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Mee’s Journey in Hand Drawn Maps

From my map-making class I learned about They Draw & Travel, a site that is full of illustrated maps created by artists all around the world. I don’t know about you, but I fell in love easily with anything hand-drawn. So while I have not managed to come up with a beautiful creation myself, I would love to showcase some of them. I’m picking the seven cities which I have lived in.

What are they?

(Note that all images are owned by their respective artists. Click on the image to enlarge.)


We start from Jakarta, Indonesia, in which I have lived in the first 17 years of my life. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ve been to any of these places featured in the illustration, as I never had much chance to explore my birth city, ever. The black tone seems to fit the polluted city too…


Second is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in which I lived for 15 months. As I couldn’t find a specific map for Kuala Lumpur, I had to settle for Malaysian map. I have traveled Malaysia up and down, from Johor to Kedah and Perlis, Penang to Negeri Sembilan, to Melaka. I have not landed on the Borneo part of Malaysia though! (the right part on the map)


I first landed in Australia in the city of Melbourne. Melbourne, oh Melbourne. For the longest time I have considered Melbourne the best city in the world, and more importantly, home. I studied my Uni for 3 years, went to Canada for a year, and came back to finish my last year of degree, and worked for a while. That is 5.5 years in total, the longest I have ever stayed in a city apart from my birth city.

But I have left Melbourne for many years now, and the longer I leave, I feel less and less deserving to call her home, and that makes me sad.

Since Melbourne is that tiny bit more special than the others, I’m dedicating another map to Victoria, which is the state where Melbourne is in.


As I mentioned, in a gap year, I went to Canada.

vancouver_mapVancouver, British Columbia, to be exact.

I studied a year of Game Programming, which is almost as cool as it sounds actually. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen in love with Vancouver or Canada though. It’s all a bit too cold and sparse for me. It’s what I imagine New Zealand to be, though I haven’t seen it myself.

After Canada, I came back to Melbourne for a couple more years, before I finally had desperate longing to go back to Asia for a while. I took a job offer and flew to the Red Dot.

The tiny Singapore was a huge turning point in my life, love and career wise. I got together with my high school sweetheart, and landed a job at Lucasfilm – which later is proven to be the break that would open many doors for me.

Two and half years passed, and I have fed up with Singapore. Flew back to Australia married to said sweetheart.

Then I stayed in Sydney for 2.5 years. Like Vancouver, I’ve never fallen in love with Sydney. It has some majestic looking spots, like Darling Harbour and Sydney Opera House, and I would recommend anyone going to Australia for the first time to give it a visit, but she did not take my heart.

Readers, the one that does take my heart, is as you know, London. My precious, my Lucky Seven. The Greatest City on Earth.

She grabs my heart from the very first like none others. And I am hanging on to her as long as I possibly can.

So much to show that we need two maps! I’d prefer them to be more West though.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.

I am the sum of every city that I’ve lived in. Each city keeps a piece of my heart, and is a part of my life, albeit some more than others. For ever more, where ever I go and where ever I’ll be, they come with me, in stories and memories.

How about your own journey and cities? Can you find the maps too?


By mee

Blog about travel, culture, lifestyle and books from London at and

7 replies on “Mee’s Journey in Hand Drawn Maps”

I am so sorry that I didn’t visit your blog for so long… so many things have been going on. 🙂 What a wonderful hand drawn maps! I love them. I am quite the opposite, wherever I live in different cities, I manage to find something good in it and felt that I can stay anywhere. But I agree, London is the best! 😉


Jo, no problem at all, don’t feel obliged. I haven’t visited your blog for a while too (I subscribed to it, so I get your posts via email, since I don’t go around blogs much anymore :).

Oh I don’t think we’re opposites. I’m like you too and I can find something good in every city. The conclusion of how much I like a city usually comes after I leave, after some time has passed and I can see things more objectively.


I love the hand-drawn maps! I am searching the web for one of Edinburgh, my beloved home city. If you come across one in your travels, I would love to know who the artist is so I can have a copy hanging on my wall 🙂


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