As much as I love to travel, there’s one part of the process I don’t much like. That’s the part that occurs between the time I leave home and arrive at my destination. I usually deal with this by saving a book that I especially want to read or by bringing along a needlework project to keep me calm.

A few years ago, I was getting ready to leave for London and decided that I wanted to make the travel time about something more than just grinning and bearing it. Perhaps I could turn it into an Inspiration Quest, I decided, looking for things to inspire me along the way. Setting that intention may just be my new favorite travel tip because I kept finding wonderfully inspiring stories the entire time.

My first stop was the newsstand at the airport where I picked up a copy of O Home magazine which had a cover declaration that read INSPIRATION! The issue featured several women entrepreneurs along with an insightful piece by Martha Beck.

I’d also purchased a copy of People magazine which had a review of a book by Hollywood producer Bernie Brillstein who claimed that civility is his secret to success. 

Then there was an especially inspiring piece about Stormie Trujillo, a mother of three and Pueblo tribe member whose bracelets of Native American symbols are becoming all the rage. Homeless as a girl, she and her family slept on the beaches near LA where the then 12-year-old found her calling. “I picked up seashells and wood and would string them together. That’s how I got started as a jewelry designer.”

That wasn’t all, however, Even the in-flight magazine was participating in my Inspiration Quest with an article called “Six Great Places to be Creative.” Their first choice?  London.

I was also blessed with a delightfully inspiring seat mate named Daniel who is preparing to be an actor. I asked him if his career choice had brought him much criticism and he said it had. “But I’ve wanted to act all my life,” he said, “and my parents warned me I’d encounter negative advice so it doesn’t really bother me.” We talked about his vision and commitment to following his heart. Mostly we shared thoughts about the joy of living a creative life. I couldn’t have found a better companion to accompany me over the Atlantic than this inspired young man.

So on the eve of another long journey, I’m renewing my intention and am anticipating another Inspiration Quest. But, of course, this isn’t just a fine exercise for a long flight. Conducting an on-going Inspiration Quest makes every kind of life journey a joy.