Monday, 31 January 2011

Writing about travel

Travel writing is something that I am really passionate about. As long as I can remember, I have carried a scrapbook or journal with me wherever I go. I remember being about four or five and carrying this big scrap book with pages made out of blue and green sugar paper. I collected all sorts of things that I found; tickets from wherever we had visited on that trip, postcards and little drawings that I'd done. I would stick them all in the book and write all about what I had done each day, my favourite activities and friends I'd met along the way.

I still do the same thing now. Only now my scrap book is a bit smaller - a rather fetching pink journal which I picked up on my honeymoon in Hawaii - but the format is still the same. I still stick all kinds of little reminders in there and write in every detail of my day. I record the weather, the prices of things, the time difference, the length of the flight and so on.

Me, writing in my journal over lunch in Italy.

I also carry a sketch book and a teeny set of water colours. Whenever the mood takes me, I plonk myself in the nearest spot that I won't get run over and start sketching away. I love it and I think it is a great reminder of my holidays to have a little hand painted picture to bring back with me.

Me, painting by the side of the river in Bosa, Sardinia

The finished painting
I just loved the pastel patchwork of houses 

So, I'm sat here thinking about what inspires me as a writer and an artist and thought that I would share it with you.

I love anything to do with animals, especially seeing them in their natural habitat – I don’t know why, I just love seeing animals doing their thing. There is something that pushes a button inside me and makes me get that lump in my throat and that feeling of complete amazement. Whether it’s a butterfly or a monkey, a beetle or a seal, I just can’t help but feel that there is so much I don’t know about why these things are all different and yet related in some way, having all descended from those original parasites and evolved into what they are now.

Dragon flies on wild mint growing at the side of a canal
in the South of France

Beautiful landscapes and architecture always take my breath away – The landscapes of this world have been built by nature over millions of years, they could have been formed by extreme weather or tidal conditions, or just be the result of gradual erosion by a stream. The landscape is as old as time but ever changing. 

This arch has been carved out over goodness
knows how long by the angry waves below.
Volcano National Park, The Big Island, Hawaii

Architecture is the product of another persons mind, it has pieces of their personality, their hopes, dreams and fears – laid out for all to see.

One of the most iconic bits of architecture I can think of
Brooklyn Bridge, New York

Speaking to / watching the locals – By talking to the locals, I have learned that even with language barriers, we all feel the same way about family and children, we still get annoyed by people pushing into the queue, we all try to help a stranger in need. Humans are humans, wherever we come from. Talking to locals reminds me that we are all equal.

This little local let me take his picture
Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany


  1. Oh Kat, what a truly special post. I could really feel you being there when you were telling about it. Your water color is great, you really are a good artist, it reminds me of something out of a book!

  2. What a cutie in that last picture. :)

    I think it is so cool that you jot down all those little details of your day. AND it is so neat that you can paint beautifully. Never stop taking a break and painting what inspires you. That is so neat!

    I'm with you--it is amazing to see all that has formulated over the years in nature and all of the intricacies that man has created. It really is wonderful. xx

  3. Nice blog, cool photos and a lovely painting!

    I see you also liked Bosa. I was really overwhelmed with Sardinia. So many cool places...

    If you want to revisit it through my eyes you can click on Sardinia label on my blog. Enjoy!