I wanted to wait until we were all moved in and unpacked to give you guys a little apartment tour. It’s a pretty big deal for me to have a home, especially one that will be home for the next year at least. For someone who has been constantly moving for the last three years, who has never spent more than three months in one place, it’s a big change but a very welcome one. All the moving around has been the greatest adventure and I’ve loved every second, but it does take its toll on you and it’s nice to just stand still sometimes. I’m pretty lucky that I’ve found someone I actually want to stand still with, he’s also a traveller who has been on the road for four years and much like me, he is looking forward to spending a bit of time in one place. We settled on his home city of Hamburg, I personally didn’t really want to live in the UK and living costs are much lower in Germany which will enable us to save a lot more money. I never imagined I’d be moving to Germany, but it seems like a pretty perfect base with the rest of Europe right on your doorstep – perfect for more travel plans!

First pic: Throw (no longer available) and cushion from Matalan, candles from Primark, books from Waterstones, reeds from IKEA (similar here) and vase is vintage. Macrame hanging plant over window is Matalan.

This pic: Cactus from Matalan, candle from Primark and stones collected from the beach at Rugen Island.

Yes, that’s right, the travelling doesn’t stop just because we’ve got a home. If anything, the year we are planning to spend in Germany is actually a way of enabling us to enjoy more travel. During the next year, we want to incorporate as many short trips as possible around working, both within Germany and further afield. We’re planning to convert the boyfriend’s van into a camper van so that we can once again enjoy that nomadic life that brought us together back in Australia. We actually made huge progress on the conversion this weekend and I’ll be posting all about it for your guys – and of course, all the trips we take in our newly converted van. But what’s the plan after Germany? Our goal is to save as much money as possible so that next year we can spend the next year travelling, possible destinations include South America or Canada. South America is somewhere that has been my travel dream since before I started travelling but I was a bit intimidated by the thought of doing it solo as a first destination. I never dreamed I’d be lucky enough to meet someone who shared the same travel dreams and wanted to make them a reality together.

This pic: Basket is vintage, sarong is from the markets in Thailand, rug is vintage, driftwood was found on the beach and the fairy lights are Matalan

But, anyway, back to the flat. We’re living in the beautiful, leafy suburb of Heimfeld, which is just south of the city of Hamburg, just 30 minutes by train from the centre of the city. It’s a quiet area and we’re set on a street filled with apartments, each with it’s own quirky charm. The street is vibrant and colourful with pink, blue and yellow buildings, flower entwined balconies and huge parks at either end of the road. We chose to live just out of the most central part of the city for two reasons, firstly the boyfriend works quite far south so we didn’t want him to spend hours stuck in traffic each day, and secondly, because it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than the inner-city apartments and we have double the space. To start with, I very much wanted to live in the centre of the city, but now that we’re all moved in, I actually can’t imagine living anywhere else. This apartment is so beautiful and so perfect for the two of us, it really is somewhere I can imagine living for a year. I think when it comes time to leave, I’ll be heartbroken to say goodbye to our first real home together.

This pic: Driftwood was found on the beach, artificial fern and plant pot, artificial trailing plant and brass pot all from IKEA.

At around 50 square metres, it’s lovely and roomy, with a big bedroom and living room, and my favourite feature has to be the gorgeous wooden floors. It was these that really sold the apartment to both the boyfriend and I, and they remain our favourite part. Last time I came over to visit, we actually went to view another apartment down the street which was also lovely but a bit smaller and a few hundred euros more expensive each month. It was the day after I left that we found out we had got this much cheaper and much nicer apartment down the street – and were so glad we did as this apartment feels instantly like home. The bathroom and kitchen are a perfect size and if anything, are much bigger than those usually on offer in the apartments up for rent here so we’re lucky to have the space we do. During the day, the sunshine pours in the living room windows bathing the room in a warm glow and I love to throw open all the windows and let the breeze drift through the rooms. Then, in the evening, we can watch the perfect fiery sunsets from our bed which overlooks the rooftops of the nearby apartments. In the living room, we’ve got the dining table and chairs which have provided me with the perfect workspace for writing this blog.

This pic: Shell from Santorini, candle and jewellery dish from Primark, Cactus from Wilko, Products from Burts Bees, Essie, The Body Shop and Dolce & Gabbana, baskets from IKEA.

Moving house can be very stressful, whether you’re moving down the street or using a moving company, but I was lucky and my boyfriend took all the stress out of the experience by having everything ready when I arrived, all I had to do was lug my three suitcases through the airport. The furniture was already moved in, but we’ve since rearranged it a bit, especially in the living room after I realised the sun hit the other side and would create the perfect sun-soaked reading spot if I dragged the sofa over the other side. Now we have the dining table and chairs in, and I’ve unpacked all the cute little bits that make it home – it really is ours  (I’ll link to as many home items as possible but a lot of things in the apartment are vintage finds). We were lucky that the boyfriend still had all of his furniture from when he had a place in the city before he went traveling, so we’ve saved a fortune by recycling all of his old things.

This pic: Rose gold pineapples from Primark.

We’ve then added all the little touches that make it special to us, a lot of these I brought over bubble-wrapped and squeezed into my suitcases such as the clock, candles and throw. We’ve also already accumulated a collection of driftwood, plants, rocks and shells which we love, the remind us of our travels and bring so much character to the place. We’re both outdoor souls at heart with the forest in our hearts and the ocean in our veins, so it feels right to bring some of this into our home to make it truly ours. We have a few more things we want to get, but we’ll do this gradually, there’s no rush when it already feels like home. I did wonder if it would feel strange to live with a boy – we lived together in Darwin but with two other lads so this is the first time we’ve lived together, just the two of us. I have to say, I think I’ve struck gold when it comes to finding a great guy to live with, he’s tidy (sometimes), he’s thoughtful, he doesn’t smell and he makes me laugh every single day. What more could a girl want?

This pic: Marble & copper effect clock from Wilko, cactus as before, driftwood found on the beach.

And just to reiterate, none of these items were gifted, they are all products I absolutely love and from brands I adore. Matalan, Primark and Wilkinsons are some of my absolute go-to budget homeware stores and I love to pick up vintage/travel items that are unique and special to me.

What makes your home a home? How do you bring character and personality into your place? What’s your favourite way of decorating on a budget?