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I was Spring cleaning yesterday and, during my efforts, I found back copies of National Trust magazine. Instead of throwing them in the recycling pile, I sat down, ignored the world for a while, and let my mind travel.

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It reminded me of travel trips both past and future, the sights and smells of exotic markets, fresh grass, green waters, pale sand, golden fields, or snow-capped mountain passes. Each brought with them not only memories with the wonderful (or not) people I shared these with, but fresh inspiration. Take a location, close your eyes, and go. What’s happening? Why? How?

And it’s not always going to be the same. Every picture conjures up different images and thoughts in every else’s minds. But that can happen even in your mind. One setting can stir up so many different themes, genres, and feelings. For example, Budapest in the tourist sunshine is glorious and feel-good, Budapest at night is romantic, and Budapest in the mist is ideal for either spy-thrillers or dark fantasy settings.

And the best part? You don’t actually have to go anywhere. Just sit on your floor (or chair or couch or whatever it is your posterior frequents) and leaf through a copy of the National Trust magazine, National Geographic or even a copy of any Lonely Planet (or similar travel book). Now close your eyes and dream. Half the inspiration battle has already been won.

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