If you’ve read my blog entries before, you’ve undoubtedly surmised that I love to travel. When I do, I pick up souvenirs. I have a few special themes, such as my collection of children’s books in other languages, and I have a tendency to buy earrings.

But one of my favorite things to snag is a small piece of artwork depicting the place. Here are a few of my favorites:

004005006 From left to right, these come from Mostar (which inspired The Pillar), Zagreb, Ljubljana, and Paris. The one from Mostar is handmade in copper.

009010 The items in the grouping on the left come from St. Martin (hey! I have a story out in December called “Saint Martin’s Day”!), Warsaw, and San Francisco, and the one on the right is from Prague.

011013 These come from two separate trips to London. The first one shows the city in 1572; the other is a modern-day panorama of the Thames.

012 This is a collection of photos of pointy things from my first trip to Europe. They’re from Germany and London.

014 While photos and inexpensive art make great souvenirs–easy to schlep!–postcards are great too. This is one of my office walls.

008007 I occasionally go for pieces that aren’t quite as flat and easy to carry. The raven’s from the Grand Canyon and the dish is, of course, from Murano.

And sometimes souvenirs come of neccesity. I have a pair of pajamas I bought in Barcelona after Air France lost my suitcase for a day and a half. I have a couple of sweatshirts from underdressed visits to the mountains and the coast. And I have this watch, which I bought in Trieste, Italy.


It’s not an Italian watch–it’s actually a Swatch. But I’d been living in Croatia for 4 months at that point, my Timex battery had gone dead, and I’d given up on finding someone in Zagreb who could replace it. When we took a day trip to Trieste–my grandfather’s birthplace–I bought a new watch. I wear it daily, and it always reminds me sweetly of that day.

My daughter collects snowglobes. She has dozens and dozens of them. What are some of your favorite souvenirs?

7 thoughts on “Souvenirs”

  1. I don’t have a category of souvenirs that I purposefully seek out, but I tend to end up with textiles (e.g., wall hangings: dyed the old-fashioned way with indigo from Japan, beaded/ sequined from India; decorative pillow covers), little boxes, candle holders. I have a beautiful purple hanging glass lamp from Turkey. I’m never super-careful about getting stuff that will fit in my suitcase, so packing at the end of a trip tends to be interesting, even though I bring an empty duffel bag with me. 🙂

    1. Textiles are very tempting–but I’m envying your Turkish glass lamp! I once in Germany bought a large bottle shaped like a kneeling girl–and I was so pleased to get it back to the US in one piece.

      1. Hope it survived the move – I have ~45 boxes that finally arrived and need to be unpacked.
        Turkey was just amazing! 🙂

  2. I have lots of wood carvings from Bolivia and Peru, handwoven ponchos, pottery, and books by local authors. Everywhere I travel, I pick up local books, either fiction or history. But I admit my favorite souvenir is a gold necklace made by an artisan in La Paz. It’s beautiful and he told me such magical stories about the images on it that I feel like an Inca princess when I wear it. 🙂

    1. I found a great wood carver in Buenos Aires and bought a lot of stuff from him – most if which I gave away as gifts. But I kept a couple things for myself. 🙂

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