From Prague to Petra: Introducing my next sketching trip!
“I am no longer afraid of becoming lost, because the journey back always reveals something new, and that is ultimately good for the artist.”
― Billy Joel
It’s a sleepy Wednesday morning on Vashon Island and mist hangs over the trees surrounding Quartermaster Bay like a veil, serene and translucent.
I’ve come to this little island off the coast of Seattle with my dear friend Erin, whom I met at a blogging conference in Copenhagen, trekked across Spain with on the Camino, and happily hosted in Delhi last November. Life – and the world – has this magical way of bringing us together, again and again.
We now sit across from each other at Erin’s grandmother’s dining table, eating clam chowder and working on our blogs – the very blogs that first helped our paths to cross.
What I’m most stoked to be working on, here on an island in the Puget Sound, is my next sketching trip:
Sketching Eastern Europe and the Middle East: Ten weeks. Nine countries. One sketching adventure from Prague to Petra.
I mentioned it briefly last Friday, but I now want to tell you a bit more about the journey to come – not only about where I’m heading this September, but also about how you can follow along and share in the travel sketches while I’m there.
Six weeks sketching around Southeast Asia and Japan felt like a daunting enough task, so to help keep this upcoming trip somewhat manageable, I’m breaking it up into four parts:
- Czech Republic and Austria: A story of mine just so happened to win a contest back in April, the grand prize of which was a trip for two to Prague (thank you, New York Travel Festival!). And so it is that my lovely mother and I will kick off the trip together in Prague, then journey to a small Czech village called Uhersky Brod – where my maternal great grandparents actually emigrated from to the US – and finish up with four nights in beautiful Vienna.
- Hungary, Serbia, and Bulgaria: I’ll then head to a region I know next to nothing about, Eastern Europe (okay fine, I know nothing about it), but hopefully working my way across these three countries overland will change that. Apart from visiting their capitals, my itinerary is wide open, and I’ve been looking to other travel bloggers for some inspiration (i.e. people like Michael from Time Travel Turtle, who is currently in Serbia).
- Turkey: I can’t honestly remember the last time I was this excited to visit a new country. Turkey has forever been one of those places where any time someone mentions they’re heading there, a pang of travel envy the size of Texas shoots through me. The plan is to spend at least two weeks here, if not three – getting lost in Istanbul, exploring the Black Sea coast and the tea growing region of Rize, and hopefully trekking in the Kaçkar Mountains.
- Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan: A serendipitous invitation to come speak and sketch at the Travel Bloggers Unite conference in Jerusalem this October provided the perfect other bookend for this trip: I’ll be ending up in the Middle East! When I’m not prepping for (and panicking over) my first speaking gig, I plan to make it to Beirut, Lebanese vineyards, as many historic sites as possible in Israel, the Wadi Rum Desert, and, of course, Petra.
Join me on the journey!
My absolute favorite part of Sketching Southeast Asia and Japan was sharing the journey with you – whether that was through sketch stories here on the blog or through more in-the-moment updates on The Great Affair’s Facebook page – so the plan is to carry on with more of the same for this trip:
- Blog: Subscribe here for free updates about when a new sketch story is live on the blog – look forward to two travel sketches a week!
- Facebook: ‘Like’ our Facebook page for daily updates from the road – especially for photos of on-location sketching sessions and memorable encounters.
- Twitter: Every journey deserves a good hashtag, so keep an eye out for #SketchingEMEA (which is apparently a pretty recognized acronym for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa…there are sadly no African destinations on my itinerary, but it sounds a little better than EEME!).
I’m full of ideas for how to compile the sketches and stories together after the trip (I’m thinking even bigger than Beneath the Lantern’s Glow!), but for now, I’d simply like to invite you to join me on this next sketching adventure, starting September 2nd – I have a feeling it’s going to be good.
Have you been to any of the countries on my itinerary?
As you can *possibly* tell, there isn’t a lot that is set in stone yet, so I welcome any suggestions or recommendations you might have – especially for places that would be good to sketch!