I’ve been on the road for the last six years and have explored 5 continents and 40 something countries [ I don’t keep track anymore]. But to be honest, I don’t have many souvenirs to show for all my adventures. There are many reasons for that but one of them is that I haven’t had a permanent residence to put them in and it seemed silly to buy things for a future house.
That being said, I have bought some things along the road while traveling but in my first year of blogging I stopped buying cheap shot glasses and magnets and instead focused on buying items that reminded me of experiences or places that held a special spot in my heart. For most of the countries I’ve visited, my only souvenirs were photographs but one day I know I’ll have a home that I’ll want to decorate in the memories of my life. When that time comes – here are a few of my favorite items and the stories that go with them.
Ecuadne Cotachi Blanket
Ecuador will always hold a special place in my heart because Lindsay and I got married just outside of Otavalo, Ecuador. While we were there we purchased several items for our brunch reception we held in Washington DC for our close friends and family. Which is why I love this Cotacachi Blanket from Ecuadne so much. It’s from the mountains surrounding Otavalo and reminds me of My Sacha Ji the lesbian-owned eco-resort where we got married. It’s made from a combination of alpaca fibers and synthetic materials and is super soft. I also love that it doesn’t exactly scream “wedding” so I can use it in our everyday lives.
Create a Gallery Wall
I’ve made no secret that Thailand is one of my favorite places to travel in the whole wide world. I especially love Bangkok and the northern city of Chiang Mai. Ever since my first visited at the beginning of my blogging journey and have wanted to go back and live there. I love so many prints that I see around the world that I’d love to create a gallery wall highlighting some of my favorites like this vintage map of Bangkok and this Sawadee Ka Thai Greeting print.
Hand Blown Glass Perfume Bottles
While Lindsay and I were in Egypt with Contiki we had the chance to visit a local perfume shop in Luxor. It was an entire experience of smell different oils and getting massages while debating how many bottles to buy. The perfumes were presented to us in gorgeous hand-blown glass bottles that are perfect for decorating but also hold a great travel memory. I love them so much that I will definitely be buying additional bottles for the perfumes I have at home. I love these hand-blown glass bottles that are in the same style on Etsy.
Reindeer Hide Rugs
I absolutely fell in love with Nordic design while I was traveling through Sweden and Finland. I love the clean lines and minimalism. At every corner, I found a new design shop where I wanted to buy a million pieces for our future home. The one thing that really stuck out to me was the reindeer hide rugs you see everywhere. Now, admittedly I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, the idea of putting fur in my home seems questionable to me but I found an Etsy shop that uses hides that are ethically sourced and supplied by the Sami people, an indigenous nomadic tribe traveling across the fells of Sweden, Norway, and Finland, following the rhythm of the seasons. One thing I learned from Anuba, a friend who lives in the far north of Canada, is that some communities use all parts of the animal and rely on the furs to generate income for the community. Regardless about how you feel about purchasing leather or fur, it is a huge part of some cultures.
Korean BBQ Cooking Set
I lived in Seoul, South Korea for a little over a year while I taught English. One of my favorite parts of living abroad is trying all the foods from different places. I fell in love with Korean BBQ and Korean street food while I was there so I’d definitely be bringing back a Korean BBQ Set to make my favorite dishes at home.
Gold Leafed Mezcal Set
Mexico’s most famous liquor is definitely tequila, but in Merida, where I live in Mexico, Mezcal is king. While I’m not Mezcal expert or anything, I can appreciate its place in Mexican culture. Since I moved here in 2017, I’ve fallen in love with Spanish colonial design and would absolutely love to have a home designed with contemporary Mexican inspired pieces. This Gold Leafed Mezcal Set fits the bill perfectly.
Notorious BIG Wall Print
While I wasn’t born in Brooklyn, I lived there longer than anywhere else in my life and I consider it my home. I actually almost got this quote tattooed on my shoulder because I wanted to pick something that meant New York to a local. What’s more Brooklyn than a Biggie quote wall print? Okay, maybe a bodega cat and a Jewish bagel – but those are harder to replicate in home decor.
Reclaimed Wood Wall Art
Before I moved to New York, I lived in a series of locations across the west coast. Lindsay is from central Pennsylvania. I loved this reclaimed wood wall art as soon as I saw it because it reminded me of a combination of the two. Reclaimed wood that can be found all over PA but done in a southwestern US style.