At first glance, the cultural evidence that travel makes us more open, creative and curious seems irrefutable. From the Beat Generation’s cross-country benders to Mark Twain’s assertion that travel is “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,” we assume without a second thought that seeing new places, people and cultures changes us for the better in ways that long outlast unflattering passport photos. And yet for every adventure-hungry artist, there’s a secluded genius who conjures a masterpiece using nothing more than their own limited experience and boundless imagination. Emily Brontë reinvented the Victorian novel and evoked vicious, vividly drawn relationships even though she lived most of her life in her picturesque family home. Likewise, Emily Dickinson—that other famously reclusive Emily—produced almost 1, 800 poems over her lifetime despite leading such an isolated existence that she often spoke to visitors through her door This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.