Project

World Sketching Tour

The World Sketching Tour project started in March 2012, when I decided to travel the 5 continents. The uniqueness of drawing the globe journey was to discover the world while sketching it and meet the Urban Sketchers. Since then I never stopped the search and the project got the enthusiasm of thousands of fans, press media attention around the world, and international brand partnerships. I traveled to Europe, Asia, Oceania, South America, and Africa.

Author

Luís Simões

My name is Luís Simões, I was born in Lisbon, Portugal. I have a degree in visual design and was a motion designer for 9 years. I’m an observer and I use the visual memory as if it is my compass. When I go out, I prefer to leave my camera at home and bring a notebook to sketch. I don’t have a preference in what I like to draw the most, but I’m often attracted by the picturesque and complex architectural views.

In 2012 I started a World Sketching Tour and since then, this has been my lifestyle. More intense, more for others, more open on how to look and judge. The tour made me get out of routines and safe places, which often leave me numb just seeing life go by slowly. Sketching has aroused my curiosity for “what will it be like on the other side of the mountain?”. It took me 32 years to follow this passion of mine that, at least for now, I can’t live from it, but it feeds my soul more than any job I’ve had until today.

Partner

Anisa Subekti

My name is Anisa Subekti, and I was born and raised in Surabaya, Indonesia. I graduated in Sports Science and worked in hotels as a personal trainer in Bali. I took a Yoga degree, gave classes, and in my free time I traveled around Bali.

My life was quite simple until I met Luís on his journey through Bali. In 2016 we decided to continue the World Sketching Tour together and travel to South America. I had never traveled so much in my life and I didn’t even know that you could go on a bike trip, but as I like sports, I immediately fell in love with the way we see the world on two wheels. Gradually I found my own rhythm as a traveler and being an active part of the project. Today I am the one who documents all the photography and videos and also all kinds of logistics for the project.

World Sketching Tour History

2012

March

Project Started

I left Lisbon by camper with my parents who, during my preparation, decided to join the trip through Europe.

April to July

All the way to Nordkapp

After 4 months, the first goal since leaving Portugal was done! We crossed Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway to get here.

September to December

A different Chistmas

After 9 months of traveling with my parents and the fact that we are in the south of France – “close” to home – my parents decided to go to Portugal to spend Christmas and I continued hitchhiking around Europe during the following months.

2013

January to May

Reunion and goodbye

It felt good to travel alone for a while and meet my parents again. We did a few more months of travel in southern Europe and then I traveled to Turkey alone. Here the only certainty is that I wouldn’t have a return date and would be completely on my own. The journey was now beginning, leaving the comfort of my parents, cultures that were familiar to me, and a caravan that I called home. We crossed Italy, Croatia, Poland, Bosnia, Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and the Czech Republic.

June

Taksim Square demonstrations

My first time sketching a demonstration. My sketchbook is loaded with a historical moment for Turkey that I lived very closely. I hope one day to look at the drawings and know then that Turkey has found its peace.

June

Trans–Mongolian Railway journey

One of the most interesting train trips I’ve experienced, from the first moment the train whistle to leave San Petersburg, Russia, crossing Mongolia, until seeing the name of my final destination: Beijing, China. All that is strange on the first night: the lack of space and privacy of the dormitory, the little communication between the other local travelers, the instant food, the monotony sound of the rails… all this makes me want to repeat another 10 days on a train as soon as I know it’s over.

July

Mongolia

The wide nature of Mongolia is something magnetizing and that definitely made me realize that I was also conceived to live in the wild. Living the profound nomadism was, without a doubt, a simplified realization of my being.

August to October

China

By train and hitchhiking, I crossed all of China from Beijing to Kashgar and then back to Shanghai. This country has so much culture that has spicy food! 3 months were enough to become an emotional rolling stone and don’t be affect (so much) by the rudeness of the people.

November

Japan

Undoubtedly, Japan was the safest and relaxing, and organized place I ever been. There’s nothing I’ve seen like before and the biggest challenge is to accept how different it is from the western world.

December

South Korea

I believe for a while now, good moments of the trip, me and what really happens in my life is what I’m searching now on my sketches. South Korea was wonderful and great in all ways possible but unfortunately, my book got stolen when I when to Barcelona the month after…

2014

January to October

Hong Kong

First time I got a paid job as a sketcher was in Hong Kong. Was my second time being in a demonstration and that gave me a chance to have exclusive interviews around the world. This was also my first long break.

November to January

India

On a bar in Mumbai, India, chatting with a french guy I met on that same night he tells me “the best way to know India is by motorbike” …and that’s what I did. I got a 1985-year-old LML Vespa and started to fix it peace by peace. Besides the possibilities of sketching anywhere, I wanted I also learned mechanics and electrics because every now and then the bike would give a problem!

2015

January | February

Sri Lanka

I was 45 days in Sri Lanka surrounded by beautiful people, that kept on smiling back at me. I wrote a whole experience on how the country moved after the civil war and the tsunami of 2004 – still not published.

March | April | May

India

Sketching in India was quite uncomfortable, even for someone that doesn’t mind people staring at what we do. The problem was in many times the focus becomes the people around and not so much the subject of sketching. It’s barely impossible to have a peaceful moment to sketch unless we climb a mountain… and even then I did found some monkeys!

June

Thailand

Besides all the beautiful places, Pai, in Thailand, was a place where I did a long nature and cultural trekking and met the opium farmers and how they live.

July

Singapore

These two friends were my companions during my sketching tour in Singapore. Heanu (on the left side) is a Korean and it was starting his tour around South East Asia and sketching too. Tony (on the right) is a Singaporean Urban Sketcher artist that helped us wandering around the city and find good spots to sketch and eat.

August

Myanmar

Never thought of going to Myanmar but I’m quite glad I did. Back then it was a very undeveloped country with lots of temples and culture. Difficult to go out of the main attractions since it’s not ready for tourism.

September

Singapore, Malaysia

I continued the journey with Heanu and we ended up meeting more people in Malaysia that hosted us and made our days memorable.

October | November

Thailand

I will never forget the day some cookies traped me on a trip that could have made me lose my life. Also in the wrong country to happen, Thailand… If I tell you the story you wouldn’t believe that it was all by an accident.

2016

January | February

Indonesia

Indonesia gave back my confidence to travel in trust people, after the incident in The Philippines. The warm welcome from the Urban Sketchers from Java and Bali was everything I could ever ask.

February

Australia

Australia is a vast and large country in which I didn’t explore at all. I was only in Sidney and Melbourne for 2 months and the reason for that it’s because my mind wanted to go back to Bali where I met Anisa.

March | April

New Zealand

In New Zealand, I celebrate the fourth year on the road with an inspirational couple traveling by bicycle on the road to the unknown. Their free spirit in a free natural country made me wonder if I could do the same one day.

May to November

Indonesia

The best I ever received from my World Sketching Tour was Anisa. This was my second long pause on the tour to get to know her and find some “home” feeling.

December

Portugal

My parents and Anisa in Portugal after 4 years on the road. This photo was an epic moment for me and finally, we would spend our Christmas together.

2017

January | July

Portugal

The time has come, our first time together on an adventure and by bicycles in South America. This was our last photo before packing everything and fly to Colombia and start our epic journey there.

August to December

Colombia

They say together we go far and it’s true. World Sketching Tour never had so much production in the years before. We did an e-book, made a documentary, and wrote blog posts… while we were doing a cycle tour for the first time!

2018

January to April

Ecuador

Our first time crossing borders by bicycle was from Colombia to Ecuador. Here we started to learn how important is to know what we want to do while sharing the journey with other travelers. Know more about the journey with our e-book.

May to September

Peru

The best of efforts, for the best views. That’s how we will remember Peru on our bicycles.

October to December

Bolivia

This was the most difficult country to cross by bicycle. Also because we wanted to see the most beautiful landscapes that Bolivia has to offer. For that reason, we spend 3 months exploring and being mesmerized by what we experienced – read more on our e-book. We will never forget our end of the year of 2018!

2019

January to July

Chile & Argentina

Like many tour cyclists, we zig-zagged from Chile to Argentina searching for scenic routes. This way we could renew our visas and stay longer and also experience the green humid side of Chile and the Argentinian dry and windy side.

August

Brazil

After our tour in South America, we run a sketchbook raffles lottery to fund our next tour in Africa. After that, we did a stopover in Brazil before heading to Namibia and start our journey on African soil.

September to November

Namibia

The driest and hottest country we ever been, where water was our most wanted need. In Namibia, Luís almost fainted with dehydration… you can read all the journey on our e-book.

December

Indonesia

We started to feel wrong with our travel once Anisa’s mom went to the hospital due to cancer. After pausing the journey when went to Indonesia for Anisa’s mom’s funeral. The relationship got stronger in these moments, where we both need each other to move on.

2020

January to March

Angola

Luís was super excited by going to a country with Portugal descendent. It was more than 2 years had left Portugal. The mixed culture between Angola and Portugal was priceless. The kindness and sympathy we received were behond our expectations.

April until now

Portugal

Due to Corona Virus, we decided to suspend our travels.

Partnerships & Collaborations