About Mapping Words

When I was a toddler, I told my mother that I wanted to be a mapmaker after watching a short clip on Sesame Street of a woman wearing a fancy headset, hovering over the city in a helicopter, mapping coordinates. Ever since, I’ve been fascinated with maps, aerial views, and how each place comes to life in a different way. After basing my artwork on maps for years, I created Mapping Words in November 2011, using the internet as an alternative space to combine my passions for writing, art and photography.

Mapping Words mainly appeals to long-term travelers, slow travelers and expats who have immersed themselves in a foreign country and have made quality connections with people and place abroad. This site is also geared towards creative travelers, artists and art appreciators who make art on the road and/or value the power of good imagery.

Currently, most of the articles and artwork relate to life in South Korea, where I resided for three glorious years, and Colombia, my current home. I hope you’ll follow along and share your own unique stories.


-Text and photography by Sarah Shaw @ www.mappingwords.com. All rights reserved.


  1. the paper boat sailor
    October 8, 2014

    Sarah, I’m so glad I found your website! My travel blog is quite new, and I’m still apprehensive about its future as I use it to share travel stories through narration and documentary photography. It’s so easy to get lost out here with so many blogs churning out travel advice and resources and an increased rate of ADD in readers. Glad to know I’m not the only one hopelessly idealistic about storytelling.
    the paper boat sailor recently posted…Far Out: A Photo Essay on Scotland’s Outer HebridesMy Profile

    • Sarah Shaw
      October 8, 2014

      Hey! Thanks for stopping by and reading some of my posts. Lately I’ve been a little MIA, but I’m hoping that will change once I stop feeling so lazy in this constant 95 degree Costeño heat. ;) I’ll make sure to check out some of your work.


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