An Excuse to Travel

Thesis retreats. Have you heard of these? Basically, you plan trip so that you can have some peace and quiet to work on your thesis. I love the idea of taking a vacation…but would I actually work on my thesis?

There’s research out there that says going somewhere far away (or even just thinking about far away places) can enhance creativity. I found this Scientific American article supporting the notion through a blog called Thesis Whisperer, out of Australia.

I get it – new places get the creative juices flowing, and being somewhere other than your home or university library prevents you from getting distracted by the daily tasks that pop up (I have to do laundry, I have to get gas, I have to return these phone calls). Still, I wonder about the other distractions – you’re in a new place, but rather than exploring, you’re in a hotel room with your laptop. That sounds miserable.

By reading through the comments on this blog post though, it would seem people have mostly positive experiences. It looks like the key is having a schedule and sticking to it (I will wake up, have breakfast, and work on my thesis from 8 am-1 pm every day), and then rewarding yourself (After 1 pm I’m free to explore, nap, go to the beach, whatever I want). If you do that seven days a week, you’re getting in 35 hours of quality thesis time – that’s not bad!

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I plan on dedicating most of my summer to thesis-writing. Where does one go on a budget of, say, $40?

Jen Library it is!

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