My treasures from around the world

The best part about traveling is the treasures you find along the way.  The little pieces of art that remind you of where you were and what was special about it.

I’ve picked up lots of treasures along the way, some good, some bad.  Unfortunately I’ve never had enough money to truly buy something of value.  Instead, these “knickknacks” as you may call them, have more intrinsic, sentimental value to me.  The little treasures I’ve purchased along the way are mementos of where I’ve been and what I want to remember about that specific place.

I’ve collected these little treasures for years, displaying the items proudly inside my apartment and homes along the way.  When I was single and living alone, I could put them wherever I wanted as I was the ruler of my domain.  Yet, once I got married to my husband (wonderful man of course) every little treasure I purchased from my journeys without him was “subject to the basement”.  Ok, you ask.  What is she talking about? Well, in most American homes we are fortunate or unfortunate enough to have a basement or cellar.  A lower, usually not so nice space where we can store things or in our case, have a playroom for our children.  Well, that is now where everything I purchase is subject to go in the event my husband doesn’t like it.

Yes, I know he sounds like a hard ass.  If you knew Paul, you would laugh in my face.  He is the nicest, easiest going guy I’ve ever met and the perfect match for me.  In his defense, I do have some downfalls when it comes to purchasing nostalgic little knickknacks wherever I go, no matter whether or not they “go” in our house or “please” the other members who live there.  So let’s leave my poor husband alone.

Yet, in all fairness I thought I’d illustrate some of my little nostalgic treasures from around the world.  The things that I’ve picked up along the way to remind me of where I’d been, what I’ve learned and seen, and how I’d changed because of it.

So without further ado, here they are!  My world treasures:

From Costa Rica with love…the Pura Vida plaque which I keep in the kitchen, right next to my coffee pot, to remind me each and every day to enjoy life:

The two Spanish tiles:  My husband and I actually bought these together in Seville while we were on a ten day vacation to Spain.  I was thirteen weeks pregnant with my first child. I was so deathly ill that the entire trip was miserable.  I couldn’t  eat, couldn’t sleep and worse of all, couldn’t drink!  I did not enjoy this trip at all.  Yet these beautiful tiles from a Sevillian building remind me of my “hardship”.

On the left is my beloved Buddha that I bought recently in Nepal. I wanted something to remind me of Nepal (Never Ending Peace and Love).  On the right, is a plate my husband and I purchased on our honeymoon in Turkey.  It was no more than $2 yet has so much meaning. 

It goes without saying that I have to buy a coffee table book from where ever I go.  I love to page through the photos and remember the beautiful places I’ve been.

Or the sensational Moroccan blanket I found in the souq in Rabat.  I bought four as gifts and keep the red one.

I bought this little “statue” in South Africa for under $5.

I spent a little more on the gorgeous handmade glass vase in New Zealand.  I bought an orange one for my mom.

This little pretty vase is from my last trip to Argentina.

The following two vases my husband and I bought in Granada, Spain in the Arab district. 

These two ceramic vases are from Greece (our honeymoon) and Florence, Italy.

I bought this straw basket in Rabat, Morocco for a dollar. 

My prayer flags from Nepal….definitely a “basement” item:

As well as this Buddhist piece of art that I saw from a distance hanging outside a shop in the village of Manang and had to have it.

More random Nepali goods.  The pink necklace on the left is from my friend Jan from Hands in Nepals visit to see the Dalai Lama.  It was actually blessed by him!  On the right is the small drum I bought for my daughter in Costa Rica.

A pretty box I bought my son in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

An African hand carved head that my husband and I actually bought from an African in Rome.  It was only a dollar but I adore it.

My splurge in Kathmandu, Nepal.  An oil painting to remind me of my trek…

Our postcards from Sevilla.  Only a dollar each but a memory on our wall.

My favorite box from Argentina is by my bed.

And my little pink Paris pillow is on my bookshelf

Another item from Patagonia in Argentina…

A beautiful hand-made wall hanging from Capetown, South Africa.

Pillowcases from Morocco

And I saved the best for last…my one crazy purchase.  This green dress from Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Needless to say, it is still hanging in my closet and I’ve never worn it!

As I prepare to leave for my trip to China in a couple of weeks, I’ve heard one warning…”everything is subject to the basement!”.  Good point!


  1. My partner Sara is also particular about the placement of objects. Your husband isn’t an architect is he?

    I especially love the first Argentine vase–really beautiful!


  2. Lovely treasures! Magus and I also have a huge collection ‘knickknacks’ from around the world – we call them our ‘trinkets’.We even took many of them with us when we relocated overseas! They are hard to part with.

  3. I love your collection! I used to love buying them, but unfortunately ny apartments aren’t really conducive to collecting anything so now I have to settle for photos. It’s fun looking at some of your photos and remembering spotting those items on my own travels.

  4. I also love buying little treasures on my travels but always have a problem carrying them. I have a gorgeous Kazakh rug and a bronze buddha and prayer beads that I bought in Mongolia decorating my home in Guatemala. They keep the memories alive!

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