance journalist and fashion blogger to highlight the wider social, political and economical issues surrounding fashion, culture and news. Ana is the creator of Faded Spring.
Kwame Antwi-darkwah
Kwame did an internship with Travel Inspires in 2019 and enjoyed it so much that he wrote a few articles. At that time he was a student from Accra, who had also studied in London and was living in New York.

These days Kwame has stepped into a marketing role in a leading US medical company.
Marilou Trias
Marilou is a freelance writer based out of Hawaii. Retired from 30 years of service from Seattle City Light as a Senior Energy Management Analyst and relocated to Hawaii. She now travels leisurely between mainland USA and Hawaii, writing and photographing about her destinations and experiences
Mansoor Ladha
Recipient of a CCNA Silver Quill, Mansoor Ladha is an award-winning journalist, travel writer and author. He is author of Memoirs of a Muhindi: Fleeing East Africa for the West (The Regina Collection) and Portrait in Pluralism: Aga Khan’s Shia Ismaili Muslims.
Patricia Morcilla Mostaza
Patricia is a journalist, professor of Spanish Language and Literature and she worked at RNE – Radio Nacional de España (National Radio of Spain) for nine years. However, her love for Madrid drove her to transition into a tourist guide.
Graham Custance
Graham is a very talented photographer whose work inspires people to appreciate nature and the beauty that surrounds them. His honed approach helps him to connect deeply with each location that he visits and photographs.
Shauna Hehir
A GMIT graduate in event management and PR, Shauna was one of the student group to take part in our pilot mentoring project. Shauna works part-time in Trumps International Hotel which she loves as it gives her a good insight into the world of Hospitality. It is a 5-star resort which encourages Shauna to work to the highest of standards.

Shauna wrote about Lisbon as a romantic destination.
Paul Shawcross
Paul is an author, editor and photographer who has penned city guides for Thomas Cook and revised as well as writing new content for several Michelin Green Guides. He has also authored pieces for in-flight magazines and coffee table books besides contributing articles to several leading periodicals including Everything France, Living France, France Today and France Magazine. Recently he has written a series of travel apps for Touch Screen Travels featuring such diverse destinations as Provence and his local city Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Yousra Bouabbadi
Yousra is an author and web editor at Womenhancers.

She likes to consider cultures around the world as her passion. She finds inspiration in the different aspects of life across countries and has a soft spot for underrated destinations. Yousra joined the Womenhancers team to pass on her love for discovery and new experiences. Sharing her insight into what’s good and what’s not. She describes herself as an eternal daydreamer, a gloomy weather lover, and a big fan of Italian food.

Billy Read
Billy is a travel blogger and a performing artist from Birmingham, UK. Born profoundly deaf, Billy has had a love of geography and travel since a young age, but communication barriers and challenges meant a lack of confidence to go out and see the world.

At the age of twenty-one, he was given the opportunity to teach dance workshops to deaf and hearing people in Hong Kong, and finally developed the confidence to travel all over the globe by himself.
Laura Lovette
Laura is a travel and lifestyle blogger from Manchester. Her passion for travel inspired her to quit her full-time day job in favour of freelance work, enabling her to travel the world while working. She loves all forms of travel, from European city breaks to solo travelling around South East Asia. Laura loves colour, which you can see in her photos and clothes. She is the human Mother of two pet ferrets, loves animals, food, running, reading and Harry Potter.
Sam Hammond
Sam was 16 when he wrote his first article for Travel Inspires. He first travelled abroad at the age of 9 on his first foreign holiday with his family to Murcia in Spain. A few years went by having ‘stay-cations’ in the UK and then in 2017, he went on two amazing trips – the first to Sicily in Italy and the second to Madrid in Spain. Sam follows several travel blogging agencies and websites like Lonely Planet and Beautiful Destinations which have fed his inspiration to visit places around the world. Sam is also a keen foodie.

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