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These journal pages come from Kathleen Steeden on a trip to East Africa.

About the journal, Kathleen notes:

“This trip to East Africa was actually the first time I’ve taken a journal away on a trip. I found the book at the bottom of a drawer as I was finishing off some last minute packing. It was a gift from my mum years ago and it makes me smile that its pages are finally being used for something other than shopping lists.

I’ve always been into documenting my travels through photography or collecting ephemera but I haven’t picked up a pen to drawer anything since I left school! Once I started I just couldn’t stop, I think it gives you a different way of looking at things. Where I was in Africa in particular people often wanted money if they noticed you’d taken their photo. On the other hand, nobody minded if I sketched them as part of a scene.”

Journal Pages


About The Author

Kathleen Steeden

Kathleen gets her thrills from walking, climbing and generally gallivanting, particularly anywhere that there are mountains and woodland. She's also on a mission to drink beers in as many exotic places as possible.

  • Ren

    Oh wow. These are absolutely gorgeous! I’m definitely thinking about taking a paper-and-pen journal along for my next trips and travels, but I don’t think they’ll turn out as beautiful as this…. For one thing, I don’t have the sketching/drawing skill. :-P Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Greenheart Travel

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! What a wonderful way to share your experience! The sketches are fantastic and I love the to-scale drawing of Roachy. ;) I should have linked to you in my past blog about taking pictures vs. really seeing your surroundings! Best wishes on your next travels.


    It definitely pays to take a journal and pen when you travel. You can sketch the scenery or people you meet along the way and tell a story at the same time with your words. A travel journal would make a great coffee table book or a little pocket travel book.

  • Megan Hill

    These journal pages are amazing. Thanks for sharing them!

  • Sarah

    Wow. Absolutely beautiful. I am in complete solidarity on the mission to drink beers in as many exotic places as possible. So far a parking lot behind an abandoned bus station in Borneo is one of the best. Doesn’t sound dreamy, but for some reason, it was.

    • Kathleen Steeden

      Ha, I understand completely Sarah! I thought twice about writing the beer mission comment as I thought it might sound a bit ‘Brits abroad’, which is not how I meant it.

      Should have known I’d find solidarity in the Matador community ;)

  • Tim Patterson

    Gorgeous! I loved the starry night photo.

  • Michelle

    Beautiful!!! I’m with Ren- I’d love to do this, but I don’t think it’d be nearly as stunning. Thanks!

  • joshywashington

    Love it!
    I swear, Journal Pages is quickly becoming my fav!

    way to flex your creativity … the Keekorock sketch is stunning, I want that as a giant poster!

  • Kathleen Steeden

    Thanks guys! It’s easy to lose the momentum to keep sketching and looking at the world with wonder once you’re back home. Your kind comments have given me a kick up the backside to make some large scale paintings inspired by my travels. Maybe I’ll get the chance to post some of them here.

    I completely agree that Journal Pages is one of my favourite features on Matador. I’d like to set up a website featuring paintings, illustration, art and poetry inspired by travel…

  • Matt

    I loved the starry night sketch – I’m off to Kenya in a few months and the night sky is one of the biggest things I’m looking forward to! About people wanting $ for taking their photo – was this really a common occurrence? Sounds like something I need to be privy to?

  • Adri

    Wow, beautiful, I love it!
    Thank you for sharing!

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