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 :)



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