As the world’s leading researcher on inspiration, Wunderman Thompson knows a thing or two about the psychological link between people’s value systems and their sources of inspiration to predict how humanity will be inspired. In Wunderman Thompson’s Inspire InFocus report, being outdoors in nature ranked number one as the top source of inspiration globally. Even though life is starting to “get back to normal”, many of our new habits formed during the pandemic, such as taking walks during work breaks or exploring nature in our own backyard, have endured.
As we yearn to move, connect, and get off a plane and stretch our legs, out of a conference hall into fresh air, leave the confines of a hotel room, or even take a walking meeting or lunch in a park vs. a restaurant, here are some ideas for the next time you find yourself in some of the most inspirational cities around the world, for business or pleasure.
Name: Amber Day Justis
Title: EVP, ECD, WT California
City: Los Angeles, California
I was born on the East Coast and spent the first half of my life beating a path from Vermont to Florida where getting water-logged, muddy, sticky, icky and blissed kept me good and busy for almost 20 years. After grad school I went west for new adventures, weirder creative shops and true blue waters. California is home to all my favourite places in North America to get off the grid, get inspired and get free.
Q> When do you find you crave inspiration in nature and where do you find it?
Amber> I’m a foster for all sorts of mutts and have a few full-timers I call The Gucci Gang. My son Reef and I hit the Eagle Rock Dog Park
and make friends. Play with sticks and leaves. Catch frisbees in our teeth and steal rogue tennis balls. The dogs just lie in the shade while we do all the work.
Q> Where is the best place to people watch in Los Angeles?
Amber> The Grove open-air farmers market
in LA is a gas. A lot of people on Bumble dates who are experimenting with botox, hair gel and enjoying some boba tea together. Fascinating study of modern mating in the wild.
Q> What’s your favourite hike or walk?
Amber> Matador Beach
in Malibu. As I walk, I sketch stories in my head about the people who live in the unique homes that overlook the ocean while absorbing the salty ions of the great Pacific. The recipe is super tasty.
Q> What are some interesting natural attractions near your city that are worth checking out?
Amber> There’s a massive, ancient fig tree in front of the Fairmont Hotel
that has endured the centuries-long evolution of the city. It’s one of the most fully realised and wise trees I’ve ever hugged. That tree has seen things. Great photo op too.
Q> Which season inspires you the most in your part of the world and why?
Amber> I’m very Swedish and thrive in the cold, making life in SoCal quite interesting. We do have a brief winter in the city but for a truly chill(y) escape I go to Big Bear
, Lake Arrowhead
or Mammoth Mountain
to stand tall with the pines.
Q> What kind of weather do you get that’s unique to your area and when does it inspire you?
Amber> The truth - it’s ‘fire season’. That’s a thing in California now. Climate change is real ya’ll! It inspires me to write my local legislators.
Q> Anything else to add that might involve wildlife, especially critters or birds or a specific example of when you were inspired by nature?
Amber> Bioluminescence is a trip. I’ve been lucky to witness it in the Channel Islands near Santa Barbara and it was like coming alive in the film Avatar. 10/10 can recommend.