Around the World in 80 Days: Literally. (Prequel)

“I’d like to see you do it in eighty days.”  ~Mr. Stuart.

I’m literally traveling around the world in 80 days. That wasn’t my goal and I didn’t plan to do it – it actually just unfolded that way. As I finalized my plane ticket purchases I realized that I’m actually flying the circumference of the world.  I mentioned this craziness to some students and they made a remark about the book, Around the World in 80 Days written by Jules Verne in 1873.  My eyes went wide as I attempted the math (I said wide not vacant… ok maybe a little vacant…), and being an artist I wasn’t doing the math quickly enough so several students in the room started adding with me.  My final ticket home hadn’t been purchased yet and I considered extending my stay abroad for a week or so, but discovering that I could actually travel around the world in 80 days cinched it.

EightyDaysBoom.

I don’t think I ever read the book.  I may have seen the movie but it didn’t leave a lasting impression.  You’d think I’d remember a movie with Jackie Chan in it.  My husband was coaxed into getting the book for me and I started researching.  Here’s the map from the fictional travels:

And now, compare that to mine:

IS THAT NOT ABSOLUTELY INSANE?

My travel is as follows: Dallas -> Los Angeles -> Tokyo (with an excursion to the small town of Onishi where I’ll be attending the Shiro Oni Residency) -> Doha, Qatar -> Amsterdam (with an excursion to the small town of Renkum where I’ll be attending the Obras Holland Residency) -> Reykjavík, Iceland -> Newark -> Dallas.

“But, Sue Anne, why are you doing this and what’s an art residency?”

Oh jeez, dear reader, did I not tell you?  I have been granted *sabbatical leave* by my college for a year (Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters).  I proposed travel to an Asian country and a European country to learn more about drawing in those two geographical locations.  In Japan I plan to work on ink drawing techniques while in Holland I will research traditional drawing.  I’m anxious to see how far both places have pushed the process of drawing from ancient practices into current and modernized approaches.  And that’s just the Fall!  I hope to gain acceptance to a couple more residencies in the Spring.  I’m looking at Switzerland, Germany, and Barcelona, Spain.

By the way, Jules Verne is a decently funny writer.  I’m inspired by his humor and I am looking for parallels in his story and mine.  So far: I’m not English but I do a damned fine British accent in the privacy of my own home. (“Pip pip, cheerio, tosh, quite, eh what guv?”) I’m not rich but OMG sign me up please… and I don’t have a servant.  Ryder has never warmed up to that idea, unfortunately.

Love, ~S

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