I’m just back from a trip to the Mediterranean Coast where my family and I spent 2 weeks in Spain, France and Italy. I am a professional shopper so of course I have an innate eye for certain things that I know I would love to commemorate my trip but I wanted to discuss ways to preserve memories if shopping does not come naturally to you.
2. CELEBRATE REGIONALLY
A. Don’t get sucked in to purchasing items you can purchase at home. Invest in the artistry of the area you are in – example – The Rippled Olive Tree Cutting Board from the Tuscany Region.
B. Soaps in Marseilles France – a great gift to bring home to friends – keep the packaging and grab a business card.
C. Florence – authentic leather – searching out the San Lorenzo market – staying away from tourist traps.
D. Food – Eat locally to really experience the area – be brave and try new things – i.e. veal stew with polenta or wild boar
3. SEARCH OUT ARTISAN WORK
A. I am constantly on the hunt for one of a kind anything – something made by hand. If possible, I’m always interested in talking to the artist themselves. The story will solidify your memory of that visit.
i. Artists market at the Cotton House Hotel in Barcelona – Art, jewelry from local vendors
ii. Artist on the street.- a young girl from India studying at the Accademia
iii. Stone navity scenes in Cinque Terre – hand man by an old man in the hills
iv. Weaving of the women in Guatemala – hammocks, handbags, Teysha shoes
4. CURATING YOUR FINDS
After making thoughtful purchases that will bring you a lifetime of memories, how do you keep them alive in your home?
A. Create a gallery of original art – mini’s are easy to find when traveling and a great way to start a collection. Get 3-4 up on the wall and then grow the gallery over time.
B. Jars of Sand
C. Photo albums – Shutterfly, Snapfish, Mixbook albums – a great present after the trip
D. Flytography – Professional photography on the go – flytographer.com
E. Frame it! A textile, a menu, a ticket stub, a playbill – add it to your gallery or your bookshelf.
F. Join a Wine club – finding the wines that we drank on our trip
G. Tiles – Casa de Kole in our courtyard – numbers, your name, etc.
H. Start or build on a collection – salt/pepper shakers, steins, napkins (table top items), something simple like matchbooks
I. Collecting shells with the kids – painting clam shells as ashtrays
J. Coffee Table books from the region – i.e. Gaudi