Because of COVID-19, we are spending much more time at home and traveling a lot less, if at all. Many months into this global pandemic, and our wandering souls are yearning to travel to countries near and far, experience traditions new and familiar, and to savor that amazing ritual of immersing ourselves in foreign cultures.
In decades past, avid travelers would revel in travel adventures loaded on slideshows shared with friends and family, and thoughtfully curate photos albums that sat proudly on coffee tables and bookcases.
Fast forward to 2020… and if you are like me, every travel photo and video you have is stored on your smartphone; locked away in the deep dark digital caverns of your phone’s image library or uploaded to your cloud (wherever that actually is). Honestly, I could not recall the last time I printed a photo from my phone.
At home during the first wave of the virus, I found myself thinking about recent trips to Iceland, Spain, France, Indonesia, Canouan, Grand Cayman and Morocco. I wanted a way to relive my favorite moments of these countries and after chatting with fellow travelers, and doing a little sleuthing online, I found Mixtiles! I had a blank wall in my condo that was crying out for artwork and what better way to add happiness to my home than filling that wall with memories of my travels.
Mixtiles (mixtiles.com) is an online company that takes photos from your phone (or from your Instagram account) and prints them onto 8×8 tiles and offers a variety of frame options. I chose white matte borders and black frames but you may want to choose white frames or frameless canvas style depending on your home, and décor style. I uploaded my 20 chosen photos – 13 from my iPhone and 7 from my Instagram account – and received my Mixtiles package in 8 days. Each tile has a sticky strip on the back that allows you to move the framed tiles around without damaging your walls. After some quick measurements and resolving a spacing issue, we had this 20-frame art wall up in a little over an hour – easy peasy!
A few honorable mentions in my research included Blurb (blurb.com) that turns your travel images into a coffee table style flip book; and The Case Studio (thecasestudio.com) which custom creates phone cases with your favorite image!
It truly is an act of self-care. Having a travel focused art gallery provides hours of enjoyment during this time of isolation; a lovely reminder of not only the places I have visited in the past few years, but also the countries that await me and my passport when it is once again safe to travel the world.