Updated September 7, 2022
In 2020, I couldn't bear to think about travel. It truly hurt my heart not knowing when it would be safe to travel again. So instead, I started to focus on all of those things that I would get to "one day" with those days having never come before.
At first, I just focused on getting rid of excess. I've made huge strides, but I don't think that Bill quite agrees. Let's face it, I'm not a minimalist.
In tandem with my decluttering, the pandemic nudged me to reimagine under-used spaces in our house. One of those projects has been a travel inspiration wall.
Our second floor has a modest wall in front of my son's room. It has historically been a landing spot for laundry baskets, toys or anything else that doesn't have a place in our house. If you're thinking, "Organization 101 is that 'everything must have a place'," you are both correct and probably have found the root of my problem.
For years, I've thought about putting up pictures either from our travels and/or from cool things that we've done as inspiration to do more. But I've never done it. For one, I vacillated between three potential walls in our house. And then the thought of going through all of our pictures was a bit overwhelming.
Well Facebook in its infamous glory, finally got me. They figured out that I was curious about Mixtiles and I got an ad for 50% off around the holidays. I had neither the time nor the ambition but I never pass up something that I deem of great value. Twenty pictures for $99? Sign me up. [Related, I am not an affiliate of Mixtiles...]
I asked my friend, Julie, what her experience was like. The gist of her response was that it's good enough for a mudroom but maybe not family room quality. Well folks, that's good enough for Pandemic Chrissy.
Then, I did something very unlike me. I just quickly looked through some travel pics and instead of worrying about the "perfect" ones, or doing any major editing, I just picked some. Twenty, to be exact. I didn't overthink it. An exec at a client once told me, "Don't let perfection get in the way of good enough." And I didn't.
Two weeks later, the package arrived. It was so much fun to open them up and look at the pictures. Julie was right - it's definitely not museum-quality. But the packaging is fun and the tiles are super easy to put on the wall. I had measuring tape, a leveler and the pictures. I measured everything, checked twice, hung three up and then realized that I had screwed up somehow. I reassessed, realized that I had no idea what I did and then just eyeballed it. Perfection (nearly)!
Let's just say that it's one of those things that you realize that you should have done ages ago. We have a small room on the third floor and every time that I walk down the stairs, I see those pictures and it makes me smile. One bright side of the pandemic is that we have focused less on doing things perfectly and just getting things done with what we have at home since we don't go shopping nearly as much anymore.
Our wall of inspiration comfortably puts a picture of us at Disney World next to a picture of Bill stupidly jumping into the Amazon River (yes the one with piranhas and caiman). Both bring back happy memories and push us to do more. It's also a reminder that you really can't put a price tag on experiences. I've regretted a lot of purchases, but never regretted any trip.
Do you have any pictures from your travels hanging in your house? Let's see them!