Bringing your vacation home

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Graffiti in Athens that will be incorporated into a tattoo design

Ok, so you’ve planned a fabulous vacation and you’re psyched to create some amazing memories after the fact. Here are some tips that I have learned through my travel adventures to bring the memories home.

  1. Invest in a good camera. Why you ask? I’ll explain through a recent aha moment that I’ve experienced. Last year I had an amazing opportunity to go to my #1 dream destination of Ireland so I decided to invest in a Canon IOS 7D camera. I took some amazing pictures that more than supported the cost of the camera. But now what? Well,… The first thing that I did was to make a book through the standard IPhoto application on my Mac which turned out incredible and sent a copy to my friend that traveled with me as a memorable birthday gift. The second thing I did was to blow up my favorite pictures to use as as artwork throughout my house. I did a significant amount of research; reading reviews, looking at pricing and shipping charges, etc. and decided on Nations Photo Lab. The enlarged photos were received in about a week with the largest being a 3’x4′ enlargement that will go above my couch after I frame it. It turned out, well… I was speechless (in a good way) about how well it turned out. I’ve even had friends ask for copies. The third thing we’ve done with photos is to stream them to our apple TV when we have parties. This is a great way to share photos without being that person, or couple, that traps people in a room while endlessly going through photos. You know… Like that person who traps people at a party and endlessly talks about their cats. You know what I’m talking about. This way people who are interested can look at pictures and it ends up being a great talking point.
  2. Create a book. As I mentioned above, this can be a great way to capture and share your experiences and it is relatively inexpensive and easy to do. While I used the application that came with my mac, there are endless applications and photography websites that allow you to do the same thing with the cost usually ending up around $20. The book is a great way to share experiences at work, at home or through a unique present.
  3. Enlarge pictures for artwork around your home. Again, invest in a good camera so that you can blow up the pictures and the artwork alone will pay for the camera after a couple of great pictures.


    Copper plate purchased in Santorini Greece and Masks purchased in Mykonos Greece.

  4. Budget for some artwork or souvenirs that will add value to you’re memories for years to come. I invested in some masks of the Greeks gods and a handcrafted copper plate while In Greece, some pottery in Italy and wooden dishware in Hawaii. Lets face it, we all have stuff for our homes that look good, but don’t have much meaning. By investing in items that draw you in on vacation, you can create memories for years to come. Not only will you relive your memories when you see them, friends and family will ask about your unique furnishings that will provide ample opportunities to reflect on your experiences.


    Cufflinks from Sweden, Key West, Murano Italy and Saint Petersburg Russia

  5. Look for items that you would wear on a normal basis back home and invest on them while on vacation. You’ll save a ton of money as they are a lot cheaper where they are made and they quickly become talking points when people notice them. I often wear cufflinks and I cannot tell you how often people comment on these, often leading to stories about travels and new connections that otherwise would likely have not come up. While my objects of choice are cufflinks, the same could work for other jewelry, shoes, hats or just about anything that you appreciate. If you are worried about how to get these items home, most stores will ship for you, even overseas. If not, it is usually pretty easy to find a Fed Ex or other global shipping company. I would recommend paying a little extra and having the items insured. While we have never had any damage to items shipped, it does provide peace of mind while you are waiting for the items to be delivered after you get home. If you are unsure if it is worth the investment, take a photo of the item and take a business card from the store. If you find that you are regretting not getting the item, you can always e-mail the store with a picture of the item to arrange a way to purchase and ship it.
  6. Bring home a cookbook from the area or region that you visited. One of the best parts about traveling to new places is trying new foods. While in the moment, it is easy to be awed by new flavors which we quickly forget once we get home. Cookbooks are a very easy and inexpensive way to relive and recreate some of those memories. For example, say you just returned from Scandinavia and loved the meatballs and loganberry jam, smorsbord and many other foods that you tried. Flip through the cookbook that you brought home and plan a scandinavian dinner party. If guests want to bring something to contribute, ask them to bring a drink or cocktail that is from the region. They’ll have fun getting creative and learning about what’s popular in other regions and cocktails are taken care of.

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    Sink vessel we purchased in New Orleans after Katrina

  7. Incorporate items into your home.  We were visiting New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit and found a sink vessel at the farmers market that we fell in love with.  So what did we do?  We bought it and brought it home as carry on luggage and ended up designing a complete bathroom remodel with this vessel as the centerpiece.  Every time someone uses the guest bathroom, they always comment on this piece and it’s a very unique and cool way to relive this adventure.
  8. For the more adventures travelers out there, body art can be a great way to keep the memories alive while telling a story. I have been collecting images for years that will eventually be incorporated into a living tattoo that will tell the stories of my adventures. Once I get this started, I share the compiled images!

Just because you are home, doesn’t mean that the adventure has to end. As always, thanks for reading and please share any comments or thoughts that you feel can help to contribute. If you appreciate this blog, please share via social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc)

Life is short, make it an adventure!


Image from the Coliseum of Rome that may end up in a tattoo.

2 thoughts on “Bringing your vacation home

  1. This was such great advice!! All of it! I was at a party where the hosts put their travel pics up on their TV as a slide show, needless to say, we were inspired!!!

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