When nomads nest.

When nomads nest.

This month officially marks two and a half years as nomads. It’s true, ever since we left South Korea, Chris and I have quite literally been living out of our suitcases. When we’re not on the road, we tend to spend time with our families. We split our time near Seattle (where my parent’s live) and in between Spokane and the Tri-Cities (where Chris’ parents reside). And while I absolutely love the traveling lifestyle that we lead, I’d be lying to myself and to you if I didn’t reveal the urging that I’ve experienced as of late.

Truth be told, I’m just ready to have my own space. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a newlywed or if it’s just a time in my life, but I want nothing more than to have a place of our own that we can come home to after time on the road. I also want to decorate. I’m in a nesting mode and quite frankly, it’s freaking me out. I want to paint and buy chairs. I’m eying a dresser in my old bedroom at my parent’s house that I so desperately want to refurbish. Who am I?

Luckily for me, my parent’s have been more than accommodating. They’ve graciously allocated two rooms in their house as living space for Chris and myself. I immediately started rearranging furniture, bringing our belongings out of storage, and picking up paint swatches. I’ve been tracking the progress and have a few of the changes listed below.

Our bedroom.

I’ve played around with our bedroom. The yellow walls were painted as soon as I moved out and started college. I wanted to go a little more neutral and ended up painting the room a light gray on a whim. We hung one of our favorite wedding presents from one of our favorite travel bloggers and added a few picture frames that will eventually hold some of our wedding photos.

Our bedroom bedrooomBefore my painting frenzy, it was a coffee table that sat across from the bed. It held pictures from our travels and a trunk that’s filled with magazines and books we’ve collected from all over the world. I find fashion and interior design magazines to be fascinating and collect at least one from every new country that we visit. The coffee table has now been replaced with the dresser that I want to refurbish along with a mirror that we painted black. I’ll have pictures of those in the next post.

NestingVogue magazinesThe office.

I desperately wanted Chris to feel like he had his own space in the house. With all of the video editing that he does I knew an office would be ideal. For his birthday I bought him this desk from World Market. He had been eying it for a while. We put it together ourselves (pray it doesn’t collapse) and then he promptly stacked it with all of his favorite things.

World Market dest

Our favorite coffee mugs that were handmade by our good friend, Sarah Willey.
Our favorite coffee mugs that were handmade by our good friend, Sarah Willey.

coffee cup and thank you cardsWe also received this amazing record player for our wedding. We’ve been rocking old school Michael Jackson and The Temptations ever since we took it out of the box. Some things just sound better on vinyl.

record playerOne of my favorite accents in the room is the beautiful jute rug that we got from This rug, like all of Novica’s products, was handcrafted by a local artisan. Novica’s mission is to spread happiness, and they do so by putting the control in the hands of the artisans. It is the artist that controls the price of their handiwork and can put their items on sale when they want. What I love about Novica is that it’s not only a personal buying experience, but that you as the buyer are helping a local community and are saying “no” to sweat shops and child labor.

Our rug was handcrafted by Mahmood and came all the way from India. We were given a card with an introduction to Mahmood and what he hopes to achieve from his work.

Novica world wideNot only specializing in home decor, Novica offers jewelry, clothing, paintings, and an assortment of unique gifts. A few of my favorites are the Batik dresses, beautiful fabric hammocks, and stunning jewelry. We were even able to find what we were looking for by searching by region. Chris and I love to fill our spaces with things that we’ve collected on our travels. Novica allows us to have a piece of Peru or India in our apartment without having to lug it home with us. It’s also reassuring to know that the proceeds are helping support a local artist. We already have our eyes on a few more furniture pieces for our makeshift apartment.

So while Chris and I may not have our own place at the moment, we’re both thrilled that we are able to make these two precious rooms our own. We don’t know what the future holds when it comes to our living situations but we do know that we want to make the most of these years that we are free and able to explore this incredible world. I’m excited to see what the next year has in store. Until then, a few more pieces from our new living spaces.

Bookshelf (now painted black) with various books and trinkets. My katana from Korea is on the dresser below. Chris likes to keep his in the office.
Bookshelf (now painted black) with various books and trinkets. My black belt and katana from Korea is on the dresser below. Chris likes to keep his in the office.
A few of our favorite things. All good writers tend to be great drinkers, right?
A few of our favorite things. All good writers tend to be great drinkers, right?


What about you? Are you a nester? In what style do you decorate? We’ve love to hear from you in the comment section below.

Novica offered us a gift card to their site in exchange for an unbiased review. We love their products and what they stand for. We will definitely be buying from them in the future. 

13 thoughts on “When nomads nest.

    • Author gravatar

      Nesting affects us all in different ways. I have friends that rearrange furniture in hotel rooms – even if they’re only staying one night. Indulge and enjoy!

    • Author gravatar

      I love the USA map on wood above the bed where did you get this? Do they make other versions?

      It’s kind of cool ‘nesting’ and displaying stuff you have picked up around the world I think

    • Author gravatar

      It’s funny. I had so much fun getting rid of stuff and paring way, way down before our travels. It wasn’t hard to let most things go, and I was in such a habit of living simply and not acquiring extras that it was a) hard to pick up souvenirs for the longest time and b) odd to come back to Oregon and start re-assembling the makings of a home. But, once we got in the swing of things, it started becoming really fun again.

      We went craigslisting and warehouse hunting around Portland and had a blast finding our funky new (old) couch, a shaggy sheepskin rug (oh, I miss New Zealand!), and a midcentury modern chair, credenza, and TV stand to go along with Ted’s favorite “Mad Men” chair that he’d left in safekeeping with our best friends while we were away. New bed frame, new bookshelf, new desk…

      New crib (haha! how’s that for nesting?)…

    • Author gravatar

      I’m WITH YOU!!! I swear, nobody will ever understand the urge to nest like a fellow traveler. I had such a hard time convincing people it’s feels great to finally have a place to our own, and decorating it in our own way. G and I are frequent weekend visitors to TJ Maxx’s Home Goods! LOL..

      Don’t forget, if you want to satisfy that urge now, we’ve got a room with your name on it!

      LOVE the map above the bed board btw.. 🙂

    • Author gravatar

      Interesting how we finally try to make a home out of a few square feet when back from travelling… I stopped being on the road last year to move in with my boyfriend in Mexico, with only what I had in my backpack and pictures on my hard-drive. I immediately set to print and frame some of them, an artist friend (I SUCK at anything artsy!) painted a whole mural in our spare bedroom…

      I understand and relate completely to your need! and how great the result is, truly!
      Good job!

      The next adventure awaits you!

    • Author gravatar

      We have been on the road for 20 months and don’t feel any nesting needs… yet 😉

    • Author gravatar

      LOVE this decor!

    • Author gravatar

      I can completely relate to how you are feeling. I’ve not had a “home” since September 2012, and even then it wasn’t my home as such – I was 24 and still sharing a room with my brother (when he was home from uni) until he married a couple of months before I moved out. Before graduating one of the things I was looking forward to was making my own home and decorating my living space with memories of my travels, achievements and favourite things, but alas I’ve been living in hotels non-stop. Hopefully that will change by next summer…

    • Author gravatar

      Definitely a nester unfortunately. Though, since I do move around alot, I only owned a bed for roughly 10 years. Now I have a whole townhouse full of furniture. I travel when I can use vacation days. I have been trying to find ways to make it my own, but renting is hard. Landlords do not usually like bright, colorful walls with holes. Not sure I will ever own, but I do like little decorations here and there.

      I just love the map of the US as a semi headboard to your bed. I would love to make more things with pallets to make our place more rustic. But in the end it is more to move once we realize it is time for a new city to explore!

    • Author gravatar

      I can relate to you two. I have been traveling for some time now, and also am living out of a suitcase, but I love it! Travel writing is my passion!

    • Author gravatar

      Classic album… Off the Wall! One of my favorites of all time! It’s nice to settle in a spot from a bit after some long term travel to recharge and hit the road again.

    • Author gravatar

      We are sailing in the same boat. I need a place to settle as my wife is expecting.

    • Author gravatar

      And that’s a nice place you got there.

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