The bare and beige wall above our couch desperately needed some colour. After browsing uninspiring wall art in home decor stores and online, we had the idea of creating our own little gallery of travel posters.
Not just any travel posters – we wanted our gallery to represent the destinations we’ve ventured off to in our lives. Vacations we’ve taken with our families, solo trips that provided soul searching to our twenty-something selves, and the memorable adventures we’ve taken together.
After measuring our wall, we knew that we could only fit eight 11×17 posters. Narrowing it down to just eight destinations and finding the right vintage feel and consistent style took a bit of time, but we’ve finally narrowed it down to the following beautiful places:
We each went to Cuba on family holidays; my family and I went to Varadero and Havana, and he went with his family to Cayo Coco. Even though we’ve each been to different areas of Cuba, this dancing bonita and colonial architecture perfectly represent our memories of this vibrant, complex, beautiful island.
My boyfriend’s love for saunas, winter and building things comes from Finland, his half country of origin. The dual aspect of the winter and summer seasons on this poster represent the time he got to experience the phenomenon of a Scandinavian Midsummer, and jumping into a lake – or snow – half naked after a session in a steaming hot sauna.
During my first solo Euro Trip of 2011 (post coming soon!), Amsterdam was the city that stood out to me the most. The signature canal houses, the saturated bike culture, the multiculturalism and the carefree Dutch way of life were aspects that drew me to this city, and this bike on a colourful canal bridge is a perfect memory stamp of my afternoons spent there.
The colourful port and majestic Stockholm City Hall Tower on this poster struck a chord of nostalgia for my boyfriend who visited the capital of the nation of Abba, IKEA and strong coffee on a Scandinavian family road trip.
During my bucket-list trip to Turkey in 2014, I hopped on Istanbul’s heritage tram, just like the one in the poster. My trip to Turkey was deeply soul-searching for me, and in a strange cosmic way connected to meeting my boyfriend, whom I would meet six months later. Turns out I was in Turkey on the day of his birthday, and six months later we met on a bus on the day of my birthday. Wherever that tram was going, it was headed in the right direction.
Since we’ve met, our Augusts have been dedicated to good ol’ Canadian camping and cottaging. August 2015 was our first camping trip together which consisted of us riding my boyfriend’s boat through scenic Balsam Lake, just like in this poster. This image brings us back to grilling hot dogs on the beach, chilling out on a dock, and finishing off the day with quiet moonlit campfires with nothing but us and constellation.
This poster represents the day we fell in love with Puerto Vallarta. The cobblestone roads and terracotta rooftops on coastal houses on this vintage Mexicana Airlines poster warmly remind us of the day we ventured off on a local bus and explored this charming Mexican city. Bright mosaic tiles, colourful serapes draped on street vendor carts and a sunset that could never leave our minds is all we see when we’re greeted by this poster. A post on this trip is also coming soon!
Las Vegas was the appropriate city of choice to celebrate my boyfriend’s milestone birthday, and our most recent trip. The bright casino lights, the Neon Sign Museum, the warm desert sun and In-N-Out Burger are brought to mind with a smile with this ultra fun and vibrant poster.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to find a good poster that represented my country of origin (Lebanon), so that is on hold for now. There were equally a lot of other memorable destinations that couldn’t fit our “8 poster requirement”, but that could be for another wall or project. Right now, we are happy with the way our gallery turned out (mainly thanks to my boyfriend’s skill and patience with a laser level), and how the nostalgic memories associated with them make us feel every time we are in our living room. Which is basically all the time.