Returning Home After Traveling

Some people think that the words house and home are interchangeable, however they most certainly are not. A house is merely an impersonal building that people live in, where as a home is a reflection of yourself. Therefore a house doesn’t become a true home until you customize it to represent your life experiences, personal ideas, cultural views and fondest memories.

Traveling shapes and molds your style more than anything else.

A house doesn't make a home without customizing it to reflect your personality
A house doesn’t make a home without customizing it to reflect your personality

We avid travelers are an interesting bunch. For us coming home IS the vacation. As such our homes tend to be a bit eclectic, to put it politely 😉

The journey returning home after traveling
The journey home

When you start traveling around the world, the ideas of your dream home continue to shift and change, grow and refine, with every new destination. With each new country I find myself discovering a new and fascinating style or inspirational interior design idea. Whether returning to Texas or my second home in Thailand, things are always changing. There is always some changes to make or a little redesign work to complete before the next trip begins.

A house doesn't make a home without customizing it to reflect your personality

Over the years as my travel experience grows alongside my country count, so too my home has continued to change and evolve in order to reflect these different cultural experiences and the impact they have had on me.

Interior decorations vary from room to room and country to country. The living room embraces nature with hand carved wooden sculptures, artifacts and decorations from around the world. Various other rooms and hallways represent different corners from around the globe. However the bedroom has a predominantly Asian theme and my bathroom is where I really want to go wild. While remodeling the interior I looked into getting Japanese bidet installed to replace the old toilet. (If you’ve never experienced a bidet, you don’t know what you are missing — seriously. Life-changing!)

Nothing beats an authentic Japanese bidet
Without the Japanese writing it is just not the same

If you cannot travel as frequently as I do, Pinterest and Instagram are amazing tools for finding finding inspiration. Start with the room you spend the most time and begin browsing other peoples’ photos. Once the right bedroom and bathroom interior design is assembled, it’s time to turn your vision into reality. Bring that dream home alive one room at a time!

Returning Home After Traveling Extensively

From Nomad To Homebody

Traveling nomadic definitely takes a toll on your. Now that I spend more time at home and only travel for work, I find myself doing something that I never did before: buying souvenirs. As a backpacker or long-term traveler you can only carry so much. Turns out that is a very efficient souvenir stopper. Now with each new trip I find myself returning home with fresh interior design ideas and inspiration — and a suitcase full of new furnishings to add to the collection.

Seoul, South Korea skyline just after sunset
Seoul skyline just after sunset

Of all the ways that travel has changed me, from my world beliefs to the way I vote, my home is undoubtedly the most reflective of these new worldly views.

Most recently in Korea I have been collecting a variety of Korean rice paper artwork and traditional scrolls that are designed to be hung on the wall. Next up on the to-do list is finding a way to blend all these souvenirs with the ideas in my head to add to my current home that will compliment what is already there, instead of clash.

Buying souvenirs for the house in Seoul, Korea
Buying souvenirs for the house in Seoul, Korea


Has travel or foreign countries changed your home at all?

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

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