Decorating in Memories

A few weeks ago I finally got around to creating some home décor. Since my apartment is a temporary space, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, but wanted to hang some things on the walls to make the place feel more like home.  The couch is gray, and I decided to stick with a gray and blue theme with a pop of red. I read up on pinterest and decided to mount some engineer prints on canvases. Engineer prints are very inexpensive black and white prints that can be made at staples. The prints are only a dollar and some change and can be made in big poster sizes. (I may post later on how I mounted them). I put each print on a canvas and painted the  edges with red acrylic paint.


I really think that people’s decorations can show a lot about a person. I wanted to choose something for my walls that are personal to me. When I started on this project I knew exactly which pictures I wanted to use: pictures I took while studying abroad!


I went on two study abroad trips through the school of engineering at the University of Missouri. Both trips were short term and included a pre-departure class. I spent 10 days in Ireland, and two weeks in South Africa.   To read about my experience in South Africa click here and navigate through the trip.

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I had a hard time choosing my hundreds (literally hundreds)  of photos. I decided on six landscape photos. Five were taken in Kruger Park in South Africa, and one from Killarney National Park in Ireland. I absolutely loved how they turned out, and what is even better, is that they all have a great memory attached to them. They make for a great talking piece in my home too! I love reminiscing about these great trips and sharing the stories with others.


I thought I would share the photos here and a little bit about the story behind each. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


This photo was actually taken by Gabby, one of the girls I was lucky to travel with. In this moment were driving in our large van though Kruger park. Some times we drove for a while without seeing any animals, but in this specific point in time, we had a group of elephant on our left, a group of monkeys on the right, and a giraffe coming down the road in front of us.  I took some photos of the monkeys on my side and then switched camera’s with Gabby. She snatched this moment right at the perfect moment as the elephant turned her head and flapped her ears. (Thanks Gabby!) We saw so many elephants on this trip, it was so cool. They are definitely beautiful creatures.


This photo was at the very end of our experience in the Kruger National Park. Zebras are one of the animals I was very excited to see. I think their fur is so beautiful and unique!  I had almost given up hope that I would get to see one in real life. Marty decided that we would have a little extra time on our last day, and he took us the long way out of the park. This meant that we would go a little further north and have the possibility to see some large cats and zebras! This beautiful creature looked right at us, just a few yards off the road. (This photo might also have been off of Marty’s camera. We shared a lot of our photos after the trip, and I have lost track. Marty if this was yours, thank you so much!)


This photo was taken of the sun setting in Kruger on our way back to camp on the second day in the park. I love this one because the trees and landscape really frame the sun in the sky. Even though the sun sets all over the world, I think you can look at this photo and tell this is the sun in Africa! I was not originally going to choose this as  one of my prints because the original photo has so many beautiful colors. I thought making it black and white would really loose the essence of the photo. When I tried it out, I liked it even with out the colors. It reminds me of the beauty in the terrain.


This is the photo I took on the trip in Ireland. We had an early morning in Killarney. We took a guided horse and buggy ride thought a beautiful park over looking a lake. The property had a historic castle, church, and other ancient buildings each with unique stories. The brisk and foggy morning made for a beautiful ride as we learned about the property. The way the  morning sun was coming thought these  trees really caught my eye.


These last two photos are my two favorite!


This one was taken on our way down to the Cape of Good Hope in Africa. We stopped to look for penguins (which I never saw), but I loved the way the sun was hitting the water as we climbed on the boulders.  When I look out into the ocean I am always taken back by the massiveness of the ocean and our world. The ocean reminds me that I am just one small being in a grand and beautiful world. This moment really humbled me.  I like reminding myself that I am just one being in this universe, yet God loves me as if I were the only one.


This last photo I talked more about in this post. This was taken at a look out place we discovered early morning in Kruger. We sat and watched this scene as the sun rose and changed the color of the sky. We listened as the birds awoke, and as the hippos began to grunt. If you look close you can see the hippos faces popping up near the tree branch. I could have sat in this moment for ever. When some one says “close your eyes and go to a peaceful place” this is it for me! It was so amazing to be in and surrounded by nature. Here I was a girl from the city surrounded by the earth and animals in THEIR home.


Here I am about three- four months after the South Africa trip, and I have finally gotten my pictures printed, written on, and in an album. I hope to share them all with you and relive my trips!


One last photo of my wall.

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If you would like to read more about the South Africa trip, click here, and navigate though! Thanks for reading!




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