I love traveling! The luxury of staying in a different abode that you don't have to clean (praise Jesus). The activities to enjoy- both outdoor and indoor. The memories you get to make with the friends and/or family who accompany you. And the joy you receive from shopping the local stores different from those you peruse at home. All of these things and more are what make traveling any distance worth every penny spent.
Most of us look for some sort of memento to commemorate our travels. An item we can proudly display in our homes and look at from time to time as a reminder of the fun times away from our every day. Most of the time those items end up being a magnet, shot glass, t-shirt, or key-chain with the name of the city you traveled. Now as fun as those items might be, the more that time goes on, the less likely you are to want the shirt that is now too small, or the faded key chain, and the janky shot glass looks a little out of place in your fabulous bar area.
My mom realized this problem early on in our travels as a family and her creative solution was Christmas ornaments. We would each pick out an ornament (or an item to make into an ornament), and use a thin point sharpie to write the location and year. Every Christmas when my siblings and I would pull out our ornament boxes to decorate the tree we had so much fun reminiscing the different vacations and forgotten memories. It gave us the chance to escape back to each location for another second longer. Most of the time we wouldn't even have to glance at the sharpie- we new exactly where the ornaments were from.
Now that I have a home of my own, and my husband and I travel as often as we can, I had to come up with my own way of collecting memories. For me that came through expressing one of my favorite hobbies- home decor! I still might purchase ornaments to put on my parent's fun decorated tree, but I like my tree to be more coordinated and not as whimsical (I blame my time at Panache for this- Haha) although I do hope to have a small table top tree for those special ornaments when we have a larger space.
There are several ways you can go about collecting memories for your home during your travels. You can always curate one item at a time to make a wall a statement wall (example: a plate from each of your voyages to hang sporadically on a wall in the dining room). My style is a little more eclectic so I use the "fly by the seat of your pants" technique. I normally try and buy things for areas of my house that are empty or areas that are already decorated, but just need a little sprucing. If there is a specific size, color, or texture for a certain area of my home I've been looking to update then of course I will keep my eye out for those kinds of things, but at the end of the day I happy with whatever I find that speaks to me. I love my home and the things in it, and finding a new treasure that gives me great joy each time I glance it's direction while reminding me of a special time in my life is the best item I can find.
To spark your creative juices, here are a few things I now have as memories in my home as well as ideas for things you can easily find on your own adventures to add to your home.
Pillows & Throws.
There are so many different corners of your house that can use a throw pillow or blanket. From your office chair to the living room couch, and even your front porch bench. This treasure is one you can find time and time again with as many different of your home as there are to add a little something.
Coffee table books
Last November my husband and I traveled with a group of friends to Spain, and one of our favorite views was on Mountserrat. It was absolutely beautiful! We traveled up to the top in a cable car, and the mist hanging just above the trees below was angelic. I'll never forget walking into one of the many shops and seeing a wall full of books to my right. All were different topics relating to the history and scenery of Montserrat. My first thought was "Oh goody I found my souvenir for the trip!" It would have been the perfect coffee table book! I rummaged through several, and was enjoying myself until my sweet hubby reminded me that any book I picked out I would have to carry with me the rest of the trip (we had each packed for our 9 day excursion in only a backpack). Of course the ones I had been drawn to were the biggest of the batch, but he was right. Hauling a large book around on my back for the next few days was probably not the finest idea or the best use of space, but the idea of purchasing a book to use as decoration in our home will definitely be a must.
Your walls are an area of your home that make a huge impact because they are at eye level. Finding a piece of art to to hang is a great way to add a memory and a statement to your home. But not all art is premade- allow yourself to think outside the box a little and create something unique. A rug hung with a dowel or an architectural piece will both make a huge impact. And don't forget about the power of framing. A collage wall of pictures, a poster, or even a collection of sea shells can all be placed inside a frame and made to look cute in any home.
Every day Items
My husband and I enjoyed the small town of Pagosa Spring, Colorodo for our honeymoon almost 2 years ago. We loved the views, the clean air, and the unlimited access we had to the outdoor activities. My collecting for the home began on this trip when I decided I wanted to use our travels as memories in the home. We didn't do much shopping that trip, but we did find our selves in an antique store one afternoon. I picked out an adorable pair of glass salt and pepper shakers. they were the perfect amount of antique the an eclectic vibe that would fit in our home. Cute jars and containers are always fun for your flour and sugar in the kitchen, or even a glass water decanter to reuse at your own dinner table.
Above is another treasured item my husband surprised me with on a family trip back to Pagosa Springs. It is a hand carved vase from a forest in the area that burned during a wild fire. The artisan salvaged the charred lumbar to make beauty from the ashes. It is one of my favorite decorations and I will always find a home for it.
There are so many different ways to collect and celebrate your travels as a family, individual, or with your friends. Find a way to allow yourself to relive those memories every once in a while.
We travel not to escape our everyday lives, but to appreciate life in a different setting.