Traveling is a basic instinct. We all love to travel to new places, meet new people, taste new food and enjoy the wonders of nature. We jump at every opportunity to get out of our homes, our cities and our countries.
Have you ever thought of reversing this situation? How about opening your doors and allowing the world to come to our homes. Yes, it is possible. We just have to open our hearts to people, minds to ideas and the world will come running to us. If this sounds too much of talk, let me share how I invite the world to my home.
I have been a member of Couchsurfing for a decade now. Yes, that makes me a veteran of kinds. In my various homes across Bangalore, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, and Goa, I have hosted people from more than 20 nationalities. That is not counting the fellow Indians. When I am unable to host people for some practical reasons, I invite them over for a meal or a Chai. Sometimes I meet them and show them around a part of the city I live in.
My guests carried gifts for me from their villages and towns – like handmade pasta or a book about the place they were coming from. Sometimes they just took over the kitchen and cooked a meal with the ingredients they carried with them. The gifts were not just personal but they carried the essence of the place they came from. They added a piece of their world to my world.
By allowing travelers to come to my space and time, I have met their world in an unusual way. I have introduced them to my world just as it is, by giving them a unique experience that only a home can.
Read More: Couchsurfing – the Next Wave of Travel
When I started traveling as an independent person, my favorite way to bring the world back with me was to carry back souvenirs. I cherish the wooden Ravana mask I picked up in Sri Lanka. Thangka paintings from Nepal are my treasure. Handcrafted shell bangles from an artist in Bishnupur in Bengal remind me of the narrow lane where I bought them. Prayer flags that I picked up in Bhutan are a blessing I carried with me.
Fridge magnets and bookmarks are easy to buy souvenirs. I picked them from almost everywhere I went. Now, every time a new fridge magnet comes, some adjustments have to be made to accommodate it on the surface of my fridge.
Lately, I just click the pictures of various souvenirs and write about them. My readers also seem to like my stories on Jordan Souvenirs or Singapore Souvenirs or Sikkim Souvenirs.
Travel-themed furniture for your Home
I have a small home library that needs new bookshelves at regular intervals. As I do not live in a metro city, I went online looking for some new designs for bookshelves. I must confess this was the first time I was exploring an online furniture store. As luck would have it, I discovered some travel-themed furniture. Now, is that not the best way to have flavors of different places as part of your day-to-day living? My next few hours were lost in exploring the store for various travel-inspired collections. Let me share some that left me impressed:
Traveling back to Caledonia
Remember I wrote about visiting the Scotch Whiskey Center in Edinburgh sometime back? On the Urban Ladder website, I was looking at a bar unit designed for optimal storage of tall bottles and glasses. Appropriately called Caledonia Bar Unit, it reminds you of those days when the Island of Britain was under Roman rule. Remember those Roman Baths in the city of Bath in the United Kingdom?
Let Colors of Rajasthan Travel Home
Imagine your curtains or your cushion covers carrying a hint of forts of Rajasthan. The arches of Rajasthan showing on your tablecloth. The ramparts of forts are re-created on your curtains. Sometimes it was just an outline and sometimes there are solid red and yellow colors of Rajasthan. I wonder if I can let my curtains remind me of the places I am yet to visit. Once visited, they should become a part of my memories, taking me back to the destination. Or maybe just choose some part of your home furnishing that will be a part of your future travel plans. It would be like having motivation all around you.
Travel like the Ashanti tribe of Africa
I am yet to go to Africa. The visuals of Africa for me always have colorful geometric patterns that African tribes like Ashanti wear. These patterns are woven in bright colorful cotton resembling the patterns on woven baskets. In fact, the word ‘Kente’ comes from the basket. I was pleasantly surprised by the same patterns on a chest of drawers. Each drawer had a different pattern and together they create a melange of African patterns. Instead of bright colors, they had a screen printed on the drawers – giving it an earthy monotone.
Like a good book, that always leaves me wanting for more, the travel-inspired furniture ranges also left us wanting for more. In my mind, I started creating my own collections. Let me share a few from my wish list.
Travel-inspired wish list
- Wall frames inspired by Tanjore paintings
- Phulkari or Ikkat pattern on my furniture just like Kente-inspired furniture
- A chair right from the royal palaces that make one feel like a princess or maybe a queen
- A work table with the world map as a theme – it could be furnishing too – imagine curtains with maps
- A colorful Jhoola from Sankheda
- An inlay-work coffee table from Agra
Practically speaking, furniture is not something that you can bring back from a destination. Yes, there are options to get it shipped, but that is not always economical enough to make sense. Our very own desi online stores like Urban Ladder are giving us the options to pick and choose from their collections of world furniture.
I hope they keep designing new collections inspired by wanderlust. I hope they keep connecting us to other cultures through their creative designs that blend our needs with our sensibilities. Let’s hope they keep adding to the dreams that we live with.
If I ever write a sequel to The Mouse Charmers, the online furniture stores would be a very strong candidate to feature in it.
This post has been written in association with Urban Ladder. Do check out their travel-inspired range of furniture and furnishings.
Loved the Post : Bring Home your Travel- Diaries. Personal favorite being that Workstation with Map Pillows 🙂
Thanks Pooja. I am someone who is obsessed with. In my Bangalore home I had my library designed in the colors of maps and one wall was full of maps.
Hi! Lovely article. All the best for your new adventures. On a different note, couldn’t help noticing that you have four houses. Wow!
Thanks, Vibha. I have lived in many many houses one after the other. All I have is one house in Bangalore which has my favorite library designed in the colors and codes of maps.
Yes souvenirs are memory builders and those fridge magnets that are a must-buy from anywhere we travel to are the masterpieces for their recall value as fridge remains the most visited place in a home…
What a great perspective Amitabh Ji. Fridge is indeed the most visited gadget in the house and to park your memories there seems just perfect.
Hi Anuji,The article is apt to the title.fridge magnets are real temptations.
Thanks Sarita. Fridge magnets are the easiest to carry and display. I loved the idea of travel inspired upholstery.
Hey Anuradha! Really liked your article. Article has given me new theme for my interior projects. Thanks.
Wow Shalini. That is so good to hear. Let me know when you design a home around travel theme, I will come over for a photo shoot.
wonderful article.Thanks For Sharing
Thank you Ajay Ji. Glad you enjoyed reading it.
Wow, this is a different treatment and perspective to the topic. Just one thing- umm, can’t agree that travel is basic instinct. I still believe it is a privilege 🙂
It is a basic instinct Deepika. Everyone urges to travel. Ask anyone. They may not have the means or the courage to travel, the degree of urge may be different, but everyone likes to travel. It is a part of human nature to expand our horizons, a curiosity about the unknown. And humans have been traveling ever since they were born. In India, we had an almost institutionalized concept of Yatras – they were nothing but a way to go far and wide.
Wonderful post! your travel home is best idea your home, travelling items it’s really nice thanks for sharing
Glad you liked the post Magnum.
Wow..awesome post …thanks for sharing.
Thank you Shailaja
Heyy Anuradha Lovely post to read for Travel and themes used that is so beautiful.It’s really Nice idea to promote your Home Town.By the way Bangalore is also my choice town i love it.
Great Idea !! I am just really amazed that anyone can do that to allow the Whole world to come in her homes.
You have very nice memories through Travelling and I also liked the fridge Magnets. Really Awesome post.
Great Shefali – glad that you liked the idea of allowing the world to come to your home. DO share how you plan to do it?
Awesome post.just love to travel…no love the maps idea!
Anju, I am in love with maps. I enjoy reading them.
Wow! Great Job! Really enjoyed reading through these. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, Elliyah. Glad you enjoyed reading the post.
Loved the cushions with the compass on it! And the curtains! So unique 🙂 Yes, I treasure and cherish the small souvenirs of places I have received as gifts, and it makes me read more about the places and add it to my bucket list 🙂
Wonderful article, just love reading all your articles. Every one brings souvenir from places one travel but never thought in this perspective. Hope to meet you again
Thank you so much Rupam ji. Look forward to meeting you again.