Because, you know, I had a PLAN.
I knew I would be visiting various exciting places in 2012 on account of the conferences I had scheduled to attend. And instead of a camera, I wanted to take a travel sketchbook. So I did a lot of sketching this past year - not merely as an exercise for the planned travel sketchbooks, but also because it took my mind of other things. (The mosaic you see above are pages from my first sketchbook, which I called "Doodle Days". The title was supposed to serve as a reminder to myself that my drawings didn't need to be perfect. They could be just doodles, and that would be fine.)
To my surprise, I've also found that when you're travelling with a sketchbook, complete strangers will start a conversation with you. And sometimes they will tell you things about their city and the buildings and scenes you've drawn.
Sketching is also a very good way to create memories. It teaches you to look. You suddenly start to see the world with different eyes.
It's magical, really. :-)