Sketching in America and Peru

So in November 2013, I took off on a spur of the moment trip overseas. It came at a good time for me, when a large number of changes were taking place in my life, such as choosing a completely different career path, taking the semester off Uni that I never thought I would take and dumping my long term boyfriend among a variety of other things. So it is fair to say that this trip got me back in my feet. And I like to think that my copious amounts of drawing helped with this too.
So anyway, on the plane over I began to test a couple of new styles

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(Don’t you just love overly critical annotation?)
I tried a purely line-focused approach which took a long time, but I was pretty pleased with my results. Excuse my horrible proportions in most of these little critters.
So those were only sketches on the long plane trip; Melbourne-Sydney, Sydney-lax, lax-Kauai. Of course I took the cheap option, and of course that took me about twelve extra hours. Can’t complain when flying to paradise though right?
Got to Hawaii and boy, was that fun to sketch

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The beaches were so beautiful, as was the kalalau trail along the napali coast. Also decided to partake in some skydiving. Clearly the obvious choice for my irrational fear of heights…
Though it was completely brilliant.

Then I was off to San Diego to visit my aunt.
Went wandering and did a few sketches of the mission bay and the beach… Got some funny looks

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Despite the funny looks, I loved drawing these and really loved capturing the beach and all the textures in fineliner.
We had a short trip to the desert where I found a beautiful oasis… Though I kind of ruined the drawing. Oops.

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Came back to San Diego again and got some personal exploring done. Spent a beautiful day at the zoo. Only got a few sketches done though because I was too mesmerised by the beautiful animals (pandas!!!)

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Then even caught the old town trolley, and managed to stop off at seaport village, the gaslamp district and the island of coronado (respectively)

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It was such a beautiful sunny day. I wish I was able to catch the colours of the stunning city, but alas no.
I then departed to head to Peru, which rapidly became one of my favourite places. The people, the colours, the landscape, the language. I couldn’t even believe my luck in coming to such an amazing country.
I apologise in advance for the horrible Spanish in my doodles.
Got some awesome people-watching done…

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Headed to lake titicaca first. It was so giant, it was more like an ocean…

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Stayed in a small town called luquina on the banks of the lake, where we had a homestay with the most beautiful people

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We got involved with farm activities, and practically became family members. It was so special.
We also got to see the reed islands of uros which were beautiful and amazing and also the island of taquile which was so cultural and unique.

Then the inca trail. My goodness, I walk a lot, and I mean ALOT. But when you are at that altitude, a walk like that absolutely kicks your ass. Honestly I was absolutely wrecked, but I would do it again any day. Probably the best thing that I have ever done, though I slept for a solid three days afterwards.

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And then Machu Picchu. There just aren’t enough words to describe the feeling when you turn up absolutely exhausted and smelly, with your legs feeling like jelly, and you see that city. My god, it was incredible
It is often that when something is built up so much that it was disappointing, but this place fulfilled every single expectation and then some. It was so surreal and magical.

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So busy exploring that I only managed to get one sketch in, but there you go.
After that we went to the amazon. By that time we were all exhausted, so it was a bit of a nice release as there really wasn't anything immediate to do at any point. Plus it absolutely bucketed with rain. We had such great weather on the inca trail (unusual for November) that I guess the weather had to catch up with us at some point.
Fortunately the lodge was beautiful so we didn't really mind.

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I know it is cliche but this trip totally changed my life. From heading out completely down on myself and insecure, I rediscovered my confidence and managed to find a new ability to tackle challenges and overcome everyday anxieties. It taught me a lot about myself and who I had been for a long time. So thanks for taking this short graphic trip with me, and I implore you to travel. Travel for happiness, travel for memories, travel for experiences, travel for new people. Just try it, you never know where you might end up…

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