Over the holiday period I will occasionally share my space with a guest writer – to allow me some time off from daily blogging! Today’s guest post is by Lotte from The Netherlands.
It’s funny how your life can change quite dramatically in just one year. One year ago I was traveling around the globe with my husband, we didn’t know for how long and didn’t really have an itinerary planned. The plan was to travel until the money ran out or until we felt it was enough.
We ended up visiting 11 countries, hiked the EBC trail, lived in a van for 5 months, relaxed on Bali and the Perhentians, ate our way around Taiwan and did so much more. It was an amazing year, but little did I know the next year would be even more amazing…
Because when we returned home, I discovered I was pregnant!
Becoming a mom is by far the best thing that happened to me in my life, well, that and meeting my husband 😉
In any case, this wonderful news required us to make several big changes, such as moving into a house with more than a single bedroom.
That’s when my new hobby began…
The best travel decor items
When we moved into our ‘grown-up’ house, we didn’t nearly have enough stuff to fill the five rooms. And thus, in the following months my travel themed home decoration obsession came into full force…
Below you can find my favorite travel inspired (decoration) items to make travel an everyday part of your life without leaving the comforts of your home!
1. World maps
I have two world maps adorning the walls of my house, one in our study and one in our bedroom. The one in our study is a very detailed map with country flags, capitals, population, surface area, etc.
I love to look at this map and read the names of places we visited, it brings back so many memories!
I also love finding new (to me) countries on the map, or countries I only know by name. Sometimes I’m quite surprised to discover where they are actually located!
In our bedroom we have another world map, this is a very special one because it was custom-made by my sister. She is a very talented painter and made this beautiful wooden map for me as a birthday gift.
I love this world map and it hangs on the wall of our bedroom so I can look at it every day when I wake up. You can buy a similar wooden world map here.
2. Travel inspired art prints
I bought this beautiful Rocky Mountains print from Cairn North. We visited the Rocky Mountains in Canada during our world trip and it was one of our favorite places of the entire journey.
I mean, with views like this, how could it not be…
3. Lonely planet collection
There is nothing I love to do more on a rainy afternoon than browse through my battered Lonely Planet guidebooks. I pretty much have one for each country we visited, though I have some as an e-book only.
Generally, I prefer the paper versions as I find them easier to flip through. Also, I put yellow post-its on pages with things I want to find again quickly and always scribble notes on notebook sheets that I fold between the pages.
And of course, the actual books are perfect to put on display on a bookshelf. They are bound to spark some interesting conversations when you have friends over!
4. Travel souvenir collection
Despite having traveled to 40+ countries, I unfortunately don’t have a ton of souvenirs. It’s just not very convenient to collect pretty yet impractical items on a long-term trip, after all, you have to carry everything on your back!
Nevertheless, I have collected some precious items from different countries I visited. Like algarrobo seed pods from Cuba and chopsticks from Vietnam (these were actually pretty useful on our trip!).
I also have a fleece blanket from Hokkaido (Japan) which we bought because we were freezing when we went camping there in April (aka, still winter on Hokkaido). This fluffy blanket is now my baby’s favorite item in the world.
Other souvenirs include a small red phone booth from London (cliché, I know), an empty grappa bottle shaped like the Tower of Pisa and a pretty fan from Cambodia. And of course, we took the license plate off our trusted VANessa (the van we bought when road tripping around Canada and the USA) and took it home with us. It now proudly hangs on the wall of our bedroom. We have such fond memories of this car and looking at the license plate brings these memories back.
5. Travel pictures
How many of us have a phone or laptop full of beautiful travel pictures that you haven’t looked at since taking them? Yes, I’m guilty as well…
However, I decided to change that when I moved into a house with plenty of empty walls.
I now have travel pictures on the walls of most of the rooms in our home (even in the toilet!). Every time I look at them, they bring a smile to my face because of the great memories I have about those beautiful places.
6. Travel themed items for our baby
Just to make sure we instill some serious wanderlust in our baby, I’ve assembled several travel themed items for him.
For instance, he has a tiny backpack with a world map on it. I use this bag to hold his stuff when he goes to daycare. I also have a very cute cooler bag to hold his milk bottles, also with a world map!
7. Vintage suitcases
While we traveled the world with a backpack, those are mostly practical and not very suitable for decoration. These beautiful vintage suitcases are the exact opposite: totally impractical for travel but beautiful to decorate your home with.
I use these to store toys for my one year old so that every evening after he goes to sleep we can enjoy the living room without an explosion of toys. Plus, this way he quickly got used to packing and unpacking his suitcase!
8. A travel themed calendar
I got a beautiful calendar by Lonely Planet from my mum. Not only is this a great way to remember when to congratulate your family and friends with their birthday or wedding anniversary; this calendar also inspires you to visit new places with its beautiful pictures and interesting facts about countries around the world.
9. Timezone clocks
You often see these in hotels but I thought it would be fun to put four clocks in our study. We set them to the time zones of our favorite cities around the world. Below the clocks we hung a sign with the name of the city, so we always know if it’s time for breakfast, lunch or dinner in our favorite places in the world!
10. Magnetic board with entrance tickets and postcards
I have collected quite a lot of entrance tickets to museums, historic buildings and other interesting places we visited around the world. I’ve put these on a magnetic board, a colorful collection of travel memories!
That’s it, my top 10 ideas for decorating your home with travel items. I hope this has given you some ideas to bring travel into your life, even if you are (currently) not traveling!
Guest author, Lotte, is a thirtysomething adventurer from the Netherlands who tries to combine a fulltime job and traveling the world with her husband and 1y old son. She writes about their family adventures on her blog, Phenomenal Globe. Her favorite countries are Canada, New Zealand and Japan.