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Writing Ideas from Summer Vacation

Snake River, Hells Canyon, ID

Did you take a road trip this summer? Perhaps you spent some time at the lake or on the river. Or maybe you spent some fun time on a stay-cation. You may not have thought about writing while on vacation. But, fiction and nonfiction writers alike can be inspired by their summer activities. Think back over the places you went and the experiences you had. There’s a host of writing ideas lurking in your memory.

Here are some of the thoughts I recorded from a trip to the Northwest USA in summer 2016.

Big City

Seattle, WA, skyline

I usually avoid large cities, but then, they usually have the airports! Seattle was the start and end of our tour. We got our exercise by walking the crowded streets around the hotel.The view of Mt. Rainier from the city was awesome. We passed the huge Boeing aircraft plant on the way into town. I also learned a lot about the mountain ranges along the western coast. Many of them are volcanoes. Remember Mount St. Helens? Many of them are still active.

Washington State Wheat Country

Farm Country

I was amazed at the vast wheat fields of central Washington state. I discovered that Washington is ranked fifth among U. S. wheat producing states. We toured an old flour mill that is now a restaurant and tourist attraction. We also visited a winery and a farmers market attached to a fruit orchard. I gained a new appreciation for the people who grow and transport our food.


St. Mary’s Lake, Glacier National Park

I loved the wilderness, although I we did not camp or rough it in any way. We toured Glacier National Park, a guest ranch near Kalispell, MT, and Hells Canyon on the Snake River via jet-boat. Definitely, there was some sensory overload in these places. The mountains, the “Big Sky,” the glaciers and rivers—all testify to the glory of creation and the God who made it all.

Journal Your Summer

Nobody’s going to require you to write an essay about your summer vacation. But, do try to get your remembrances down on paper or into your computer. Preserve your summer experience as raw material for your writing. You’ll be glad you did.

Readers, how do you use your personal experiences to enhance your writing? Share in the comments. If you receive this post by email, please click on the title of the post to go to my site. Scroll down to Leave a Reply and comment there.

Seattle photo source:

4 Responses to Writing Ideas from Summer Vacation

  1. Laurean Brooks September 8, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

    I’ve often wondered how adventurous it would be to travel to different states, stay awhile, and write a book about each, then move to another.

    A resident of Branson, author Janet Daily did this. She recently passed away, (we learned while we were in Branson in July), but her goal three decades ago was to travel to, and write a book about, every state in the U.S.

    I wonder if she accomplished her mission.

  2. Paula September 8, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

    While my ‘bucket list’ doesn’t include only travel, two things on the list were to go to Arizona to visit my daughter and her son and, while there, to visit the Grand Canyon. She graduated from college in May and flew me out to be with her for three weeks. I got to eat at a couple of excellent Mexican restaurants, visit the library in Phoenix (hail to libraries!), ride their transit system, see snow on the mountaintops at 6K foot elevations, and of course, walk the south rim of the Canyon.
    I don’t do heat well, and at least half of the days I was there were 100 degrees or higher (in May, no less), I was extremely glad to make the trip. I was with my daughter on Mother’s Day to cap it all off and was able to celebrate at her church that Sunday. The only time I’d seen my grandson prior to that visit was 13 years to the month when he was almost 2 years old. At almost 15, he said to me, “Grandma, I’m so glad I get to finally meet you.” Goodness, my heart swelled so when he said that.
    The trip home was east across the desert state of New Mexico to Texas by train and then north to Chicago and then east again to Michigan. I will definitely have to use the experience to write “something.” I wrote in my journal and kept little reminders — like yellow flowers from the Canyon — in that journal. Thanks for the great idea, Emily.

  3. Emily Akin September 8, 2017 at 7:23 pm #

    Well, some of us are too old to write a book in every state. Me, for example. I don’t have enough time left! An article about every state, maybe. Culture, food, weather—so many things are different from state to state.

  4. Emily Akin September 8, 2017 at 7:26 pm #

    Grand Canyon is on my list, too, Paula. I’ve been to Phoenix area, but it was on business, and I couldn’t get there. So sad that you get to see your grandson so seldom. Write something about the train trip. Few people have experience with that these days.

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