Ten Objects That I Have Gotten On My Trips that Are Meaningful To Me
“Sometimes, when you get something new, you trick yourself into believing it has the power to change absolutely everything about you.” Siobhan Vivian,
There are exercises in spiritual classes where you are asked to bring in objects that represent the most meaningful aspects of your life. What are meaningful objects anyway? What ascribes meaning to a thing? I picked some items from my travels that are meaningful to me, objects that bring me joy and happy memories. They are things that I will always keep.
Gold Pearl Necklace From Kobe, Japan
It was my first time in Japan visiting one of my oldest friends. Her family was in the pearl business and I wanted to get some pearls. When we were in Kobe I met her sister and brother and their families. We spent a lot of time picking the right pearl and I learned a lot about what makes a pearl valuable. Afterward we all went to Starbucks for coffee so I could get my Kobe Starbucks mug. It reminds me of my first trip to Japan, learning chopsticks, meeting family, eating the freshest, weirdest raw fish and liking it, onsens, temples and falling love with Japan.
Mate Cup From Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentinians are the largest drinkers of yerba maté in the world and the cups are beautiful. I bought my cups in Tigre a suburb of Buenos Aires and it reminds me of that perfect Sunday. The day started with navigating the rivers of the Delta Del Paraná in Tigre, empanadas at a local family restaurant, shopping at the flea market in San Telmo and tango dancing. Some days are like that.
Drawing From One Of My Friend’s Books Written In Sydney, Australia
This drawing on my kitchen wall reminds me of so many things – how fast strangers can become friends, the importance of good children’s books, joy, and how great Sydney Australia is. I jumped at the chance to go there again next year.
Green Bracelets From Yangon, Myanmar
They cost a dollar at Scott Market in Yangon Myanmar. Myanmar was the strangest place that I have ever been. Women painted thanaka on their faces, men wore longyis, and every other person is a monk or a soldier. It was my first time in Southeast Asia as well and a few years before Myanmar was really open. The whole culture felt very different. I look at the bracelets and think yes I was really there.
Photo From Hoi An, Viet Nam
I loved Vietnam – the stories, history, food, scenery, beaches, triangle hats, and the water buffalo. Hoi An is a photographer’s city and I bought many black and white photos there. My favorite is this photo of an old woman. Her whole story is in her face. Hoi An a place I will go back to.
I love good luck charms. The Nazar Boncuzu (evil eye) is a talisman to ward off evil spirits in Turkey. Large ceramic balls hang in shops with evil eyes tied to them. I wanted to buy one but I thought the ceramic would break. A new friend gave me one as a gift and I got it home safely. It hangs prominently in my kitchen and reminds me of a new friend and of the day I spent in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul – best shopping ever. I can smell the coffee, taste the meze and hear the shopkeepers offering apple tea, compliments and marriage proposals.
Panama Hat From Panama City, Panama
I was completely unprepared for the sense of awe I felt as the third gate opened and we entered the canal. There were people from all over the world on the boat and for that moment we all felt the same way. Many were wearing their newly bought Panama hats which are made in Ecuador and shipped from Panama. I wore mine home on the plane and ‘Im surprised at how well they are made. It still looks new. Though there are many copies, I know I have a real Panama Hat from Panama.
Photo That I Took And Framed From Martha’s Vineyard, USA
The Bite is a clam shack up the road from Menemsha Harbor in Martha’s Vineyard. It has been there forever and very popular with the seafood crowd as you can see from this photo I took behind the shack. My daughter went to summer camp on the east coast of the United States when she was much younger and this was from a trip we did after. Sometimes your own photos are the best meaningful objects.
Wood Carving From Havana, Cuba
I was in Cuba 17 years ago – a very different Cuba than it is now. My daughter danced in the Cuban Ballet Festival. They were the first American kids to perform in Cuba in twenty years. . Cuba produces some of the best ballet dancers in the world. The wood carvings that they sell in market at Plaza Del Armas are ballet dancers. It was an incredible trip filled with amazing, talented people.
Shell From Eleuthera, Bahamas
This shell has been in my blog before. It has sat on my kitchen table for over twenty years. I found it on the beach in the Bahamas when my kids were little. I carried it back on the plane with my very young, happy family. It is a treasured memory.
The simplest objects can be meaningful and bring back wonderful travel memories and that is what makes them valuable to me.