How the Beach Vacation Sparks Creativity and Innovation

LT Globetrotter

April 30, 2024
From the Beach to Broadway: How the Beach Vacation Helped Create Icons

From Lin-Manuel Miranda to Martin Scorsese, vacation was all it took for these living icons to come up with some of their greatest ideas.

The Science Behind a Creative Spark

The science is in: vacation is good for your brain. By taking some time away from work and other responsibilities, you will:

  • Improve your mental health and motivation.
  • Avoid burnout and regain a sense of renewal.
  • Boost overall happiness.

But did you know it even has helped create human icons, and even icons on your phone? Here’s who used a beach getaway to leave their mark on the world.

The Waves Sure Are Musical: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Creator of “Hamilton”

Lin Manuel Miranda wrote Hamilton while on vacation

A box-office-smashing, informative, entertaining Broadway play does not happen overnight. In fact, it happens over a nice vacation to Mexico.

After casually picking up the book to which the play would be based, Lin-Manuel Miranda simply expected himself to be in possession of a good ole beach read. Luck? Or was vacation simply that inspiring?

Says Lin-Manuel Miranda to Rolling Stone, “It’s no accident that I read Alexander Hamilton while I was on vacation… and that most of the writing was also on vacations.”

He even wrote most of it on vacation. Need we say more?

He went into more detail to the Huffington Post. “When I picked up Ron Chernow’s biography [of Hamilton], I was at a resort in Mexico… The moment my brain got a moment’s rest, ‘Hamilton’ walked into it.”

In other words, when you take a vacation, great ideas just walk right into your brain!

Miranda admitted in another interview, “I should take more vacations!... I don’t believe it’s an accident that on my first vacation from In the Heights [his first Broadway play], the best idea of my life shows up.”

Book vacation to Mexico: check.

Buy a beach read: check.

Write perfect Broadway play: check.

Paradise Literally Filters Out Genius: Kevin Systrom, Founder of Instagram

Kevin Systrom, founder of Instagram, came up with the first filter while on vacation

Heard of Instagram? We thought so. In the era of start-ups and start-up-apps and start-up everything else, Instagram is still at the top of the heap. Perhaps the app is the icon here, but it took a mere human brain to come up with the whole thing. So – where did Systrom come up with it?

Says Systrom to The Telegraph, “I was on vacation with my fiancé – at the time, my girlfriend – Nicole in Mexico when we had the aha moment. We were walking along the beach and I said that we needed something to help us [the company] stand out.”

This clearly turned out to be a life-changing romantic walk on the beach.

He continues, “We went back to this small bed and breakfast in Mexico with dial-up internet connection and I spent the afternoon learning how to make a filter… the funny thing is if you look at the first photo ever on Instagram, it’s of Nicole – well, her foot – a stray dog and a taco stand in Mexico. Had I known it was going to be the first photo on Instagram I would have tried a bit harder.”

You might as well just book your trip to Mexico already.

St. Martin Saves Martin: Martin Scorsese, Legendary Film Director

Martin Scorsese wrote Raging Bull while on vacation

When it comes to a career in film, Martin Scorsese has perhaps the most impressive filmography of any director in cinematic history. Taxi Driver, Goodfellas and Raging Bull are all ranked on American Film Institute’s greatest film listRaging Bull listed at number 4 of all-time only behind Citizen KaneThe Godfather, and Casablanca.

He has also made modern classics like 2006’s Academy Award Best Picture-winning The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street, Hugo, and 2023’s Oscar-nominated Killers of the Flower Moon. And he’s still at work. Usually confining himself to hotel rooms prior to a long shoot to work out all the shots, his love for hospitality and vacation goes way back.

In the late seventies, struggling with his health and what one could call “director’s block,” his good pal Robert De Niro suggested a vacation to the island of St. Martin to recharge the batteries. Vanity Fair had the scoop, detailing that they chose the Belmond La Samanna resort and that the two of them would “head out in their Jeep to dinner in one of the several extremely good restaurants on the island.” A good meal goes a long way.

Says Scorsese of the trip, “It was total concentration… Everything was done at that little table with that silly cabana umbrella and we’re looking out at the ocean.” Everything meaning what would become the script and shot-selection for Raging Bull. One shot in particular was so vivid to him on vacation, he said, “When I looked at it there [in St. Martin], I saw the scene… I saw the shot – what you see in the film. A number of times I wished I had a camera. I would’ve shot it immediately.”

As Richard Schickel wrote in the Vanity Fair article“He returned from St. Martin completely committed to the project” and achieved “a full return to physical well-being.” And he’d go on to make one of the greatest films ever made.

Here’s to hoping he took another nice island getaway before shooting his next movie!

Vacation Delivers a Spark We All Deserve

Get inspired in St. Martin

When it comes to inspiration, clearly vacation is better than your morning cup of coffee – but just ask Howard Schultz about that; the man behind a little-known coffee shop called Starbucks had his lightbulb moment on a trip he took back in 1983.

Of course, vacation isn't all about becoming an icon; it’s about giving your brain the proper rest it needs. Ironically, if you want to be more productive, take a long vacation.

We have just the place. Connect with a travel consultant today!

LT Globetrotter

As fellow travelers, our people are always on the move discovering new destinations. On the occasions they take a break from exploring, they love to write up a few stories about their adventures before they leave for the next one, so you can enjoy expert tips, news, and recommendations to use for your own travels.