BOARDING PASS – Troy M. Litten


Designer, art director, photographer, and world traveler Troy M. Litten started his website 15 years ago to share his love love of travel, photography, and design. I can’t remember if it was his website or one of his travel journals that I first discovered, but both were a huge inspiration in both the creation of my blog exploring how we travel, and my travels themselves. In the manifesto of his book Wanderlust, Troy notes “it’s not about getting there, it’s about all the fun you can have along the way,” as he captures the mundane, often overlooked details of travel and combines them in interesting ways. After taking a few years off from his travel series to work as a Senior Art Director at Apple, I’m so happy Troy is back with his newly, cleverly designed Troyland and account on Instagram (@troylitten). He has 20 years of archives to pull from (now I’m dying to see his system for organization), and two new Wanderlust journals scheduled for release Spring 2014, and I can’t wait to see what is still to come. Thanks, Troy! –Anne

TLitten_TroyAtPetraPetra, Jordan, December 2012
Wanderlust series of books, journals, postcards, notecards, and more by Troy Litten, published by Chronicle Books.

home town:
Findlay, Ohio
GOOD MORNING WORLD / Ah, the coffees I’ve known.
where you live now:
Since completing design school in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1989, I’ve lived in London, Dublin, Hong Kong, and New York, and now call San Francisco home.
BUTTONS TO PUSH / The buzzers and bells of Istanbul, in varying states of utility.

last trip taken:
Six weeks in the Middle East: Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia.
SMILING AT THE CAMERAMAN / Trailing the tour groups in Hanoi.
TLitten_RomanHolidayROMAN HOLIDAY / In search of a drink in Rome.

next trip on deck:
I’m planning a trip to Myanmar in December, very excited about seeing this part of the world before the tour buses start rolling in.
TLitten_64WindowSeats64 WINDOW SEATS / Somewhere between departure and arrival, one of my favorite parts of a journey.

one place you would go back to again and again:
Bangkok for the wonderful food, colorful markets, welcoming people, and always-interesting big-city sights and experiences.
SAFETY FIRST / A front row seat for the pre-flight entertainment en route to Vietnam.

place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
Cuba, simply amazing!
CUBA COMMERCE / Smiling shopkeepers in Havana.

preferred method of transportation:
I love riding trains wherever I go – there’s something uniquely inspiring about sitting back and watching the world rush by through the window of a speeding train while sharing the experience with other travelers.
NIGHT TRAIN TO YEREVAN / Riding the rails in Armenia, first class. All hail the old Soviet stock.

place you’ve never been but dying to go:
North Korea, but not until the country opens to independent travel (cautiously optimistic). And Albania because it seems like such a forgotten country and I don’t know anyone who’s ever been there.
TROYLAND TICKET TUESDAYS: KOLKATA / Indian bus tickets printed on re-used scraps of paper.


TICKETS TO RIDE / All aboard with these colorful transit tickets from around the world.

BOARDING PASS – Toni Neubauer (sisterMAG)


I first met the wonderful and stylish Neubauer sisters – Toni and Thea – when I went to The Hive Conference in Berlin 2 years ago. The German sisters work together on sisterMAG, an independent digital publishing project with Toni taking the business lead, and Thea (stay tuned for a future Boarding Pass) on the design side. They come from a creative family, as their mother designs and sews a lot of their clothes (for the magazine too!). The last issue of the mag was all about Italy, and they feature contributors from around the world. Stay tuned for their next project – CVmag – coming soon! Thanks, Toni! –Anne

BeforefirstQuestion_BP_ToniNeubauerhome town:
Freiberg which is a small town in the state of Saxony / Germany


Countryside near my hometown Freiberg

where you live now:
Berlin! During my studies I moved 11 times for different universities, exchange semesters and internships. So when it came to deciding for a place for my first job, I wanted to choose a city I could imagine living in for a longer period of time. Berlin was perfect for that as it is a huge city with a lot of history, culture etc. going on, it’s very international and future-oriented.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlways happy when it’s going back to Berlin

last trip taken:
My last trip was to the small village of Kallstadt in the German wine region Pfalz. We went there for an interview with a winemaker we did for our new magazine CVmag which we’re planning to launch mid of this year.

next trip on deck:
For our summer holidays we plan a trip to England to see some of the beautiful countryside like in the Cotswolds, to visit the great historical monuments and stately homes and to find some of the English atmosphere you often read about in books.

one place you would go back to again and again:
Definitely Italy! As I explained in the editorial of the latest sisterMAG– the big Italy issue – I have a huge crush on this country, which began really early on in my life. I visit Italy at least once a year and I’m still amazed each time, how beautiful and versatile it is.

Question-5-Bellagio_BP_ToniNeubauerToni, Evi and Thea in Bellagio, Italy

Question-5-Puglia_BP_ToniNeubauerPuglian beach near Fasano
Question-5-Puglia2_BP_ToniNeubauerColourful Puglia in Bari

place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
I would recommend Germany, maybe the Baltic Sea or some of the cities like Leipzig or Potsdam because they are not known as much as touristic places outside of Germany but they are really beautiful.

Question-6_BP_ToniNeubauerBaltic Sea

preferred method of transportation:
I have to admit, I’m a big fan of driving by car. I just drove 700 km back from the Pfalz and I loved it. You really feel the difference in the landscape, see all the names of places and think I would like to stop there one day. You can listen to the radio and follow hour-long discussions and I actually get my best creative ideas while driving.

Question-7_BP_ToniNeubauerFavourite means of transportation: my car!

place you’ve never been but dying to go:
I haven’t seen a lot from the US yet which I definitely want to do soon. Especially the West Coast is on my list.

place you’d never go back:
There aren’t really places where I wouldn’t go back to, but I definitely wouldn’t live again in the town where I did my Bachelor degree in the South-West of Germany.

most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
A 2-week holiday in Rome, not as a tourist but doing a language course. I spend most of my free time alone, taking in the city and contemplating about life in general and my own specifically.

Question-10_BP_ToniNeubauerRome – view over the eternal city

how do you prepare for a trip?
I always search for novels that are set in the country or area I am visiting. By reading them I’m diving into the culture and history of the place.

how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
I’ve kept a diary and many scrapbooks since I was 14. While traveling it becomes my companion for everything memorable.


what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
First of all, I’m not a photographer – even less since starting sisterMAG because people who are real experts in it now surround me. However, I always do snapshots of things with my iPhone I want to remember, e.g. shops, names of people I want to read more about, ideas for articles etc.

on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
Not many

what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
My diary, glue, a pair of scissors and my technical gadgets (iPhone, iPad and MacBook)

Question-15_BP_ToniNeubauerMy new diary / sketchbook / travelbook – you find a video tutorial how to make it in sisterMAG N°7

what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
I try to keep my diary already during the trip (which I’m not always successful in) because I know I won’t work on it after I’m back home. My diary is a kind of scrapbook with text and any memorable snippets like tickets, postcards etc.

favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
A pair of shoes.

Question-17_BP_ToniNeubauerTypical sight: Evi and Toni inspecting local shoe shops ;-)



BOARDING PASS is a regular column exploring the creative ways people see the world and record their travels.

P.S. I’m teaching MAP MAKING on Skillshare! Sign up anytime :)

BOARDING PASS – Marisa Seguin

I’m almost positive that I first came across the work of Canadian illustrator Marisa Seguin after spotting one of her illustrated maps – likely the Paris one. I love her fun style, that give a sense of the place without having to show the city as a geographically perfect rendition. In fact, Marisa is in Europe at the moment (hence her Etsy shop is briefly closed), and you can follow along with her travels on Instagram. Enjoy a look into all her travels below! Thanks, Marisa! –Anne

meThat one time I captained a ship….

home town: 
Vancouver, BC

where you live now: 
Milwaukee, WI
Left: Our beautiful art museum, Right: My favorite building in Milwaukee

last trip taken: 
Quick trip to Portland over New Years with my sister. It was 50% to stay at this amazing hotel and also because neither of us had visited this city before. It was a great trip full of tons of delicious food and cute neighborhoods. I’d love to visit again in the summertime.

next trip on deck:
Europe in June! Aside from Italy in high school and a bit of London, I haven’t explored much of Europe before. (If you have any advice or suggestions please feel free to leave me a comment!)
one place you would go back to again and again: 
Mayne Island, BC. A family friend has a cabin there and we would visit during the summer when I was a kid. I’d spend all day long on the rocky beach. It’s the kind of place where time stops for awhile. (Plus, I love any excuse to take the ferry somewhere.)
place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit: 
I may be a tad biased, but Vancouver! The perfect mix of city and nature. Plenty of beautiful sights to see, delicious food to eat, and cultural experiences to be had.
vancouver1vancouver2vancouver3I grew up about 40 minutes from downtown. This view is a 20 minute walk from my house and I miss it every day!

preferred method of transportation: 
Catbus…….but since that’s not really possible I love exploring on foot. It’s so easy to wander and get lost just walking around. You have the freedom to look up, down, and all around and also have the opportunity to interact with interesting people!
badlandsBadlands National Park, South Dakota
frontenacChâteau Frontenac, Québec City

place you’ve never been but dying to go: 
Paris. I am a total francophile and cannot wait to visit in June!
place you’d never go back:
Wall Drug Store, South Dakota. Not my kind of kitsch coupled with the worst piece of pie I’ve ever eaten made for a pretty loathsome experience. (And my pie standards are pretty low. I love pie.)

most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
Italy in high school. Surrounded by everything I had read about in books.basilicapiazzaI really had a great sense of style in high school…

how do you prepare for a trip?
Asking friends for recommendations and scoping out blogs. I usually make a list of a few must-visits (my “non-negotiables”) for the trip and then loosely plan around those. (The non-negotiables for the upcoming Europe trip are Barcelona, Bruges, and this David Bowie exhibit). I don’t like things to be too fastidiously planned because it usually just leads to stress and disappointment if not everything is accomplished. Go with the flow! It’s usually the things you stumble upon that are the most memorable.
stlouisSt. Louis: Part of City Museum, one of the coolest places I have ever visited.

how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
Way too many photos of food and some sketches
A few sketches over breakfast in Memphis

what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place? 
I love photographing the view from the tallest places. I love going to the “top”—finding the tallest landmark to get a great view of the city. I especially love it if this involves climbing a lot of ancient stairs.
View from the top of the bell tower, Venice
empireTimes Square from the top of the Empire State Building

on an average, how many pictures do you take on a trip? 
Depending on the duration of the trip, it can be anywhere from 50 to 200+
Somewhere in Corning, NY

what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
Sketchbook (my friend Abi introduced me to book journals, which I love), ballpoint pens, Canon point and shoot camera, iphone, headphones.
what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
I usually blog and create a few illustrations. This can happen anywhere from the weekend after to two months depending on how lazy I am.

I’m saving the Madeline one for my Europe trip!

favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
I’m always looking for beautifully illustrated children’s books. I think my love for Paris is eclipsed only by my love for books and I always make sure to check out a few book stores whenever I travel (I had to mail myself three boxes of books from Portland).

what’s your favorite place to visit in a new city? 
I love visiting the public markets. They’re always such a hub of activity and culture.
Pike Place, Seattle

best piece of travel advice?
Ask the locals where to eat! (And if they have any recommendations for what to order.)

Obligatory out the window shot


BOARDING PASS is a regular column exploring the creative ways people see the world and record their travels.

P.S. I’m teaching MAP MAKING again on Skillshare! Sign up anytime :)

BOARDING PASS – Judith de Graaff (Joelix)


I first met France-based Dutch designer Judith de Graaff (aka Joelix) through twitter a couple years ago. Then we met for coffee and she casually mentioned she had a nice home. My jaw dropped when I saw the images and we promptly featured it on Design*Sponge. And despite living a bit outside of Paris (she actually has space), Judith is great about coming into the city and we love catching – and critiquing – various Creative Mornings talks or events. And when she’s not blogging, sharing great finds, showcasing the Oise region of France, experimenting with gifs and cinemagraphs, or taking pictures of awesome typography, Judith works as a freelance graphic designer and stylist. Her Boarding Pass is an excuse for cool new discoveries through her travels. (I do believe I need to try railbiking!). Thanks, Judith! –Anne

joelix-boarding-pass1Me on the beach of Galicia, Spain with Cannelle the AirBnB dog

home town: Vught, in the south of The Netherlands
where you live now: Nogent sur Oise, 50km north of Paris

last trip taken:
Stockholm, Sweden for the Meet the Blogger conference and Stockholm Design Week. I wrote about it here and here. [Ed. Note: Judith was actually in Berlin for #HIVE13 after she submitted this and before I had a chance to post it. I totally want to go back for Street Food Thursday!]

joelix-boarding-pass2Stockholm in February 2013

next trip on deck:
Visiting my family in Holland and maybe hop over to Amsterdam as I haven’t been there in a long time. And Berlin in May.

joelix-boarding-pass3Enjoying the sun and view at Svartifoss, Iceland

one place you would go back to again and again:
Iceland and the South of France

joelix-boarding-pass4Which way to go on Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
Iceland and France. Both extremely diverse and mind blowing in their own way.

joelix-boarding-pass5Galicia, Spain

preferred method of transportation:
My husband and I love roadtrips where we can pack whatever we want, without airline luggage restrictions, and stop whenever we feel like it. In Sweden we did this thing called railbiking. It was the coolest means of transportation I’ve ever tried. Simply put: you ride a bike on abandoned railways, through forests, along lakes: you pass through places without roads or traffic. Bliss!

joelix-boarding-pass6Railbiking in Sågen, Sweden

place you’ve never been but dying to go:
Finland – Israël – La Réunion – Monkey Valley in France.

joelix-boarding-pass7Faro de Lariño, Spain

place you’d never go back:
None. Though in Norway we were stuck in this extremely boring place called Hellesylt. It was the off season as we arrived by ferry and there was nothing to see or do except for a stuffed polar bear. We had to wait for hours to get away from it.

joelix-boarding-pass9My husband and me in Hellesylt, Norway

most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
We once rented this tiny motorboat (<4meter) for a trip along the French Mediterranean coast, from Marseille to Toulon. After a few hours the engine stalled and we had to call the coastguard for help: they came with a huge boat with 8 hunky Baywatch coastguards on board. Turned out we forgot to push a certain button for the fuel supply; said hunks kindly insisted we not bother them again. Oops! We had an exciting trip on a rough sea, slept on the beach, and felt very tiny when we passed by the enormous aircraft carrier in the harbor of Toulon.

joelix-boarding-pass10One of our most memorable trips: our motorboat on the beach between Marseille and Toulon

how do you prepare for a trip?
I count the days and try to learn a few words in the local language (if necessary). For a city trip I ask for recommendations from friends & family, read local blogs and consult my ongoing list of interesting places. For longer trips with my husband we pick some places to stay (we love AirBnB), arrange for house & cat sitters and just GO.

joelix-boarding-pass8Our cute AirBnB rental in Småland, southern Sweden

joelix-boarding-pass11Pretty architecture in A Coruña, Spain

how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
During the journey I share our adventures on a (private) family blog. I take tons of photos and enjoy watching them during the trip as well. I also keep tickets, receipts, wrappers, maps, business cards. And send a few postcards to family and friends. As a kid and young adult I used to keep a travel journal, nowadays I blog.

joelix-boarding-pass14Some of my travel journals

what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
Beautiful colors and views, food, architecture, animals, street art, nature, shop designs, packaging in supermarkets. I also enjoy photographing cool signs for my Typography of Travel series.

joelix-boarding-pass17My Typography of Travel series

on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
75-200 photos per day.

joelix-boarding-pass16Delicious pastry in Spain and amazing toffees in Stockholm, Sweden

what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
My hybrid camera (Sony NEX5N), a small notebook and pen, a black marker and a fold up bag.

joelix-boarding-pass12Colorful buoys, Spain

what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
I process and edit my photos and videos right after I get back and share some highlights om my blog. After hugging the cats and doing laundry, it’s the first thing I do.

joelix-boarding-pass18My favorite souvenir: palm tree seeds

favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
A bottle of water and wild plants, like palm tree seeds and agave cuttings. And for my family a reusable grocery bag filled with local food & small things I picked up. My mom loves (regular) stones, so I always toss a few in for her.

Dancing Laundry by from joelix


BOARDING PASS is a regular column exploring the creative ways people see the world and record their travels.

P.S. I’m teaching MAP MAKING again on Skillshare! Sign up anytime :)


BOARDING PASS – Jillian in Italy

I was lucky to grow up in a family that traveled a lot, but besides a cousin’s wedding in Toronto, I didn’t leave the U.S. / North America until I was a junior in high school.  It’s amazing to imagine Jillian Crocker aka Jillian in Italy (a Canadian living in Italy for 10 years) venturing around to all these fantastic places with her twin daughters (10) and a son (7). Travel for all + I must admit travel is the best classroom I’ve ever encountered. In addition to documenting their adventures on her blog, Jillian also contributes to Classic Play sharing tips for traveling with kids. Thanks, Jillian! –Anne

Jillian on the top of a mountain near Kobe, Japan.

last trip taken:
Our last big trip was to Japan last Easter and since then we’ve done some little trips within Europe.

next trip on deck:
Morocco in two weeks time! We’re really looking forward to some warm weather and tasty Moroccan food.

Having lunch under the cherry blossoms during sakura in Kyoto, Japan.

one place you would go back to again and again:
I would love to return to China.  There is so much to see and experience there and the people are so kind.  Plus, it’s such an affordable destination once you get there.

Exploring The Forbidden City in Beijing China.

place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
I would have to say Japan.  It is seriously one of the most gorgeous countries I have ever visited.  It’s so much fun to experience a culture that is so different from your own.

Beautiful little antique village overlooking the majestic Mount Fuji.

preferred method of transportation:
I absolutely love cycling around a new country and discovering places you wouldn’t normally see by plane/car/train/bus.  For long distances I love traveling by train.  You get to calmly sit and admire the landscapes, meet interesting locals and it’s virtually stress free.

I love Japan and all their little quirky purchases.  Here is a pack of gum with little papers to use when finished chewing.

place you’ve never been but dying to go:
I would love to visit India in the near future.  I’m a lover of colour and I think India offers lots of it!

The famous red gates at the temple of Fushimi Inari.

place you’d never go back:
I can’t think of one place that I would not like to visit again.  That’s not to say I haven’t had a few trips that were less enjoyable than others though.  But I guess I’m always willing to give a place a second chance.

most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
I’d have to say our recent trip to Japan with our three children because it was such an amazing and invigorating country to visit.  Japanese history, culture and food are absolutely fascinating and the people are some of the nicest and most welcoming we’ve ever met.

One of my favorite things to do is fly kites on a deserted white sandy beach in Nova Scotia, Canada.

how do you prepare for a trip?
I usually start months ahead by doing lots of research online, by talking to friends and by reading books.  Over the months leading up to our trip I slowly book and pay for transportation, accommodation and special tickets to shows and events. That way the trip is mostly paid off by the time we leave. Beforehand we spend lots of time learning about the country’s history, culture and language with our children as well.

Visiting the Longji rice fields in Pingan, China.

how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
I take thousands of photos!  We also all take little journals to record our days, make little sketches and glue in brochures/leaves/special candy wrappers etc.

what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
The people.  I absolutely love taking photos of locals going about their daily lives.  I also love going to local markets and taking photos of the vendors and all the produce and local specialties.

Enjoying a freshly cooked seafood pasta on a boat off the coast of Sardegna.  Bliss.

on an average, how many pictures do you take on a trip?
For a two week trip I usually take at least 1500-2000 photos (which I eventually edit down to a few hundred).

A little pit stop overlooking a lake in Switzerland.

what’s in your “designer travel kit”?
I take my Canon dslr, our moleskin journals and my beloved iphone which I use to take videos as well as photos.

Tandem cycling on the beautiful Belgian seaside

what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
One of my favorite ways to document a trip is by blogging about it.  I also write a bi-weekly travel column called “Traveling With Kids” for a fantastic creative parenting blog called Classic Play.  And we also make a photo book of all of our trips.  It usually takes us up to 2 years to get it all together but it does eventually get done!

Vintage umbrellas on the beach in Belgium.

favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
Fabrics.  I have a passion for sewing and buying fabrics in foreign countries is one of my favorite things.  I love sewing up special projects with materials bought on our trips.


BOARDING PASS is a regular column exploring the creatives ways people see the world and record their travels.




Emma Lundin is a Swedish travel journalist + editor living in London. After a few years as editor of, she went freelance in 2010, writing for publications including Condé Nast Traveller, The Guardian and more. Her latest endeavor is working on a PhD in the international women’s movement role within the anti-apartheid struggle, while The Longer Way is her blog where she stores and shares her thoughts on travel. The design of the site is clean and inviting and will have you clicking around in no time. I’m a big fan of the postcards series, which gives a quick glimpse and story from a place. Enjoy a look inside Emma’s travels! –Anne

Standing on the corner of Hudson and North Moore Street, NYC

home town: Malmö, Sweden

One of my favourite places in my borough (which is called The Borough, aptly enough) – the corner where Park Street meets Southwark Street

where you live now: London, England

I spent a few weeks in this flat on Blecktornsstigen during the summer of 2011

last trip taken:
I spent the entire month of December – the darkest of the year – in Sweden, which felt weirdly exotic. I have lived in London for the past 10 ½ years so found it perplexing to see the sun set at 2.30 in the afternoon, and felt properly jetlagged the first week. I spent the first three weeks in Stockholm (staying in this fantastic flat), where people were a lot nicer than what I remember from my previous summertime visits. I have decided to put the difference down to December’s lack of light: my theory is that the sun is so bright and nights are so short during the summer that people just don’t sleep, creating a strange mix of summer ecstasy and exhaustion in the city. But don’t let that put you off going: it’s very pretty year round, with great museums, beautiful architecture and an inspirational lifestyle. And, anyway, I’ve been spoiled by over-the-top politeness in London, so my judgement is probably not the best anymore!

The view from Stockholm’s Söder Mälarstrand across the water towards the City Hall on a freezing evening in December 2012

next trip on deck:
Cape Town – I leave this Saturday, for a three-week stint. I have never been to South Africa before, so I will try to see as much of the city and country as I can, despite officially being there to research my PhD.

Read The Rest

BOARDING PASS – Sibylle Roessler of Funkytime

Last May in Berlin I met a wonderful bunch of talented folks at The Hive Conference. One of the most colorful was graphic designer and stylist, Sibylle Roessler of Funkytime. Despite being from Berlin, she actually was coming from Madrid (her latest home) having just moved from Canada. Just the way she lives there’s travel built in! (And she keeps moving because they are still looking for the perfect place).  Funkytime is filled with clever ideas, DIYS + downloads. I hope you enjoy a voyage through Sibylle’s travels and then go check out the influences in her work. Thanks, Sibylle! –Anne

Teneriffe, Spain

home town:
Berlin, though I haven’t lived there in a very long time. If I had to live in Germany again, this would definitely be the only city I would go to!


where you live now:
I am living ‘la vida loca’ in Madrid! Before that we lived in Canada, and before that in L.A. and before that……

When we moved here I had that dream of a typical Spanish apartment, with big windows, high ceilings, moldings and a little balcony in front of the windows. I got exactly that right in the center.


last trip taken:
Teneriffe. They have black beaches there, and the sand is sparkling! We visited a hidden cove that was only accessible by going through banana plantations, they had a little blue cafe build into the rock, awesome!


next trip on deck:
Berlin for sure. And before that Valencia and Barcelona for a weekend.

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