Boarding Pass – Gemma Correll

Ironically, as much as most people hate flying, I’m a big fan of airports. It’s the one place where I feel like I can unplug, chill and enjoy catching up with a good book. However, that was not the case last week on my flight out of Dulles (which is now at the top of my least favorite airports). After looking through today’s Boarding Pass submission with illustrator Gemma Correll I was completely looking forward people watching/sketching (see below and click to images to enlarge). All told, Gemma shares with us some of the most charming illustrations based on her travels that I have ever seen. Anyway, I was so pleased that I came across Gemma’s work on this post on creative travel journals. Not only do her illustrations just make me happy, but they’re an awesome, fun (and cheap) souvenir. Happy sketching! {Thanks, Gemma!}
last trip taken:
to Antwerp, in Belgium (with a couple of days spent in Nimegen, Holland and Köln, Germany) a couple of weeks ago, for an exhibition. Antwerp is a lovely city, with lots going on.
next trip on deck:
to Austin (TX), San Francisco and Portland (OR) next year

one place you would go back to again and again:
San Francisco. It’s my favourite city. Or Las Vegas!

{[right] our 80s-tastic hotel, Luxembourg}

place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
Other than San Francisco, probably Athens, Greece, which is a fantastic city with perfect weather, food, location and lots of history. Or, the Salton Sea in California, which is just an amazing, crazy place.
preferred method of transportation:
I like travelling by train in any country except for here in England, where trains are expensive, often late and dirty. The trains in Europe are great and one day, I’d love to travel in India by train.
place you’ve never been but dying to go:
Ooh, so many! Buenos Aires; Argentina, Sao Paolo; Brazil, Japan, Singapore, Hawaii… the list goes on…

{Salvation Hill, Niland}

place you’d never go back:
I probably wouldn’t go back to Köln. There wasn’t much to do there. Once you’ve seen the cathedral (which admittedly is amazing) you’ve pretty much seen everything.

most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
Christmas in Cyprus, BBQ for Christmas dinner, drinking lots of iced coffee, my boyfriend nearly got arrested.

{at the Salton sea, CA}

how do you prepare for a trip?
I’m usually working right up to the last second before a trip. Sometimes literally. So my preparations are generally all quite last minute and involve throwing clothes into a suitcase and panicking about not being able to find my passport.

how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
I always carry a sketchbook and write/draw everything of interest that I do. More often than not it involves eating. If I don’t record the things I do, I forget by the time I get home, so my travel sketchbooks are for me as much as for other people.

{left: iced coffee at FloCafé, Athens; right: fleamarket, Antwerp}

what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
I take a lot of photos of food! There are always loads of photos of my boyfriend drinking coffee whenever I look back on the photos I have taken… But I also look for unusual signs, typography and colours… and funny things, like the vending machine stocked with porn mags that we found in our hotel in Luxembourg and things I find in supermarkets (like this ‘pocket pie’ I found in Athens). Oh, and if I see any pugs, I usually take photos of them.

{Pocket pie, supermarket, Athens}{supermarket, Athens}

on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
Hm, it depends where I am, but I’d say I take about 10 a day, on average.
what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
A couple of different sized sketchbooks, different coloured pens and coloured pencils, a digital camera and maybe a polaroid too.
what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
I scan my drawings and choose the best photos and upload them onto my flickr. Sometimes I do this while on the trip, if I’m staying somewhere with wi-fi. If not, it sometimes takes me a while because I have a lot to catch up on when I get home.

favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
I like finding nice kitsch-y souvenirs like snowglobes, figurines and tacky postcards and I also love scouring local fleamarkets and thrift stores for interesting things.


Click HERE for past editions of Boarding Pass that will leave you equally as inspired!


  • i LOVE Koeln. I go back as often as I can. It’s a perfect location for traveling, and I love the center. Sales are great in winter. a great weekend destination!! We went to the cathedral our first trip there, and in the hotel, as he was reviewing the shots we took, my husband accidentally deleted the entire memory card… needless to say, I’ve never been back up!!!


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