Our office has done a good bit of globe-trotting this summer. In addition to the photos, stories, and occasional treats they bring back with them, I’ve noticed that after a few days away, my coworkers — myself included — most always return with a newfound energy for the things awaiting them back here in the office.
This, of course, is not unusual. Travel is proven to relieve stress, boost happiness, increase adaptability, and make us more creative. With each new experience, our brain’s neural map changes, which creates connections that encourage new thinking.
I asked my fellow D Custom adventurers about how places they’ve been affected their lives here in the office. From faraway fjords to spots in our own backyard, here’s a look at the places that have inspired our team.
Kate Crouse, Director of Digital Media Strategy
Where to go: Iceland, Thailand, or anywhere really!
But I’m such a travel junkie. It’s like asking me which of my children is my favorite. (I have no children; the feeling still stands.)
How it inspires me: I think different places inspire people in different ways. That’s always been my experience. Sometimes it’s encountering a culture so different from your own that it makes you look at things from a different perspective, realizing that your bubble is just a small bubble in a big world. Sometimes it’s beauty, making you seek out nature in your own space, or changing how you bring creativity to your life, whether at work or at home. Sometimes it’s a big enough experience that it changes something in your soul, and makes you approach problems or challenges with a refreshed outlook. It teaches patience and spontaneity, encourages adventurousness and acceptance. Everywhere I go inspires me in a different way, and I think those experiences tie directly into how I approach my job, my tasks, my management style, etc.
Paul Buckley, President
Where to go: Local museums
How it inspires me: I love our office because we are literally right next door to three phenomenal museums: the Dallas Museum of Art, Crow Collection of Asian Art, and Nasher Sculpture Center. Great artwork inspires me and these are the places I go when I’m feeling bored or just stuck. When I’m next to the Picassos and Giacomettis, I’m close to something that feels otherworldly. These paintings and sculptures seem to defy space and time. I highly recommend sneaking out of the office every once in a while and visiting a museum. When you get back to your desk, you will be surprised at how high your standards suddenly are.
Meredith McBee, Strategy Intern
Where to go: London
How it inspires me: London has been my favorite place since I was a little girl. From the free museums to the historic architecture and royal history, there’s something to be seen at every tube stop. I spent the last two summers exploring the city, and my most cherished weekend afternoon activity was taking a random bus and getting off at whatever stop piqued my interest. I explored the pop-up shops around Shoreditch, the beautiful homes of Notting Hill, and the busy connecting point that is King’s Cross. I met the most interesting and colorful locals while riding the bus. When I say that I miss London every day, it is no exaggeration. In no other city could I go to a Beyoncé-themed fitness class, follow it up with a knitting lesson, try every kind of cheese known to man at Borough Market, and end with a food coma brought on by an extended afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason. Being surrounded by so much architecture and art, and so many creative thinkers has led me to spot creativity all around me. So whether I’m walking around London or the D Custom offices, I’m always on the lookout for something fun and creative, which has helped me when taking photos for our company’s Instagram account.
Cory Davies, Director of Client Services
Where to go: St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
How it inspires me: In 2003, when our Caribbean cruise was canceled last minute, my wife and I took a chance on booking a villa on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. John instead. Despite knowing little about the island, we spent one glorious week there living every day like it was a gift and vowed to return again and again. On St. John, I am the person I’ve spent my whole life striving to be — happy, friendly, energetic, creative, compassionate, and reverent. And when the everyday grind starts to take its toll, nothing recharges my batteries quite like a week of sun, fun, and maybe a little rum on that little island. This past June, we made our 10th visit there, a very emotional return as St. John was nearly wiped off the map by two Category 5 hurricanes (Irma and Maria) just nine months before. We’d been told by many to expect the worst, but ultimately resolved that while the physical embodiment of the island was in disarray, the STJ state of mind remained. As long as that unique spirit and idyllic mentality — that values experiences over material objects and rewards those who are willing to travel a little farther, get up a little earlier, and sweat a bit more to realize a dream — remains, we know that St. John, and all who love it dearly, are going to be OK.
Michaela Brandt, Digital Media Strategist
Where to go: Southwestern Germany — Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Friedrichshafen
How it inspires me: I’ve been blessed beyond belief by close family friends who have opened my eyes to the wonders and benefits of traveling since high school. From the U.S. East Coast to Bermuda to Germany, they jump-started the broadening of my horizons through travel, allowing me to see things from different perspectives and embrace the unknown. In fact, my first international experience was with these lovely friends to visit the country of my dreams: Germany. From the long flight with people from an array of backgrounds to the busy streets bustling with a foreign language and wildlife and smells, it sparked a deeper understanding of the commonality that is found in all of us and gave me a greater appreciation for the things that make us different.