If anything has ever been able to calm my mind it's been travelling. I've been around South America, lived in Costa Rica, Singapore and Tokyo, hitchhiked around Iceland and America, and I've lost count of the number of times I've been to Spain. As someone who doesn't have a particularly quiet mind I sometimes wonder if I just agreed to keep travelling to keep my mind quiet for extended periods of time. It doesn't make much sense considering travelling for months at a time often meant more worries at the end of it, but somehow the feeling of just keeping going had a quietening effect. Maybe it's to do with a lack of commitment to one idea.
One thing I tried to do as often as possible while travelling was keep a sketchbook to quickly note down those little details from backpacking that stuck out the most. Whether it was sketching my hiking boots while waiting for a hostel's breakfast to be served, or a quick little scene out of the Greyhound bus window at a truck stop. My favourite illustration from travelling is actually of a man dressed as Charlie Chaplin and a woman dressed as a cat on drawn while stuck on a notoriously crap LA bus. Those scattered little calm memories.
Midori Asano's illustrations of everyday objects evoke those times for me. Quick little snatches of something important to you at the time but might seem humdrum and everyday to someone else.
There is something warm and comforting about the attention to detail she pays to something as simple as some stacked mugs. You know she felt something important about their presence and wanted to remember it, and indeed share it. And they were just as important to her as the snowy scene of the train winding through the mountains (another image evoking another kind of travel.)
My Japanese is pretty limited so I can't tell you too much about Midori but you can explore her blog and her flickr.