|Trouants Island View|
Driving into an area where the plants are different, familiar foods are named strangely and everyone is speaking with an accent gives me a new background on which to write. I can read about other's travels, but when I experience a new location personally, there are so many more details that impress my memory. Writing about specific locations using real landmarks seems to add credibility and believability to fiction.
I was reading an article from National Geographic, Traveling like a Travel Writer where Robert Reid mentions that to really 'see' a place, sometimes it takes an outsider to look around. As a local, I see my own town in a certain way, often overlooking unique characteristics as they have become normal to me. While my husband drove, I could study the passing areas through my window - the ever driven women running in their exercise suits, homeless men that looked like they just stepped off a ship, different kinds of seagulls circling overhead, endless miles of rock walls and interesting road signs. (Why do snow plow drivers need a sign before every bridge telling them to take caution?)
If you find yourself unable to find inspiration from your local area, try a little traveling. When you come home, you will see things a little differently and might be able to write more effectively as a 'local' but through the lens of a traveler.