Sketchy Travels / by Anthony Brooks

I'm sure that I should have done something like this BEFORE hitting the road, but better late than never. Right? 

Sketchy Travels. What is it? Why the name? What are you doing and why? 

So many questions that I've been asked and to be frank, that I've asked myself. This trip and decision to go through with this experience was a pivotal point in my life where I had to decide if I wanted to continue doing what I was doing or to rid myself of everything old and start anew. Obviously I went with the latter, but it was not easy. Anyways, I'll get back to this. What is the trip?

My year long trip (possibly longer if funds permit it), which I named Sketchy Travels, is a trek through 35 countries in the span of a year. I'm using planes (mainly to get over the Atlantic only), trains, ridesharing, and hitchhiking to get from point A to B to C. The method is chosen without prejudice and with a completely open mind. The same goes for housing. I want to get to know people while I'm traveling. My mission with this trip is to spend time with locals, not just as some tourist wandering through the cities. I want to know how they live. Meaning, what they eat, how they eat, how they talk, what their history/culture is, what they do for a living. EVERYTHING. I strive to get out of the bubble that is the U.S. and experience the world for all that it offers. To see not only how they view us as Americans, but why. It's one thing to spend life looking through one-way glass, but once you get a chance to step on the other side, you jump at it. Back to the point (my mind goes off on tangents sometimes :) ). For housing, I'm using a variety of options. I'm staying with some friends, some family, hostels, airbnb's, couchsurfing, and WWOOFing (if you're not aware of what WWOOFing is, please check it out HERE) Again, my goal here is to blend with other cultures. To not only view them as an outsider, but to walk their walk. Maps of my routes are constantly being planned out as this is ever-evolving, but for what I have so far go HERE.

In addition to the cultural aspect of this trip, I'm extremely interested in classical architecture (mainly baroque and gothic) so wherever the chance to see (and draw) such architecture arises, you can bet that I'll be there. Many of these drawings will become available to purchase while I'm traveling**. 

Why the name? Well, that's fairly simple, really. I wanted something that easily and quickly conveyed the message that I was trying to get across. I sketch wherever I go, and I'm traveling. So after a few others that I wasn't quite as enthralled with, I chose "Sketchy Travels" as my brand. 

Now, back to what I was about to delve into in the initial paragraph. The mental wall that I had to push through to initiate this trip was on another level. I've done my share of long trips, though most have been distance only with myself (and a friend at times) driving as much as possible in one week to see as much as our minds and bodies would allow. This trip, being over 50 times that long, is obviously a different kind of beast. I worked a TON of overtime for just over a year to save up for it and then quit my job. I sold the vast majority of my belongings (down to my main vehicle, tools, and just enough things to line a wall in my parent's spare bedroom), placed my pet under the supervision of family, and broke ties with anything that seemed familiar. It was mentally straining as well as physically and there were MANY times where I questioned what I was doing and if it was right. 

In conclusion, this post really doesn't have any conclusion. It's a never ending trip. A self journey that started as mental and has developed into a real-life journey across a continent. I realize this post may be a bit jumpy, but I hope that it has helped to clarify my intentions with travels and further explain the name. 

 

I hope you enjoy my posts (and love to hear any feedback/ideas on places to see),

Anthony