I attended PURE Life Experiences in Marrakesh for AdventureSmith this past September, representing our company as a buyer at trade show for the high-end experiential travel industry. While the trip was mostly work filled, I had a little time for exploring in the Atlas Mountains with my cousin (who lives in Casablanca) and for roaming in Marrakesh’s Medina and the gorgeous Jardin Majorelle.
Along with meeting with AdventureSmith’s current partner operators, I was tasked with scoping out new small ships and luxury lodges to bring to our clients & met a fun range of folks—my show besties being from Sheldon Chalet and FeelViana Hotel. PURE was also an opportunity to learn from great minds, like Andy Lark of Group Lark who spoke about “cracking the code on experience.”
This past weekend I was a guest camp counselor at Camp BC, a grown-ups-only camp experience at Basecamp Tahoe City, teaching a group about travel writing and journaling—with a focus on how to document a trip while you’re on one.
Our small group met while a light snow dusted the ground outside, chatting about tricks of the trade writing for all platforms, from magazines and books to blogs and Instagram. I live-reported the event on AdventureSmith’s Instagram account. A few highlights:
I flew to Antarctica this past December. Hard to believe, hard to explain, but I tried my best on AdventureSmith’s blog. Read my review of my air cruise: Expert Review: Antarctic Express Fly the Drake.
I recently traveled to Peru for a work trip with AdventureSmith Explorations and only had time for two small sketches. For photos from the journey, view my Instagram feeds: the personal/llama-filled @lis_k and the professional @adventure_smith, which features a fuller look at my wanderings in the Lares and Salkantay regions, Sacred Valley, Cusco and Machu Picchu. Huayna Picchu is sketched above while I waited in line for the gates to open; below is a view of Humantay Glacier, an acclimatization hike I took on the Salkantay trek. My full expert review is also now published on this trip – read my trip report.
Here’s another look at some of the sketches in my journal from traveling in New Zealand. (view my Australia sketches here)
Franz Josef Glacier: I drew this on the hike out, sitting on a rock, looking back at the glacier. It was a very peaceful moment for me, and super satisfying to be traveling alone, able to hike as fast as I wanted, and stop for as long as I wanted to sketch in the sun.
French Ridge Hut: drew this at twilight sitting outside on the kea perch between the outhouse and the hut. Colored it inside as it got too cold! We were looking at the map in the hut’s kitchen as I colored and at first thought a bit of Mount Avalanche was East Peak. The hut sits at 4,856 feet above sea level, which was an all-fours advanced tramp up 3,508 feet of elevation in just 4.5 miles from the Aspiring Hut in the Matukituki Valley floor, just outside of Wanaka near Rob Roy Glacier. This is one of the most rugged and magical places I’ve ever been.
Gebbies Valley: I drew this sitting in the front paddock of the farm I WWOOFed at on the Banks Peninsula just outside of Christchurch. I don’t love how the recently sown paddock came out; kinda wish I’d left the field white. In person, it was super cool looking with lines of new green sprouts. But this sketch does give a good sense of the happiness and home this land meant to me.
A peek at a few pages from my journal from Australia. I got really into sketching locations during my travels. I used a blank-paged Moleskine notebook, whatever pen I had on me, and my MINISTAFF colored pencil set—I highly recommend this for travel art!