The Power of the Experience

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” ― Richard Branson.

Well I didn’t fall over, but I certainly opened myself up and pushed the boundaries with my creativity based personal development immersion in New York City. I enrolled in an acting course to hone my communication skills, a painting class to create with freedom and was inspired through engagement with local creatives and entrepreneurs. Actively participating and creating with my fellow students was confronting, but also the most fun and positively impactful learning experience of my 55-year-old life!

So why?

On reflection it was the power of the experience – experiential learning combined with experiential travel.

It is widely accepted that there are four learning styles:

  • Auditory, where people take in information through listening,
  • Reading/writing for those who enjoy interacting with text,
  • Visual, for those that best absorb and understand with images, and
  • Tactile, kinesthetic, or as the Virgin Chief says – learning by doing.

But there is a variation to the learning by doing style, called Experiential Learning. First proposed by David Kolb in 1984, it is defined as “learning through reflection on doing” and has the following benefits:

  • Keeps you focused and present through active participation.
  • Provides real time application of information, allowing experimentation.
  • Access to in the moment coaching, allowing more rapid skills progression.
  • Encourages teamwork and communication between the participants – another learning opportunity.
  • Development of reflective practice habits.
  • Heightened satisfaction and confidence, as progress and accomplishments are obvious.

This technique allows reflection and observation in the sessions, but some concepts would benefit from additional thinking and processing. But how do you get that space for reflection time in a connected and busy world?

Well I happened to be immersed in the sights, sounds and energy of in New York City, well clear from my usual routine and open to new adventures and opportunities. What I later realised is that one of the fastest growing trends is immersive, or experiential travel. *In 2017, 65% of travellers preferred ‘experiencing something new’ over ‘feeling rested and recharged’.

Here at Creative Cities 21, we have learned by doing and offer an impactful personal development program delivered through experiential learning and for those joining us from outside New York City, the added benefit of experiential travel, making it a unique holiday learning experience!

So would this learning style suit you? If you are not sure of your preferred method to optimise your personal and professional development, then one way to find out is to use an online assessment tool. Try it out and hopefully you agree with us and we will see you soon!


*In 2017, 65% of travellers preferred ‘experiencing something new’ over ‘feeling rested and recharged’.  
^ “U.S. Experiential Traveler Trends 2018: Annual Survey on Traveler Behavior, Motivations & Preferences”. Skift Research.


Creative Cities 21 re-energises busy people through a unique personal development experience. With plenty of evidence highlighting that creativity makes you more productive, better leaders & workers and happier, our 5-day program combines a number of activity-based creative workshops whilst immersed in awesome New York City. You will leave inspired, reinvigorated and with a renewed sense of passion and possibility.

Find out more about our 2019 programs at

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