It can be hard to explain the impact travel has on the psyche. So when Alex Hotchin (and her friend Marty Gordon) finished riding the 17,000kms from Scotland to Cambodia, she let her illustrations do the talking.
The resulting series, “Borderless”, is a collection of 15 illustrated maps that sum up the trip, both geographically and emotionally. Below are some highlights.
The Colours Fall…France
After encountering a giant mechanical elephant at the docks in Nantes, we follow the
laziness of a majestic meandering river. Frosty mornings make way for days of clear crisp
skies above. We live with the migrating birds who put on the most spectacular flying displays
you have ever seen. Land-based animals are intrigued by our rolling wheels and seem to want
to join the migration. Every night we sleep to the sound of autumn leaves skipping and sliding
off the tent and as the colours fall we feel the race against winter begin.
In Istanbul it Snows Almost Every Day...Turkey
We decide to wait out a bit of winter before heading east on our bikes. We live above a man in a magic wonderland shop, in a street named after a Bulgarian prince. Every day, we make art to the sound of dancing on the roof. After many weeks and so many stories, we’ve fallen in love with a city and we consider staying, but we have a precious Iranian visa so depart we must. The night before leaving, under the cover of snow, we hang our art in the streets of Istanbul.
An Iranian Prophet... Iran
An Iranian prophet and Zoroaster once wrote, “Doing good for others is not a duty; it is a joy,
for it increases our own health and happiness”, and the Iranian people embrace this with every
part of their being. Most of the wonderful people we meet are unable to travel themselves, but
this only seems to energise their exuberance in welcoming two travellers from another place.
Roof of The World... Tajikistan
There’s nothing like being on the Roof of the World to be reminded of your place in it.
These are the majestic Pamirs in Tajikistan. These are big mountains and they are surrounded
by some other beastly neighbours. The tempestuous Tian Shan is north, the monumental
Himalayas are east, and the enigmatic Hindu Kush live south. It takes days to climb up to the roof of the world, and only a few exhilarating hours to roll down the other side. But to have climbed and seen is worth the blood, sweat and tears.
To see more of Hotchin's maps, or buy her book, head here.