Not long before flying off to Vietnam, I caught up with my mum and auntie (mum’s sister) for brunch. My auntie is a wonderful artist and has the most incredible talent for bringing the scenery around her to life in the most vivid ways. She was also my earliest encouragement in art and creativity – I remember SO clearly receiving a set of pastels and proper, thick artist’s board to draw on as a gift at one point. Those pastels were the crown jewels to little me; I don’t think I’d ever looked after anything so carefully in my life!
Anyway, she now travels a lot to draw and paint, and she brought along to brunch this day a few of her art journals from her last trip to Italy. I was mermorised; even the simple, scribbled, single colour pen sketches were magnificent, and I loved the way she drew on some pages and wrote on others.
She knows I’ve always been better at writing than drawing, but she told me that adding a few drawings into my travel journals would be a perfect addition; she said that taking the time to sit and sketch out what was in front of me for half an hour would cement the memories and feelings so much more strongly than a quick photo would. She understands the importance of slowing down. I’m starting to learn that, too.
So, I took her advice, trying to remember that my pictures didn’t have to be perfect or look like photos – the more I draw, the more my own unique style comes out, and Zia was right; these moments will be rooted deep within my memory long after the pictures fade. Here are some of the places I paused to really take in while we were away…