The Journey Never Ends
How Being on the Move Boosts My Career

Edit Palinkas  /  June 23, 2024

People are always asking how I manage to be constantly on the go. Honestly, it’s pretty simple — I just need my laptop, camera, and internet. That’s it! I can work from anywhere in the world. I don’t just live in multiple cities; I’m always hopping across Europe, chasing international connections, projects, and new inspirations. And get this — I do my best work on a train. I’m actually on a train right now writing this. So, here are all the reasons why I keep moving so much:

Diverse inspirations and creative stimulation

Traveling is like an all-you-can-eat buffet of cultures and artistic styles, which significantly enhances my creative work. The fresh perspectives and unique elements I encounter get seamlessly incorporated into my projects. As a photographer, I am particularly enchanted by different cities, landscapes, and cultures. Whether I’m capturing the vibrant streets of Berlin or the serene landscapes of the Swiss Alps, each location offers a unique source of inspiration. Countless graphic ideas spring from my travels, and I love integrating the forms of these places into my designs. It’s especially exciting to consider local influences when designing clothing patterns and plan a collection tailored to a specific location, city, or even country.

Building a global network

What I’m about to say may sound cliché, but it’s truly fundamental. As a cultural project manager and creative professional, building a diverse network is crucial. Constantly moving allows you to meet new people, forge new partnerships, and collaborate with a variety of professionals. This can open doors to international projects, unique collaborations, and a broader audience for your work. This year, I’ve already attended major international conferences and exhibitions in Paris and Berlin. Especially if you’re new to this field, like me, the influx of information can be overwhelming. It hits you hard, and it takes days to process and sort through all the impulses.

This is when notes and project ideas come into play, and I write down everything. If I’m diligent, I can distribute them in time, organizing when to focus on what, trying to systematize the knowledge I suddenly acquired. However, what’s even more important is maintaining the new connections you’ve made. You can’t let them cool off. It’s an ongoing cycle with no end. If you’re skilled, you can juggle projects and work in a way that they generate and sustain each other.

Adapting to new trends and technologies

It’s clear that whether you’re traveling abroad, visiting a nearby city, or attending a local event, each experience can be full of opportunities. Different regions often adopt new trends and technologies at varying paces. By moving around, you can stay ahead of industry trends and incorporate the latest techniques and tools into your work. This adaptability ensures that your skills remain cutting-edge and relevant in the fast-evolving creative industries. If you can sense and capitalize on these new trends in time, you can gain a huge competitive advantage.

Now, the trickiest part is figuring out what’s worth your precious time and what’s just a shiny distraction. Good luck to us all on that front! Whether it’s embracing AI, integrating the latest educational technology tools to enhance training sessions, or making small but significant changes like designing a new administrative spreadsheet for a client — which, believe it or not, can drastically improve a team’s time management — the key is to adopt trends that genuinely boost your productivity rather than drain it.

Enhanced cultural competence

In my latest project ideas, I’m setting my sights on a completely international audience, which means diving into their needs, unique customs, and quirky habits. As a cultural project manager, understanding and appreciating different cultures is crucial. By immersing myself in new environments regularly, I develop a deeper cultural competence, which allows me to create more authentic and culturally sensitive projects. This cultural awareness can significantly boost the impact and reception of my work.

Take, for instance, one of my current projects. I’m exploring which local architectural elements resonate most with residents in different countries. It’s like being a design detective! In Hungary, our buildings are often adorned with folk motifs, which are deeply ingrained in our culture. Now, imagine trying to figure out as a foreigner what makes a pattern in different countries feel like ‘home’ to its residents. It’s a fascinating challenge that keeps me on my toes and ensures that my designs are not just visually appealing but also culturally meaningful. So, by constantly learning and adapting, I aim to create projects that truly resonate with people from all over the world.

Personal growth and flexibility

For me, moving around isn’t a hassle — in fact, it’s fantastic! Especially when it comes to larger projects, it gives us more chances to meet face-to-face and hash out the details. I know the online world has come a long way since Covid, but let’s be real, nothing beats the power of personal connections. Long-term planning definitely requires those in-person meetings. Plus, I never travel with just one goal in mind. For example, when I head to a textile exhibition in Paris, you can bet a concert or an art show sneaks its way into my itinerary.

Constantly being on the move not only keeps things exciting but also fosters personal growth. It challenges you to adapt to new situations, overcome obstacles, and thrive in diverse environments. This kind of flexibility and resilience is gold for a digital nomad. Moreover, the variety of experiences adds richness to your personal narrative, making your storytelling in photography, videography, and design more compelling and relatable.

So, that’s enough about my personal obsession with traveling. But you can see how much benefit, experience, and most importantly, inspiration it brings to me. Through my projects, it benefits you too, and maybe, just maybe, it makes the world a little better. Every small step counts.