About me

Hi, i’m Derrick, and welcome to StickyMangoRice! This is a site where I combine my love for sketching and art with travels I’ve done. Travel stories, tips and opinions are fully illustrated to give a unique visual style.

Whether i’m sitting at a canalside cafe in Amsterdam, lounging in a hammock in Langkawi, or scribbling in my sketchbook at home in Melbourne, i’ve always got travel on my mind. And i’m thrilled to share my stories and tips here!

Tell me about the name…why StickyMangoRice?

One morning, sitting for breakfast in Laos, my wife Cindy and I ordered dishes of sticky mango rice. Rice, cooked with coconut and sweetened with sugar came in a small bowl with sliced mango.

It represented everything that I love about travel – it was colourful, it was exotic, it invoked a sense of lightness, fun and vitality (and let’s not forget that food is one of the best things about travelling)!

Illustration of people posing in a ryokan room
Hanging out in yukatas in Izu, Japan

Why do your old posts have photographs?

Sketching takes a looong time (especially now we have a newborn baby at home!), often several hours for one picture. For that reason, new posts take quite a while to produce.

You’ll see my old photography in my early posts, from before I switched my blog into an illustrated blog.

Timeline

The olden days

StickyMangoRice began back in 2012 as DerricksAdventure, which I used to keep friends and family updated about my year-long trip around the world. Like all first blogs, my writing was littered with grammatical errors, unedited photos and diary-style entries.

My big gap year around the world finished in mid-2013, so it seemed that my blog was done. But I enjoyed the creative writing, so I kept writing retrospective posts, as well new destinations that were coming up, such as Iceland, and Bali.

I briefly ran an art blog too, and posted images infrequently of paintings i’d done.

Converting to an illustrated blog

In 2017, I felt that my travel blog was getting lost in the ever-growing sea of other travel blogs. My art blog had long fallen into neglect. So I combined the two into one concept.

The inspiration?

Florent Chavouet’s brilliant 2009 illustrated book, Tokyo On Foot. Florent stayed for 6 months in Tokyo, cycling around the city with a sketchbook and a folding chair, drawing everything from apple stickers to skyscrapers.

StickyMangoRice today

Just like Florent, I found sketching Japan to be one of the most interesting topics to cover.

But (although i’m not a full-time traveller), i’ve had the privilege to be able to travel to countries on 6 continents, and I am working on documenting some of my favourite travel experiences along the way.

Expanding outwards from just destination reports, i’m enjoying taking close looks at French pastries, or the types of travel bloggers out there.

So, where have your travels taken you?

My biggest, and most ambitious journey was in 2012, which was also the genesis for this site. I took 14 months off work to travel all around the world; starting in Australia, covering South-East Asia, Europe, a long stay in Montreal, Costa Rica and the USA.

I’ve also done an incredible road trip through 7 African countries in a 4×4, sketched crowds of Japanese businessmen in Tokyo, toured Iceland in a beat-up little Toyota, hiked through the Sri Lankan jungle to find a beautiful train bridge, and much more!

Do you travel full time?

I work in research laboratory, based in Melbourne, Australia. The digital nomad life is not something that appeals to me – I enjoy the routine, work, and saving up for a trip. Not to mention, we have a small baby at home now!

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