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Creating Spaces

A New Year means new adventures, but as of right now I’m perfectly content sitting at home in front of the fireplace with my dog. After having travelled to 8 countries this past year, I’ve come to appreciate being in my own space and the important role that home plays for any wanderer. For me, my room and my house are both places where I can be most relaxed and vulnerable; where I can leave behind linguistic or cultural struggles and submit to fresh baked cookies and over-slept mornings. It’s a place where I can fully immerse myself in thought and reflection and regenerate for my next journey, whether across the country or across the ocean.

If you are returning from college, a semester abroad, or just visiting your parents for a weekend, it’s always nice to have your own space. I’d like to take this time to share mine with you.

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IMG_4997So for those of you who don’t know, this is my absolute favorite painting that my father created in 2002. I love it so much I got those three musicians tattooed on my right arm

IMG_5001Books on books. I gave a lot away but kept the ones that mattered most to me. If you’re into traveling (like I obviously am) I suggest you buy Make the Most of Your Time on Earth: 1000 Ultimate Travel Experiences by Rough Guides. This is the BEST travel book that will keep you inspired. Favorite books on the shelf include Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Odas Elementales by Pablo Neruda (read Oda a la alcachofa – ode to the artichoke) and my FAVORITEDeath with Interruptions by Jose Saramago.

IMG_5004My mom made that little box with the birds for me. I bought the little music box in Montmartre, it plays La Valse d’Amelie!! BEST PURCHASE EVER!

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IMG_5006Bought the tapestry in Cambodia…I love me some elephants!

IMG_5007Prepping for my semester in Nicaragua! A GREAT Gioconda Belli book that is definitely on my list of favorites is The Inhabited Woman, go read it.

IMG_4994Little collections.

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IMG_2627I love my map and use pins to show where I’ve been. I could stare at this baby for hours!

IMG_5008And of course, every home needs a loyal pet. WordPress, meet my Dolce!

So what makes a good space? For me, it’s a combination of soft colors, dim lights, scented candles, and dog hair. Create a space that you can look forward coming home to, even if that means piling an unnecessary amount of pillows onto your bed or plastering your wall with posters. However, home isn’t just about the visuals or being in a certain place. There are ways to feel home when you are abroad, my favorite way is listening to songs that remind me of family.

Volare by The Gipsy Kings. This is probably my first memory of music. I used to watch all the music videos on VHS on repeat when I was a child!

Ode to My Family by The Cranberries. The Cranberries defined my childhood! That must’ve been annoying for my parents though, having some 5 year old running around the house screaming the lyrics of Zombie…

Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes. This song literally is about home so…I mean…

Ventura Highway by America. How could you listen to this and not think of driving? I remember being in the car, driving through New Mexico back in 1999 and listening to this and the horse with no name song…you know, the one where he goes through the desert on a horse with no name. What’s that song called?

America by Simon and Garfunkel. I always think of my mom whenever I listen to Simon and Garfunkel. I listen to this song when I am making my way back home.

So that’s that. Feel free to share photos of your digs or songs of your youth!

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