Friday Introductions: Asia Travels

I've started doing these Friday Introductions over on my Instagram so thought i'd share here too for those who aren't on IG.

Hello I'm Katie. I'm an illustrator who loves to travel. When I left school I was desperate to go on a gap year (gap yaaah) but I didn't have any money so in 2006, aged 17 I went to work as an au pair in The Netherlands for €50 a week. That was it, I was hooked! Any chance I got after that I'd scroll through the jobs online, find a nice family and swan off for a few months to see another country and escape.

Colourful breakfast in Thailand 
To get to Asia I worked lots of hours as a nanny, did my freelance illustration stuff on the side and SAVED UP. All my spare cash went towards plane tickets, I took hand-luggage only, worked while I travelled, stayed in the cheapest places possible and booked my flights about a year in advance.

Corn on the cob on the beach in Ko Tao (also Thailand)

At one point in Vietnam I "slept" in a 16-bed hostel dorm for 3 weeks while finishing a big illustration project. I thought it would be great. So cheap! It'll be totally fine! Spoiler alert: it wasn't. It was hot, noisy, the bunk beds wobbled every time your neighbour breathed or blinked.

Me pretending to sleep on the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

I made it through those 21 sleep-deprived days thanks to my dear friend cà phê đá - Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk. Delicious caffeine palpitations forever ?. Do you have a favourite travel food or drink discovery? That coffee was definitely mine. **swoon**

p.s. all these photos were taken by Chloë Smith, Except the last one which is an illustration by me, obvs.