Life, Love, Travel & Home 

So it’s pretty obvious that I like to travel right?  But I’m not a nomad, so I really do like having a place that I can call home.  And I don’t think these two loves are mutually exclusive and this post shows you how I have combined them…I think rather nicely if I do say so myself!

I had an unfortunate negative rental situation that forced me to spend A LOT of money fixing up the house so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on decorating.  And I wanted to create a space that made it MY house so I figured incorporating my travels would help me accomplish that.  So with that it mind, let me take you on a mini tour of my place:

Do you collect anything from every place that you have been?  For me, it’s magnets.  They’re relatively inexpensive, compact and almost every place has them.  Well it had been before this huge backpacking trip that I took last year and I really wish that I had been better about it now that I was home.  It didn’t always occur to me to pick up a magnet and the other thing is that every ounce counts when you’re carrying your bags.  So many places not represented here unfortunately!

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”

img_8155I’m obsessed with maps and globes and if I see a globe, I am always tempted to buy it. Cost and size typically come into play though so I don’t end up bringing home many that I see.  This bookshelf is in my living room area and combines my loves of reading and traveling.  In addition to my collection of globes that I have bought on my travels + travel guides + coffee table books + some magazines, I have complied a very special set of books here.  These are the books that I have read and loved or have shaped my way of thinking or forced me to look at things differently or introduced me to new places/ideas/ways of thinking and are actually more likely a combination of those things and more ~ I kept it to my favorite for each individual author but really if you look at this space, it really does a pretty good job encapsulating who I am.  (And on a side note: actually really sums up my life as two of the globes are actually presents from my family ~ so cool to have people support me and my dreams in my life)

img_8157As you have all seen, I love taking pictures and I call this my Instagram wall.  It doesn’t include all my travels and is a small selection of photos but it’s a pretty good representation of my journeys.  I knew that I wanted to print out some of the photos I had taken during my recent travels but it was really difficult to narrow down to a handful and I had seen other IG walls on social media so I decided to create this space. {Project notes.  I love that Costco has a luster finish instead of matte ~ significantly better on the color integrity and saturation.  I went with that finish because photos with a glossy finish would have had too much shine/glare (the room is very sunny being south facing) even though the color is truer and fingerprints would have been visible.  To keep the project spacing as uniform as possible, I hung the top row and the rightmost column to use as guides for the other photos.  I found that kept all the other photos leveled and evenly spaced.  I did organize the photos prior to putting them up so that the colors, themes, places were somewhat varied.  I wanted to have the photos stick well to the wall but not cause damage and also use something that would allow me to change photos when desired so I decided on using painter’s tape to adhere to the walls.  Cost: ~$40 $0.14 per print + 1.75 rolls of painter’s tape}I love this map ~ it’s a scratch off of the places that you have been and also shows how much more of the world there is left for me to see.

I titled this room “be the change you seek in the world” because we are each in charge of our own destiny and that we can also be positive forces for good.  For me being a good global citizen is important and obviously I have taken many steps to control my life and take charge of my fate and happiness.

“Life is a daring adventure or nothing”: What to do with all those certificates


So this is definitely the most expensive wall in my house!   It is a compilation of some extraordinary and memorable (albeit pricey) adventures.  I definitely subscribe to the idea that money spent on experiences is so much more valuable than money spent on things.  The certificates for scaling Mt Kilimanjaro, taking hot air balloon rides, holding a gator and completing cooking classes + a board showcasing which 14ers I have conquered surround a custom designed photo.  I think the coolest part is that the background for that photo are actually pages from my passports showing places like Machu Picchu and the Galapagos and Israel and Turkey and that Helen Keller quote is one of my favorite travel quotes!   {Project notes:  I designed the photo using the photo editing app Enlight (one of many I use) and had it printed at Costco.  Again everything is hung up using painter’s tape except the board hung with a nail.  Cost: $7.99 Cost of large print ~ I’m not going to include the price of the activities represented here and the 14ers board was a Christmas gift}

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page”:  What to do with leftover foreign currencyimg_8158img_8159Maybe it’s the banker in me but I do love to see currency from other places and save a bill or two if possible and it seems like I always ended up with foreign coins. So thank goodness for Pinterest because they would have been left in their plastic baggies otherwise!  Top photo shows foreign coins and bills surrounding another of my favorite travel quotes and perfect for it’s locale, my library.  I used matching frames and also set it up as so it would be easy to continue to add to the collection (if I get my missing money back from my renters or as I continue my travels).   Second photo is across from that wall ~ my reading nook and world wall decals above my reading chair.

{Project notes:  The quote was printed on a blank piece of paper and the coins glued to the mat using craft glue.  I taped the bills to the back of the photo sheet that comes with each frame using gift tape as it tends to be more transparent.  I liked the look of the IKEA frame used for the coins but decided against it for the full project because the wall was not wide enough for three across.  The collage ended up working out better since I like how the frames I ended up getting had that silver lining and they were just a dollar each.  I did have to modify them a little to get them to lay flat and to hang true as shown in the top photo.  I arranged the photos of the ground to get the arrangement and spacing down.  Then I alway use paper (Kraft or whatever I have lying around the house) to hang on the wall to get it situated correctly.   I hate having photos that aren’t spaced evenly & hung level, making multiple nail holes so I always use a level, measure twice, and use a guiding paper.  What I mean by a guiding paper is one where I have measured where the picture hook will hang and that’s where I gently press the nail in a bit as shown in the lower picture.   That will create a depression when I remove the paper and then hammer in the nail.  Cost: $33 ~ $6.99 -IKEA Ribba 12×16 frame; $8 – 8 8×10 photo frames;  $17.99 – IKEA Klatta World wall decals}

“Travel the world”: What to do with leftover foreign currency Part 2 

img_8161I did mention that I love globes and maps right?  Well and what do you do when you have a map that doesn’t go with the furniture and decor you have now?  Turn to Pinterest ~ stain the frame a darker color and use Scrabble tiles and foreign coin and then come up with this!  {Project notes: I again used craft glue to fix the Scrabble tiles and coins to the map.  And I had two Scrabble sets so that’s the only reason I would use them!  Cost: $0 This was the ultimate up cycle project}

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Eva says:

    Hello! Found your post on Girls LOVE Travel 🙂
    I love your bookshelf!!


  2. ivmalaric says:

    what an inspiration! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ben Rietema says:

    That picture wall is awesome! What a great way to bring your memories and experiences into your daily life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you! I finally figured out what to do with all those photos I take and post on Instagram 😉


  4. travelscubacookhikecreaterepeat says:

    Great collections! I always bring home masks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds amazing! Do you have them grouped all together in one place? And I’m intrigued do you have a photo?


  5. Hasan says:

    I’m so inspiring with your photo wall. I thing is awesome. And your globe wallpaper and maps is amazingly amazing 😃 and I can see where the Asia that my place in the world haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I really love travel and photography so it made sense for me. And I love the daily reminders about my amazing travels


    2. And I have only been to Bali, so much more of Indonesia I would love to see and explore! Some day….


  6. Lovely collection! I too collect magnets from our travels but my books exceed everything else!
    Thank you for the like and glad I found your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. dpcross310 says:

    Just wanted to say – I am not a serial “liker.” I don’t go typing “like like like” on every article somebody writes just because they liked something I did. But, damn, this is a fantastic website. Very well written, love the shots in your home. Great job, and keep it going!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow thank you so much! I really appreciate that


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