Taiwan,  Travel,  Travel journal

Illustrated travel journal: Taiwan

I’ve been sporadically working on my Taiwan travel journal since November 2019, and it’s finally finished! Sharing my trip with you the way I chose to see, document, and remember it 🙂

Cover spread

My Taiwan trip was a solo trip; the main purpose of which was for a birthday getaway -slash- ART TRIP. It is very difficult (but feasible) to draw and travel when you have company with you (unless they’re artists, too, and drawing is on your itinerary), so I wanted to take this opportunity to go on this trip specifically to MAKE ART. And yes, as you can see from the journaling space above, I was nursing some hurts from stuff going on in my personal life but it was all the more reason to go on this trip to step away and redirect my focus on happy, positive things in the meantime 😛

Drawing landmarks

Drawing on location at the Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall grounds. This was before I caught a cold. LOL

This was actually the first time I was able to intentionally block off time to draw on my travel itinerary. For my past travel journals, I almost never drew on location (I was always with other people and my previous trips were not designed for such)– I would work on my travel drawings perhaps in the hotel after getting back from a day of sightseeing, or weeks and months after the trip was over. This time since I was traveling solo and in charge of everything, I went at my own pace and planned my itinerary around drawing.

Drawing Taipei 101 on location

Documenting experiences

I mentioned going to church around my birthday in this previous post, and it was such a meaningful experience that I made sure it would get a spot on my travel journal.

I got a brochure of the church from its lobby specifically so I can cut up the photo of its facade and use it for my journal. I did the same with the birthday card they gave me. Teehee

I also went to Jiufen, an old mountain town. I’m a lazy traveler and I almost didn’t feel like going there because it was an hour away by bus from Taipei and I’m not very fond of touristy places. But I saw Jiufen’s red lanterns online and it piqued my interest; I thought they’d be nice to draw plus I THOUGHT THE PLACE WOULD MAKE FOR GOOD CONTENT FOR MY TRAVEL JOURNAL hahaha. So off I went to make the out-of-the-way trip. Gosh, if I didn’t have my travel journal to think of (that’s content for my blog, Tiktok, and Instagram!), I probably would’ve skipped going to Jiufen.

Jiufen’s red lanterns. Prettttyyyyy!

Traveled for an hour to get to Jiufen, then stayed just an hour because it was cold and crowded and the bus ride made me queasy. I get motion sickness and nobody mentions in travel blogs that a portion of the road to Jiufen is long and winding! So here I am mentioning it! I ended up getting milk tea (which I’m also not a fan of! I don’t like drinking my calories! Haha!) as soon as I arrived in Jiufen to get rid of my nausea.

Anyway my 1-hour Jiufen trip, despite it being so short, was worthwhile because I managed to get a Tiktok video out of my trip and my milk tea and the video accumulated 670k views (click here to see it kasi chismosa ka 😛). That’s ROI already on my queasy bus ride nyahahaha.

After my Jiufen experience, I had time to browse books at a well-known Taipei bookstore, Eslite:

Part of the appeal of going to Taiwan is for the abundance of stationery, bookstores, and arts and crafts. I wanted to test out and use some of the stickers I got on my trip on my travel journal so that’s what I did on this page. My Taiwan cover page (first image in this post) is also home to my sticker finds 🙂
Drawing the food I ate

You can’t go to Taiwan and not eat when it’s known for its street food!

Popular food spot: Ay-Chung Rice Noodles in Ximending. Got my voucher from Klook (use that link to sign up and get Php 150 (approx. $3 USD) off your first booking)

Part of the fun of keeping a travel journal for me is drawing food. I can’t draw everything I ate on the trip but I did keep note of the more memorable ones. Here are some of them.

I wasn’t particularly fond of the noodles but slurping hot soup in the rain was a nice memory. I also wanted to try out some gesture drawing– this is my first attempt.
About to enjoy a wonderful, wonderful plate of Hainanese Chicken Rice on the day of my birthday 🙂
One of my most favorite meals in Taipei

I really, really, super enjoyed my Taiwan “art trip” and I hope I’d be able to go back in the future– there’s so much I haven’t covered (Houtong cat village! Rainbow village! Night markets!). All the more reason to go back, yes? Here’s to hoping it’ll be sooner rather than later, and make good ROI by documenting it all on my travel journal :))))

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Check out my other Taiwan blog posts here.
See all my travel journals here.