With my legs wrapped up in a blanket and a glass of Sauvignon in hand, I snuggled up on my sofa to the sound of a Spotify playlist and stared at my surroundings. A see-through coffee table with glossy magazines, three abstract paintings on the wall, the same turquoise colour as the glass vases on the cupboard. Flowers: some fake, some real, all beautiful, at least for now.
A mixture of confusion and excitement rushed to my head as I examined the interior of the Sydney flat I’d just moved in to, contemplating the exotic furniture I’d ‘inherited’ from the landlord, including ceramic Buddha statues of varying shapes and sizes. That, and a zebra-stripe rug that itches and looks suspiciously real.
Most people would be put off by this type furniture, including my mum, who was very diplomatic when I gave her an inaugural Skype tour.
“It’s not that I hate it, I just wouldn’t want this for my house’ is what she said.
Despite the significant step away from the scandi-style décor I grew up loving, I’m thrilled to have all these weird things around me. For the first time in 18 months, I have a small space to call home, even if half of it is taken up by a large cowboy-style chair lined with studs.
It’s a big departure from the house share Gilles and I previously lived in, which was wonderful in many ways, but it meant I was still living out of my suitcase (or rather, a backpack) despite holding a steady 9-5.
Sydney is my home now but it didn’t feel this way until now.
For someone who places so much importance on travel and living in different countries (hence the name of this blog!), I’m surprised how badly I longed for all things home décor. Despite living in the same London flat for 4 years, I hardly bought any furniture or homewares, as the stay never felt permanent. I liked the idea that I could just pick up my things and go, which is exactly what I did eventually.
Except things have changed since I left. Travelling has changed me, but perhaps not in the way I’d expected. The more I moved around, the more I daydreamed of the day I’d feel physically and emotionally settled down. Now, while travel is just as important to me, I no longer feel the need to escape. My small flat and the (strange) objects that populate it have allowed me to feel settled, relaxed, and content. They’ve given me a new burst of energy and a willingness to look at life’s repetitive routines from a different, more positive angle.
It does make sense that the most read magazine in Australia is dedicated to home improvement. Our homes and their interiors have the power to bring us a dose of happiness, even for those of us with restless feet.