The Travelling Artist SUMS for Travelling is Travelling Series

By Mary Charie / 25/05/2016

Story Of A Traveller – The Travelling Artist by SUMS

I travel with my Art Sums for Travelling is Travelling Series 1

SUMS in Hanoi


I met SUMS in a cosy hostel in Hanoi called See You at Lily’s. He’s not your regular guy, who you would think to ditch his desk in the TV and Film Industry; he left his job at the age of 40.  Packed his backpack and left Ireland with the story of I quit my job to travel the world. However, other than the mission of visiting and opening up the beauty of the world before his eyes, he’s on the road for another reason; To visit each country, paint a wall and leave his own mark.

SUMS is now cruising the world of travelling for the past 7 months. His initial plan is to travel for a year, but it all depends if he will bump into something interesting and settle somewhere for a while.


Here are my Hostel recommendations for Vietnam


What is your name, age and where are you from?

I’m SUMS, 41 years old from Drogheda, Ireland.


What made you decide to go travelling?

I had a 20-year career in visual effects for TV and Film until I got to the point where I wanted to pursue my career as an artist.  I also needed a time out to get back to the basics, and what better way than to travel the world and soak in all the worldly cultures and experiences. I’ve always wanted to paint murals in every country I visit.


I travel with my Art Sums for Travelling is Travelling Series 11

SUMS in Kampot, Cambodia – Mad Monkeys Hostel

What do you love about travelling?

I love everything; different countries, cultures, people, and nature. Especially, travelling as an artist led me to much different life changing experiences. The people I met, the places I’ve seen, the places I’ve painted; most of these places aren’t on the tourist map. Thus, I get more of an inside look into the real life and people from different countries and cultures.

These kinds of experiences are priceless, and I am grateful I have my art that I can give to people and leave my mark behind. Before I thought to have the big job and money made me happy, but when you see people in countries like Vietnam and Cambodia, living on practically nothing, poorer than poor, yet they can smile and laugh, it kind of put life in perspective, that we don’t need all the material things we tend to gather around us.


I travel with my Art Sums for Travelling is Travelling Series 2

SUMS in Ho Chi Minh City

In your opinion, what is the worst part of travelling?

I don’t think there are any bad parts about travelling. The first time I went travelling was 13 years ago, I was a lot younger and more wary and unsure of places I’d never been to.

This time, I feel, if you are more relaxed and realised that not every country works the same as your own country, therefore patience can be your greatest asset. I don’t really have a plan, like how long I should spend in one place or try to have every date worked out. I see people whizzing through countries in 2 weeks, I wonder how can they possibly take it all in. It’s not all a photo opportunity, as you miss the most important parts by just experiencing life.

One thing that does annoy me is when I see fellow travellers getting annoyed at the local people because the food might be a bit different, the electricity went out, or the WiFi is down. In this case, just stay at home. I’ve been in SE Asia for 7 months now and I can’t rave about it enough. The people really make it one of the best places I’ve been to.


I travel with my Art Sums for Travelling is Travelling Series 3

SUMS in Retox Bar & Lounge, Koh Tao, Thailand

What makes your travelling style unique?

I’m travelling to explore the world and all its beauty. But my main thing is travelling as an artist. Having been painting for 28 years on walls around the world, I realised that I could use my skills to help fund my travels, and also have a totally different experience than the most.

It is mainly bars, hostels and restaurants I paint. This usually allows me to live for free, yet getting behind the scenes of the local people is the best part. I have met some really interesting people along the way, some are now my friends.

So far, I have painted in Thailand; Bangkok and Koh Tao, in Vietnam; Hanoi, Dong Hoi and Nha Trang, in Cambodia; Phnom Penh and Kampot, and Philippines (Manila) will be my next journey.


If you have a message to everyone who hasn’t travelled, what would it be?

Go travelling NOW.


What is your message to someone who would love to travel, but full of doubts?

Life is full of doubts, but travelling should never be a doubt. We get one chance on this planet, one opportunity, go for it. It will change you forever, in the best way imaginable.


What is your main goal of travelling?

To relax, take the world in and to paint as many countries as I can.


Do you have any tips to your co-travellers or people who are about to travel?

To quote the rapper Nas, “The World Is Yours…”


I travel with my Art Sums for Travelling is Travelling Series 7

SUMS in the Mad Monkeys Hostel – Kampot and Phnom Penh, Cambodia


SUMS’ trademark is a knuckle with his name on it. Follow his journey as he turns a simple wall into a gorgeous form of art.

Have you seen any of Sums’ walls? Tag him on his Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and don’t forget to check out his Website!


I travel with my Art Sums for Travelling is Travelling Series 6
SUMS in Booze Cruise Sports Bar – Nha Trang

All photos by Sums

Do you like this article? PIN IT!

Travelling artist sums


We want to hear your story! Do you want to inspire people to travel in their own ways? Please send me email at

About the author

Mary Charie

She's the person behind this blog, she has been travelling since 2013. Torn between her itchy feet and writing, Mary found herself soaking up in the world of travel blogging. She travels on her own terms and tries to build her own world whilst pushing herself into every corner of life, breaking limit beyond her capabilities.

Kira - 02/06/2016

Absolutely amazing artwork! Very talented!!! I love how he travels with his art! Most people choose to travel to get away from things you do at home so I love that his goals are to paint all over the world!

Kacie - 30/05/2016

Wow, what a lovely story. I love SUMS art and it’s a great idea to paint in as many countries in the world as he can.

Yorkshire Tots (@YorkshireTots) - 30/05/2016

What a cool idea for a blog series! You do meet some interesting folk travelling and it’s nice to hear their stories. I love the idea of leaving your art everywhere you go.

Are and Pops - 29/05/2016

I agree that everyone should to travelling..I wish I did more before having my little girl but can’t wait to go explore new places with her as a family

    Mary Charie - 27/07/2016

    I’ve met tons of family couples who travels with their little ones! Should be exciting! 😉

Ana De Jesus - 29/05/2016

Tell Sum to come to the UK because as you know art murals/ street art is a huge part of my aesthetic so I would love to use one of his walls as a backdrop. His artistic ability is incredible!

    Mary Charie - 27/07/2016

    Will definitely let him know Ana! 😉 You can also easily contact him through his social accounts 🙂

everinmay - 29/05/2016

It’s so inspiring to hear older people travelling, I’m about to be 30 and worried I was too old but it’s inspired me to see people just travelling and doing what they love, great interview! xx

Working Mum - 29/05/2016

Amazing! I’ve never heard about Sums before and feel really inspired reading this. Great interview

JessicaLouise (@JessycaLouise) - 29/05/2016

This is such a great interview and I love how he combines his love of art and travel.

    Mary Charie - 27/07/2016

    Thanks for reading Jessica! 🙂

Cassandra Mayers - 29/05/2016

2 Brilliant things that go together! Art and Travelling.

    Mary Charie - 27/07/2016

    So true! <3

oliverinstead - 27/05/2016

I love travelling myself. Reading this interview really inspires me!! Love his works too!

Btw Hanoi is such a great place… been there a couple of times myself, going again for the third next year. 🙂

Oliver x

    Mary Charie - 28/05/2016

    I’m glad you liked it Oliver! Ah, Hanoi is amazing! I could tell to everyone good things about it, and it will take hours!! Please eat Bun bo nam bo for me when you visit! x

    oliverinstead - 28/05/2016

    I’m actually looking forward to being back there next year, even though I didn’t think I was going to go back after my second time last year. Ah I’m vegetarian! :/

    Oliver x

    Mary Charie - 29/05/2016

    Ah! That’s challenging! I’m on pescatarian diet, it was complicated at times!

Sarah Bailey - 27/05/2016

What an interesting and talented sounding guy – I really hope he enjoys every moment of his travels. x

    Mary Charie - 28/05/2016

    I’m sure he does! What else is the best other than doing two things that could actually make you happy?! x

hannahhowell912 - 27/05/2016

I wish I could go travelling but I just don’t think I could ever do it! x

Anca - 27/05/2016

His story is really inspiring, so many countries and such a lovely idea. His art work looks fab too. It’s really wonderful you shared this, I will have a look on his website.

Rhian Westbury - 26/05/2016

That is so awesome that he is leaving his mark on the world in the form of art x

Nikki - 26/05/2016

I would love to just be able to pack it in all in and go travelling the world!

    Travel | Mary Charie (@amaryroad) - 28/05/2016

    Isn’t it a good feeling? Just pack and leave everything behind! x

Renna - 26/05/2016

How amazing to travel and do what you love. His art is so cool.

kereta sewa - 26/05/2016

I was privileged to read your post. and I left a comment. so great to meet you. I’m “following” you. I hope you have a great weekend.

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment:

error: This content is protected. If you have any concern, please email us at