Outside a nor’easter storm is blowing through……..inside I’m spring cleaning, and wishing I was somewhere warmer on an adventure. But as I’m dusting I’m reminiscing about past adventures, and thankful for each and every one.
Since I’m not fond of clutter, when I travel I don’t buy a lot of souvenirs. Sometimes I may bring home an ornament for the Christmas tree, sometimes I bring a liqueur, or a spice, or a wine that we enjoyed and will enjoy again. But sometimes I find a painting or something I can put on display at home, to keep the vacation memories alive.
If you’ve ever walked along the Seine in Paris, you will no doubt remember the artists lining the street, selling their works of art. The same can be said if you’ve wandered down La Rambla in Barcelona, or dined at an outside table on a piazza in Rome.
On a trip to Panama, we brought home a painting of the French Quarter, one of our favourite places to wander, and to dine out. On the same trip we purchased a basket handwoven by the tribeswomen of Emberá, a traditional village of indigenous people. Purchasing from women who are helping to support their families is far more gratifying than buying factory made trinkets.
The black cat has come in and out of the cupboard over the past number of years. It was a particularly memorable day, with some culturally eye opening moments for two young girls. Climbing upon the Great Pyramid of Giza while avoiding eye contact with the camel handlers will never be forgotten. And a visit to the Khan El Khalili Bazaar brought stares from men that made for a quick tour through the stalls of locals selling their trinket souvenirs. When we landed back on the bus for the caravan trip back to the cruise ship, my husband shared his purchase with us. It seemed like an odd purchase, considering his dislike for cats.
In Barbados, we bought a large vase……..I don’t remember how I got this home! But it’s been on display in various locations through the house. A couple of small framed water colour paintings line the hallway between the master bedroom and bathroom. The bright colours remind me of the turquoise blue water.
Provençal textiles are readily found in the Saturday market in Apt, or smaller markets of Isle sur la Sorgue and Coustellet. I picked out this neutral runner to compliment my transitional home style. It makes an appearance every now and then in my dining room.
While traveling Provence with friends in 2016, I bought the small concrete lamp base. It wasn’t a well thought out purchase considering it has a European plug! My girlfriends and I had a good laugh over this one. At the time I thought it was a unique lamp that I hadn’t seen back home in North America (I’ve since noticed them all over the place……of course).
While going through my closet today I realized I had several tea towels from Provence, as well as more purchased on our trip to Norway last fall. I decided that it was time to discard some of my ragged towels. After all, I can buy more on my future travels!
Adorning your home in travel momentos is an easy way to add your own personality, a glimpse into your life and adventures. It’s a great way to bring aspects of style and decor that you admire in the places you visit. It evolves over time, which suits my personality just fine!