Designers thrive on experiences. We use our sense in equal proportion to our problem-solving logic. There is simply nothing more important than for designers to open their minds and senses into the widest possible experiences.
When asked, “What do you do to keep yourself updated and educated?”, a designer can simply say that they buy design books, attend design lectures or seminars, discuss with fellow designers, or some even go further in their education by getting short courses or a complete master’s degree.
While I agree design education is important, there is more than just the design discipline to get one’s skills polished. Practice is equally important, but so is reading a wide array of topics and themes, discuss with the larger communities–not just design communities, meet a lot of people, maybe finish a different kind of degree or formal course, and if you feel adventurous, even go places. Yes, the actual kind of travel.
Travel teaches designers multitude of design soft skills that they will not get in the textbooks. It teaches problem-solving skills, time management, understanding how specific community views and solves problems, and will expose you to a world of different visual culture. It’s all about understanding people, and people are the forefront of our work. We design for people, not for theories.
So, if you have the time, take some days off and venture to a place (or places). The greater the differences in the destination than your home city or country, the better it is. Expose yourself. Risk yourself.