So you’ve said ciao to your study abroad friends, au revior to your home away from home, and have landed in your home country… now what? Odds are you are ready to reminisce and wishing you could go back and live the study abroad fairytale again. If you are like me (and most of the friends I made studying abroad), hopping on a flight to go somewhere new isn’t quite realistic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t satisfy your wanderlust right here at home. Here are some DIY ideas for bringing your love for travel home with you:
1. Map Your Adventures
All you will need is a cork board, a poster of a map (or you can print your own), and a whole bunch of push pins. While it is helpful to use a map that is the same size of your cork board, don’t fret if its not: get crafty! Use 4 push pins to hold the map onto the cork board and voila, it is ready for you to map your adventures. Place pushpins on all of the places you have visited, reminiscing along the way… or mark off all of the places you hope to visit one day! What better way to get the wanderlust flowing? If you are feeling really creative, use the map as a backdrop for all of your favorite study abroad pictures!
2. Bulletin Board
One of the first things I did upon returning home from studying abroad was find cute a way to display all of my study abroad pictures and mementos. While classic tan cork boards work fine for this job, why not have fun with it? Head to your local fabric store and choose something that reminds you of the country you studied in or use paint to design your own. Use the board to pin up photos, plane tickets, brochures, or anything that will bring you back to your time abroad when you are missing it the most.
3. Shadow Box
Similar to the bulletin board, a shadow box is a very easy way to display your mementos. Buy a shadow box from your local craft store and get creative: paint it, write on it, or leave it as is. Regardless of what you decide, the items in the box will make it beautiful and be a constant reminder of the time you spent travelling and the people you met along the way!
4. Money Jar
All you will need for this is a mason jar and some patience. Label a mason jar something that will excite you to travel again (examples: Wanderlust Fund, Next Stop: _____, or simply Travel Cash) and set aside money each week to put in the jar. As the savings grows so will your wanderlust, and before you know it you might just have enough for another trip… good luck!
My semester abroad in bella Roma, Italia was the most transformative time of my life. Rome’s central location allowed me to travel not only throughout Italy to drink limoncello in the Amalfi Coast, wine taste in the tuscan hills, and eat pizza in Naples, but also explore 5 beautiful countries and experience new cultures firsthand. I only hope that my stories will inspire others to find their own “Rome Away from Home” like I did.