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Travel Souvenirs Bring Back Memories...

Evelyn Hannon

Travel is my passion and over the years I've collected an assortment of wonderful 'stuff', juicy souvenirs of the many, many crazy adventures I've had along the way. I love 'my stuff' because it reminds me of the places I've been, the people I've met, and the shopping scenarios that led to my purchases. Each has its very own story.



Salvador, Brazil...

In Salvador, Brazil I met a lovely local couple who took me to some of their favorite pottery shops in the main market. I spotted a set of three traditional wine jugs each one bigger than the next. I fell in love with the smallest but unfortunately the potter wouldn't break up his set. What to do? My gregarious hosts dived in with gusto and the problem was quickly solved. They offered to buy the two big jugs for their garden. With their bargaining power it cost me a mere $7.00 to have the gorgeous piece I wanted in the first place and it became a perfect win-win situation for all of us. Today I can't separate my piece of painted pottery from the two delightful folks in Salvador who helped to make it mine.

 

San Miguel, Mexico...

In San Miguel, Mexico I enrolled in a two-day papier mache workshop. When the instructor asked what I planned to make I told her 'A Travel Goddess -- someone who looks out for all journey women everywhere.' With that decision, the fate of all travelling women suddenly weighed heavily on my shoulders. This Goddess better be good, I thought. Females worldwide would be counting on her to protect them from crummy hotel rooms, lecherous tour guides and bad bouts of Delhi Belly. During that class I created the goddess whom I named Ute and in one glance you can see she is definitely a first time effort. Ute is covered in postage stamps that women around the world sent to me and I haggled in a Mexican market for her funny mini rubber ski boots. Today my Goddess stands tall in my office looking over my shoulder, protecting me, reminding me of Mexico, my instructor, the women in my class, and the fun I had creating her.

 

Xian, China...

My sweet adopted granddaughter was born near Xi'an. It is also where the famous Xi'An warriors were found. On my last visit to that part of the world I found a group of local women creating wall hangings of colorful cloth embroidered dragons. In the Chinese horoscope, the dragon is the strongest of the strong. I bought that wall hanging so that I could include my granddaughter's heritage in my home and also to remind her to be 'the strongest of the strong'. I know she won't let me down.

 

Tokyo, Japan...

The first time I was in Tokyo I was very young and on a very limited budget. Most of the objects I saw were way out of my price range. One day I ventured into a large department store just to browse. I'm so glad I did because I found the most beautiful blue, tan and gold leaf serving bowl I'd ever seen. All thoughts of budget disappeared. I made the purchase and carried that precious bowl on my lap all the way home from Japan. I use it still and it always gets rave reviews.

 

Seoul, Korea...

Several years ago I was invited to Seoul to speak about travel safety to a large gathering of female university students. My hosts were wonderful and so gracious in their hospitality. Several of the organizers showed me around their city and it was then, with their help, that I found my beautiful mother-of-pearl inlaid box that this part of the world is so famous for. That box will always remind me of those female students who were so excited about seeing the world on their own. They were setting off to experience something that their mothers before them never really got a chance to do.

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