A travel DIY project that brings the languages of your trips back home with you.
Now that I’m decorating a new space in San Francisco (yay!) and coming up on the one year anniversary of my best-trip-ever departure date, I am always looking for ways to incorporate my love of travel into my home.
While I’m a fan of maps, globes, and photographs, they can only go so far without being overused in a room. After some thought, I created a piece that can memorably display any multi-country trip.
In the past year, I was fortunate enough to visit sixteen countries — totaling thirteen different languages spoken. I continue to treasure many of the traditions and keepsakes I kept consistent with each visit.
One of my favorite things to do in each new country was learn how to speak the bare necessities of the local language: “hello” and “thank you.” While I always hope to learn more than this, I find these two words to be the most useful in any language on any part of the globe. (They’re also the two words I can always still remember from each place.)
In the spirit of this tradition, I decided to create a graphic containing the words as written in the language of each country I visited. As I journeyed across Asia, the Middle East, and Europe…the end result is quite visually interesting, if you ask me!
What: A display of a word or phrase in the language of each country visited (in order of the visits.) Affectionately named “The Language Project.”
Why: It reminds me of my trip. It looks cool. It makes me happy.
How: Using Google Translate, and searching for other sites when script is unavailable (Burmese and Khmer, for example.) Copied each to a document, printed, and traced by hand.
I prefer to trace by hand as it adds a bit more of a personal touch (and it’s a fun way to experience the intricacies of each script.)
I have a friend returning from a trip to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam and I plan to create a smaller version with each country’s name in its script for him. Another idea is to create one that displays a word from the language of each country you have visited in all your life. Even better would be one of these that you could add to as you expand your travels!
How do you decorate your home with memories of your travels?