Alder & Co. $500 Giveaway

by Grace Bonney

One of my favorite memories of living in Portland, Oregon for a summer was heading across the bridge every week to visit my favorite shop, Alder & Co. I first visited Alder & Co. in 2010 when I was in town to speak at IDSA and immediately felt at home when I walked in the door. Owners Carla and Rebecca have created a shop that embodies all of the things I love most about design (handmade goods, one-of-a-kind designs, pieces from across the globe, dreamy textiles and beautiful ceramics) and made it approachable. Then, to top it off, they invited florist Hilary Horvath to join them in-house to create gorgeous flowers. Throw in a bakery and I’m pretty sure I’d be ready to move in any time. During every trip to Portland since, I’ve visited Alder & Co. and picked up at least a few pieces to bring home for friends and loved ones. It’s quite simply one of my favorite places ever. So I’m honored and so thrilled that Alder & Co. kindly agreed to join us for our BIG 10 anniversary and donate a $500 gift certificate to one lucky Design*Sponge reader! xo, grace

To enter the competition all you have to do is answer this question from the Alder & Co. team in the comment section below!

We love to travel and our store is a reflection of the places we have been. What is your most treasured souvenir?

About Alder & Co.: Alder & Co. is a space of timeless and transportive things, as useful as they are beautiful. For us, having a store is about the discovery of the artist: traveling to different neighborhoods, different states, different countries. It’s also about the discovery of the customers: those from around the corner and those from across the world. Our hope is that it is magical for everyone when it comes together under one roof, or, in the age of technology, under one website.

Photos by Leela Cyd

Click through for an interview with Alder & Co. owners, Rebecca and Carla after the jump!

**Giveaway disclaimer: Shipping within the United States. Gift certificate must be used within one month of issuing and is only valid online. Not redeemable for cash. Cannot be combined with any discounts or promotional offers**

What inspired you to start Alder & Co.?

I co-owned a clothing store in Los Angeles for 5 years but we sold it when my husband was transferred to Portland in 2006. I promised myself that I’d never own a store again, but I should really just promise to never say never. I always loved the West End neighborhood and found the perfect spot for Alder & Co. right next to Gruner Restaurant in May, 2010. Rebecca was there from the start and we’ve been shopping together ever since!

What was the hardest part of starting your business?

The hardest part of starting Alder & Co. was the RECESSION. It certainly wasn’t the best time to encourage people to shop, and the goose egg days were so depressing. Looking on the bright side though, the timing allowed me to get a great space in a great neighborhood as I was one of the very few looking at that time.

What are you proudest of (or your biggest success) as a business so far?

I’m very proud of our growth. It’s been very thoughtful and measured but we outgrew our space and our website last year. We moved into a larger space in April, and launched our new website in November (a giant thank you to our friends at More & Co.) Also, Hilary Horvath joined us with her beautiful flower shop in May and the store has never looked or smelled better! I’m also proud of the relationships the store has allowed me. I’ve made lifetime friends here and it makes for a nice way to spend the day.

What are your next big goals or projects coming up?

We are working on a few proprietary Alder & Co. offerings including a line of coasters, napkins and placemats. Also we recently collaborated with Oui Presse on a small knitwear collection that should arrive any day. I love seeing the Alder & Co. care labels – we are legitimate!!! Never say never….






Suggested For You


  • My boyfriends band toured in mexico recently, and he picked me up the cutest little hand made felted turtle. I adore it!

  • my most treasured souvenir are my collection of flattened pennies, I also like to buy art and craft supplies from local craft shops.

  • My favorite souvenir is my leather riding boots from Italy. I studied in Florence and my one big splurge was this pair of boots. It was so neat actually buying them off the man who made them in that exact shop. You could even watch him make shoes. I love that it’s a functional souvenir that I will treasure forever (with the help of weatherproofing! :)

  • My most treasured find from my trip abroad is my hand blown glass light from Murano island in Italy. It survived the whole trip from Italy to Amsterdam in my backpack!

  • My favorite souvenir is a handmade ceramic plate from Japan. I was there on a school trip nearly 10 years ago, and one day we stopped at a ceramic studio in the countryside. A skilled potter handed us some hand-thrown ceramic plates, black ink, and a thick calligraphy brush. I went with simple brush strokes and handed it over to be fired … I had forgotten about it until later that summer when a package from my teacher arrived just before I left for college. It was my plate! I think it’s great; handmade by skilled Japanese potters and with a personal touch. It’s one of a kind! I’ve kept it on prominent display ever since.

  • My favorite travel souvenir is a handmade olivewood mortar & pestle I bought on the island of Paros, Greece. I spent a semester there in undergrad, and it was one of the most delightful, memorable experiences I’ve been fortunate enough to have. At the time, my classmates and I fondly referred to the shopkeeper as “Hot Daddy,” and a smile comes to my face every time I grind fresh herbs in the mortar & pestle, recalling all the fun times we had on that island!

  • A few years ago I went on a mission trip to Guatemala with my school. I didn’t have much money to spend on souvenirs, but I picked up the most adorable mini elephant backpack. I think at the time I told myself that I would give it to one of the (few) younger children I knew, but I ended up keeping it! It looks handmade and is one of the few multi colored things that I display (I usually stick to neutrals with pops of blues) and I just find it really charming. If I ever have kids I’ll pass it on :)

  • My most treasured souvenir is a little dreamcatcher necklace I got when I was 9 while visiting 4 corners. I remember being so enthralled by all of the lovely ladies selling their handmade pieces. I wanted to be just like them. I swear it makes me extra creative when I wear it!

  • The first time my husband and I met it was on a whirlwind trip throughout the Pacific Northwest. I have always had a penchant for those machines that flattened and imprint pennies as souvenirs so we collected one from each machine we could find. We still do this everywhere we travel! I keep them in a little pouch in my purse.

  • My favourite souvenir is a pair of black pearl earrings I bought from a local french artisan in a market in St. Martin.

  • For me, my most treasured souvenir is my Swiss cookbook. Each time I cook from it, I become nostalgic and am reminded of the friends I made there, the cherished memories I have of them and the culture.

  • A tall wooden carving of a long-faced farmer is probably my favorite souvenir. I bought it from a man in a park when I spent a semester in Romania and I love it. It simultaneously reminds me of my time in that country and of my hardworking farmer grandfather from Idaho.

    They have beautiful things in their shop. I especially love the textiles and the heart shaped cactus.

  • An itty-bitty pine cone I picked up from the Scottish highlands. It still smells wonderful.

  • A hat from Bali. I “hand” carried it back. It has hand paintings of the wayang or puppet shadow play on it, which was one of the most spectacular live events I’ve ever seen.

  • While in Tokyo I met an elderly man who gave me a piece of paper that basically said “I’d love to learn English, will you be my penpal?” He shyly ran away before I could even read the paper. We’ve since written back and forth and my collection of his letters are my favorite souvenir. His handwriting is beautiful, the washi stationary is amazing, and his continued gratitude for our friendship and his adorable stories warms my heart :)

  • My favorite souvenir was a silver fleur-de-lis ring I got in Québec City. It was fun to practice my French as I bought the ring. It was so heavy and elegant! Unfortunately, it was stolen a few years back. Ah well, c’est la vie!

  • A tall wooden carving of a long-faced farmer is my favorite souvenir. I bought it from a man in a park when I lived in Romania for a semester. It simultaneously reminds me of my time in that country and my farmer grandfather from Idaho. I love it.

    They have beautiful things in their shop. I especially love the textiles (scarves and throws!) and the hear-shaped cactus.

  • I studied abroad in Ghana as an undergraduate student, and my family was able to visit me there. My mom used kente cloth and batiks she had purchased in Ghana to make a quilt that she gave to me for my wedding. My family has a strong history of quilt-making and embroidery, and Ghana is still one of my favorite places to visit, so this was a really special present.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a pillow my husband and I purchased at a local craft market in Kampala, Uganda. Thank you!

  • A rosary I got in Vatican City-it’s made out of rose petals and has a faint rose smell to it. It was also blessed by The Pope himself!

  • I bought a bottle of perfume when my family went to Paris–not only is the bottle beautiful to display, but every time I wear the scent I remember what an amazing time we had there together.

  • My giant soups spoons found tucked away in a corner of a Paris flea market. I love those spoons so much. Every time I use them I am immediately transported back.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a ring my dad brought back to me when he was traveling through Egypt. It is too small for me to wear now, so I wear it on a chain sometimes.

  • A photo of me with my friend and language teacher from when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Fiji.

  • We visited the Greek Island of Patmos and I found a tiny terra cotta bull. I just love him!

  • I have a carved wooden stamp for printing fabric that I bought at the flea market in Athens, Greece. It was marked 30 euros, but in Greece, haggling is an art form, isn’t it? So I asked for 25. When he wouldn’t budge on price, I put the stamp down and walked away– only to have him chase after me five minutes later with, “Madame, madame, twenty eight! Twenty eight!”

  • Some people call them kitschy, I call them treasures. I am talking about my large collection of motion bubble pens picked up from all over the world – the kind of pens that, when tilted, an image will slide down the barrel in front of a well-known background. My collection of 100+ pens started in 1988 on a roadtrip to Graceland (the pen = Elvis in a Cadillac sliding down the driveway of his famous mansion, in case you’re wondering). Since then, I’ve picked them up at roadside stands and off-the-beaten path souvenir shops. Now, they’re even occasionally sent to me as gifts from wandering friends.

  • My most treasured item from my travels is from Istalif, Afghanistan – its a hand-thrown ceramic bowl from this small village outside Kabul. The town is known for its pottery, and its gorgeous! Just one of the many hidden gems of this beautiful country.

  • My most treasured souvenir is the wool blanket I bought when my husband and I visited Iceland. It is so warm and pretty, and reminds me of a fantastic trip!

  • Let me begin by sharing how much I love Portland. My BFF since 4th grade lives there, so I’ve had the honor of visiting about 10 times. I fall more and more in love each time. My favorite souvenir? My daughter! My husband and I went to Buenos Aires for 10 days in 2007 and by the time vacation was done, I was carrying a bun in my oven. We like to joke that she’s from Argentina.

  • On a trip to Seattle, my most treasured souvenir: my first born was conceived. (A far second is an embroidered design created in Nepal on my pink patagonia pullover in the early ’90s.)

  • My most treasured souvenir is a menu from a fantastic weekend away in the Shenandoah Valley with my boyfriend. We had a great meal at a restaurant on a farm and we took the menu and framed it. I love seeing it on the wall and reminiscing about the trip, the scenery, and the food.

  • My favorite souvenir is a sand dollar that I have from Marco Island, Florida. I’ve had it for years now. It reminds me of my favorite place and great memories down there with my family. We used to go down there all the time and my grandmother and I would walk the beach to find shells. We found the sand dollar and I remember thinking how beautiful and simple it was and have kept it ever since :)

  • That is a good question! My most treasured souvenir would probably be a wool scarf I bought in Ireland. The wool was sheared, the wool woven, and created all in Ireland, and it is one of the warmest items I own.
    Sarah M

  • while i’ve encountered many treasures on my travels, the most beautiful thing i’ve ever discovered abroad is the value of the self. though it can be a struggle, i believe it is critical to celebrate and rediscover the self–no matter where life takes you!

  • This little glass ball that had a replica of the sea floor in it from my Aunt whom I traveled with when we went to the Virgin Islands. I have had it since I was fifteen, and I am now 42.

  • I lived in Slovakia for a while and became firm friends with three generations of a local family. When I left our adopted ‘dad’ gave me a sort of gnome he’d carved out of wood. It’s pretty ugly and has quite a miserable expression, but I’ve had it sitting around ever since as a souvenir of those wonderful summers sitting chatting to him in an sunny orchard.

  • I’m split between two items. I’m a serious shopper when I travel! In our early 20s William and I honeymooned in Italy. I saw these two hand colored vintage prints in an antique shop and loved them. It was a total splurge for us, but William bought them for me. I still love them to this day. They’re a classic.

    The other item which was totally unexpected and exciting is the time I found a second edition of the Grammar of Ornament in a junk store in London. I almost cried. Then we ran around to cash machines trying to get cash to buy it. It was a sight. I hand carried it home, regardless as to how heavy it was. I still love getting it out and looking at, wondering what it was like for Jones to travel and collect all the design history.

  • While in London years ago we bought some French yogurt in these gorgeous containers, which now sit in our cabinets at home and are used frequently as coffee cups.

  • It is so silly but it is a hand painted rock that I bought for an American dollar from a little girl off the street on a tiny island in Greece. She was so excited she ran into the house to show her Mom jumping up and down. It sits by my kitchen sink and makes me smile every day!

  • As a handcrafted tchotchkes whore :), I’ve got to say my most prized is a small hand painted mermaid bauble that I picked up from a trip with my husband to Peru a few years back. She makes me smile every time I spot her. Following as a close second, would be my slew of vintage Peruvian textiles from that same trip. Oh, the colors!! :) Thanks Design Sponge and Alder & Co for such a hip-to-the-hop giveaway!!

  • It’s a small, unique opal and sterling ring my sister and I purchased from a jeweler in Mexico over a decade ago. We share it back and forth a few times a year. We call it, “The Precious.”

  • Some fossilized walnuts from a secluded beach in Maui. I happened to be driving and found a sign… ‘One Love’. Out of curiosity I drove down a trail and discovered a gorgeous beach with a handful of people there… while there I saw these curious objects that turned out to be fossilized walnuts all over the beach. I picked them up and use them to decorate my coffee table.

  • Whenever I travel, I try to pick up local art to frame and display in my home. They remind me of all the wonderful places I have been, and bring a little piece of their culture inside.

  • My girlfriend gave me a silver spoon with my birth year on it that she found at an antiques shop in Reykjavik when we were there last Christmas. Everyone in her family has one and over the holidays, we each use our own for dessert!

  • My most treasured souvenier is actually not from my own travels, but from my sister. She bought me the most beautiful blue silk tapestry from Thailand last summer. Not only is it beautiful in our home but it has the sweet meaning of my sister thinking of me while on her adventures abroad.

  • Some people call them kitschy, I call them treasures. I am talking about my large collection of motion bubble pens – the kind of pens that, when tilted, an image will slide down the barrel in front of a well-known background. My collection of 100+ pens started in 1988 on a roadtrip to Graceland (the pen = Elvis in a Cadillac sliding down the driveway of his famous mansion, in case you’re wondering). Since then, I’ve picked them up at roadside stands and off-the-beaten path souvenir shops. Now, they’re even occasionally sent to me as gifts from wandering friends.

  • A reproduction of a madonna and child (by Giotto, I think) from the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. It hangs in my bedroom, and I have a picture of me holding my baby daughter in front of it.

  • The day after I ran the Boston marathon, we wandered around the city, happened upon a really cozy shop and bought 4 printed tin tiles that are hanging in our living room. A great reminder of a fabulous weekend

  • My favorite souvenir is the super-soft wool scarf my college roommate brought me back from her semester in Scotland.

  • A beautiful hand woven wrap purchased at a safari camp in Namibia that featured local artists and craftspeople. The woman who made it told me that as she creates, she thinks about the connectedness of all beings. I love wearing something that is a reminder of not only my trip, but the love with which it was made.

  • My favorite souvenir is my collections of hand painted original paintings from local street artists. I make sure to not get prints, but originals straight from the artists. I have them all framed on a travel wall, and if I had to pick ONE favorite it would be a vibrant oil painting of the rooftops of Prague.

  • Tea cups. Every place I go, I have tried to buy a teacup, usually vintage and ceramic (not mugs!!-according to my grandmother you should be able to see your tea through the cup). I now have a huge tea set. The story behind each cup makes up for the pain it is to move with them.

  • My favorite souvenirs have to be all the yummy treats I lug back from each country I visit.

  • I love bringing a piece of my trips home with me – it’s like a mini vacation every time I look at them. Recently I took an artistic retreat to my family’s ranch in the canyons of west Texas, I spent one day wondering through the dried up creeks looking for arrowheads and antler sheds but found some beautiful pieces of petrified wood. I cleaned the red clay off and now they are some treasured accent pieces on my coffee table.

    Something unexpected and simple but that is the best kind!

  • Silver earrings from Interlaken, Switzerland that I bought the day I went hang gliding over the Alps. I will probably never do something like that again!

  • My favorite souvenir is a twenty-five cent clay pot from a Guatemalan market. It now qualifies as vintage if not antique.

  • It is silly but it is a hand painted rock that I bought from a little girl in Greece. We were on a tiny island and she was sitting in front of her house selling painted rocks. I gave her a dollar and she was so excited she ran into her house jumping up and down to show her mom. I keep it by my kitchen sink and it makes me smile every day!

  • My family visited the United Kingdom during my teenage years. I purchased a bold carved silver pendant. I wore it on a wire choker during college, then tucked it away in my jewelry cabinet. Just last year, I clipped the wire and strung the pendant with some ethnic vibe beads in my collection. I am back to loving that pendant!

  • My husband and I traveled to St. Kitts shortly after we got engaged. We bought a painting from a local artist, which looks perfect in our beach house. Every time I see it, it brings back memories of that deliriously happy time.

  • My first trip traveling solo, I went to a vintage store in Austin, TX and purchased a sequined shirt with a giant cat on the front of it. I still have it in my closet and will never get rid of it! It’s straight out of the Golden Girls – WoooHooo!

  • A silver rhino given to me by my grandfather on one of this travels. I was too young to remember where it came from, but I keep it on my bedside table to remind me of him.

    I also really adore my walking stick from my overnight hike up Mt Fuji. I did the hike with one of my best girl friends and it was an incredible experience.

  • I bought a bottle of perfume when I went to Paris with my family–not only is the bottle beautiful on display, but every time I wear the scent I remember what a wonderful time we had there together.

  • In Thailand, after a nice meal on the beach, our server was clearing our table and was about to take away my cute glass bottle of soda water. I asked if I could keep the bottle and, after looking at me like I was crazy, he agreed. My glass soda bottle with Thai writing is my new favorite bud vase for a black and white anemone or single red poppy. It makes me smile.

  • My most treasured souvenir: the bottles and plates we collected to use at our wedding that we still use around the house today, every time we use them we’re reminded of that day.

  • My favorite souvenir is a handmade papier mache mask I bought in Venice. The shop was so magical — like stepping into a movie or back in time. Every time I see it, I think about good friends, great food and wine, and an amazing, life-changing trip to Italy!

  • my favorite thing from our travels is all our photos- I look back at them and remember such fantastic trips!

  • A little European soda glass from a restaurant we would go to every Sunday night while living abroad. I use it as a bud vase now :)

  • I had a friend getting married in Portland shortly after I returned from a trip to Mexico. While vacationing in a fairly rural area, I found a fabulous pair of bride and groom Dia de Los Muertos small figurines to give as their wedding present! This pair was my best souvenir from traveling, even though it wasn’t a gift for me.

  • Most treasured souvenir: A wonderful small painting of tops of buildings by an artist I met in Paris on the sidewalk. He even took the time to draw a sketch of my face on the back of his canvas. I am so glad I stopped to admire is work and get to know him.

  • My treasured souvenir is my wedding certificate when I got married in Italy. It’s beautiful and is framed in our hallway for everyone to see

  • My favorite and best souvenir ever is a big silver metal pot that I bought in a flea market in Sweden. It cost be about 3$ but it was so big I wasn’t sure how to carry it with me on the plane, but it worked! My mom love it so much that last time I moved I gave it to her so she could take care of it. She is using it with a beautiful bonsai.

  • My most treasured souvenir is my memories I have of my adventures with my son. We still have plenty more to come, but so far they are the best. No one can steal them, they never get dusty and we never loose them under the couch. =]

  • My favorite souvenirs are the spears I brought back from my time doing conservation biology research in the Amazon. Now that I’m working on my PhD in the same topic they serve as a daily motivation and a reminder of all my adventures.

  • i would have to say my pictures of some of the most amazing orphans from a mission trip to haiti in december. their faces are forever with me.

  • I had never thought of this as a souvenir, but I guess technically it is. One summer while traveling around Catalonia with my parents we stopped in the city of Girona to visit the Jewish Heritage Museum in the old walled part of the city. As a surprise, my father bought me a beautiful necklace with the Kabbalist symbol of the tree of life. I wear it all the time and it has always made me feel connected to my father, and now even more so that he has passed away. I’m actually wearing it right now. It has transcended the idea of souvenir to become an integral part of my life (that may sound silly for a piece of jewelry, but I find certain pieces of jewelry to connect me to loved ones, as they are such personal articles).

  • The best souvenir was a gold ring that I got my girlfriend on a summer trip to Sierra Leone. I watched the goldsmith bend it and twist it into a ring right in front of my eyes. My girlfriend wears it on a chain around her neck and I get to see it every day.

  • My favourite souvenir is a jackalope head from the Wall Drug in South Dakota.

    After 100 miles of billboards, I was so pumped it actually exsisted I just had to buy something.

  • I have an amber and silver ring purchased from a small, local jeweler in Santorini in 2006. I wear it everyday, and looking at it immediately transports me to that gorgeous island on the Aegean, and days of pure bliss.

  • My favorite souvenir: an antique level from Cannery Row. It reminds me of John Steinbeck’s character, Doc (scientific), and my husband (an engineer). I love the way it looks on a bookshelf. AND I LOVE PORTLAND! :)

  • The classic Stella guitar I found at a thrift shop for $14 while on my fiancé’s birthday roadtrip. I immediately ran across the street to a music shop and bought strings, and we played it throughout our travels. Such a little gift has given him a year of happiness, and a lifetime of songs to look forward to.

  • I have a stained-glass piece that is of a German, fachwerk style house. It reminds me of the 500-year-old house we lived in while in Germany. I think I paid 20 Euros for it at a rummage sale, but I treat it like it’s priceless! It sits in my window so the light can shine through, and it makes me happy every time I look at it.

  • I have a lovely little elephant I picked up in India that sits on my bookshelf and reminds me of the new experiences, tastes, sights, and sounds that await when you step out of your “normal” (even in your own city/town).

  • My favorite souvenir is this tiny glass jar of black sand I collected in Iceland. What a beautiful country and what happy memories.

  • My most treasured souvenir is an arrow I made with the Hadzabe tribe of Tanzania. Despite the language barrier, we were included in the tribe’s daily routine, making this keepsake a reminder of the Hadzabe’s hospitality along with some unforgettable memories.

  • Right before I started grad school, my partner and I spent a month in Spain as a last travel hurrah before I embarked on three years of intense study. While we were in Madrid, we picked up (slightly cliche) tiles to spell out our names that sat on a bookshelf in our house all through grad school. They were a great reminder of our trip!

  • In high school I traveled to Kenya with my high school youth group. It was not only my first big trip without family, but my first international trip. It showed me what was good and hard about travel, and I credit that trip with giving me a travel bug that hasn’t let go in the 10 years since.

    I purchased a carved wooden giraffe at a shop that overlooked the Great Rift Valley. Despite moves and accumulation of more souvenirs, this giraffe always finds a spot on display. He reminds me that Kenya was the beginning of what I hope will be a lifetime spent exploring and finding adventures, whether on the other side of the world or across the neighborhood.

  • My favorite souvenir is a small cutting board I got in Vermont from Vermont Farm Table. I go to Vermont almost every year with my entire family (siblings, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents) and it’s a beautiful reminder of all of our trips.

  • On a visit to Nepal I fell in love with the Tibetan Thangka paintings and knew I’d bring one home. There was shop after shop selling them in Kathmandu, but I decided to wait until the end of my trip to choose one. While visiting a small village still early on in my trip, I was stopped in my tracks by a painting of White Tara for sale in a tiny little shop. Even though I hadn’t looked at others, I knew this one was meant for me. It’s such an amazing and detailed painting; the painter spent 3 months painting it. He was so honored by my purchase that he invited me and my friend over to have dinner with his family. It was an incredible experience and I still love looking at the painting every day.

  • My favorite souvvenir is my flower child, it’s this cute little stuffed flower creature with a bright blue body , cute flower patterned petals, buton eyes, and a beaded smile. I picked him up on our honeymoon in Julian from on of the shops. He happily lived on my keychain for a while till the loop broke and now he gaurd my lingerie draw. Other then that I don’t really travel much but I do have this cool elephant my friend brought back from india and gave to my then good friend and now husband so it’s kinda my elephant now.

  • When I was in Puerto Rico a couple of years ago I came across a really tiny bead shop. I purchased a ton of beautiful and unique beads made from natural materials. I treasure the jewelry I made using those beads!

  • White rocks from the shore of Lake Garda, that my children put in their pockets. Now they sit permanently in mine.

  • A linen apron I bought in Antibes, France. Amidst a stressful trip that entire day trip to Antibes was the most relaxing. I think if the sea every time i wear the apron, it was also the only thing I bought for myself in France!

  • Seven years ago I spent a chilly summer in Paris. I was not at all prepared for the cooler temperatures and ended up amassing quite a few warmer pieces during my time there. My favorite is a large scarf I purchased from a street vendor. It is blue and cream with large gold tigers embroidered around the perimeter. I love it.

  • My most treasured souvenir is not something I bought but something I was given while in Africa. As thanks for helping teach, the villagers carved me a bird out of wood and painted it bright green and yellow. It is a great conversation piece with many memories and beauty behind it!

  • White rocks from the shore of Lake Garda, that my children put in their pockets. Now they lie permanently in mine.

  • I have a tendency to spend my money on the experiences while traveling, only bringing gifts home for my family members. I started picking out one hand painted christmas ornament from each place I visit. Decorating our tree this year was an awesome reminder how blessed we are and the wonderful places we have had the opportunity to visit.

  • I have a no smoking sign from the Hotel D’inghilterra in Rome. It is the only time I have ever been to Italy and it was an adorable hotel my Mother found for us. It doesn’t matter what the sign says, it’s about the time it captures. She is gone now, but when I see the sign, the memories flood over me and it always brings a smile.

  • My most treasured souvenir is not one that I brought home, but one my great grandfather brought back for me from Germany: a piece of the Berlin Wall. I’ve treasured it since he gave it to me when I was 16.

  • 2 treasured tartan, wool throws from my time studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland.

  • My favorite souvenir is a painting I bought in Paris of the Seine when I was in high school. I still love looking at it, and went back almost five years later and bought another from the same artist.

  • My most treasured souvenir is the set of espresso spoons I found at an outdoor market in Italy. Nothing one-of-a-kind, but I love them.

  • My favourite souvenir was an original grey Eames dining chair that I scored for a bargain from the basement of an antique shop in Brighton on the English coast. Unfortunately once we returned to Paris, it turned out to be very uncomfortable as a desk chair for my boyfriend so I sold it for twice the price we paid for it. Now I just love the memory and the thrill it was to find such a good deal and drive home with it on the ferry!

  • I have a photograph of a group of baby stingrays that my husband and I took on our honeymoon. We have it blown up really big and hanging above our fireplace; it makes me happy every day! Thanks!

  • Mine is a souvenir that I didn’t get! My grandmother loved Mexico, but only got to go once in her life. When she passed away, I asked for the table my grandfather made, and her treasured souvenir from Mexico – a handmade wooden scene of a Mexican adobe that hung in her many houses throughout my childhood. It reminds me of her every time I look at it.

  • My most treasured souvenir is the bracelet my husband gave to me when he proposed. I was visiting him in Rennes, France where he was studying for a semester and the night I arrived he asked me to marry him with a beautiful silver cuff he found at a flea market in Brussels. I eventually got a ring, but that bracelet is the most romantic gift I have ever been given and reminds me of our travels in France being secretly engaged.

  • My most treasured souvenir would be a pair of silver anklets from India OR a wooden crow from Sweden…tough to say.

  • A hand blown glass globe that my family found while exploring the Oregon coast:)

  • My favorite by far was a journal that I kept while living in Bali. I was pretty young and in my “document everything I feel/think” phase. There are some fun sketches of everyday life there that I treasure to this day.

  • I have a ticket stub from the 2011 Iowa State Fair – on one side it’s got the green and white ‘zany’ space for the logo, with NONSTOP FUN printed over in bold block, looking more like a threat than a promise. The other side is coupon for TACO OLE, except due to poor kerning it looks like it says TACOOOOLE!

    This was the same state fair where I watched a hypnotist beg the audience for the third time NOT to follow the instructions he was giving people on stage – they didn’t listen and he had to go out and de-hypnotize everyone, again. Plus, surly Civil War reenactors forced to decamp next to the 50s car show, families of Juggalos, and a whole barn of baby animals! I also tried deep-fried butter for the first and last time. Just like the fair itself, the ticket’s a little garish and overly enthusiastic, but completely winsome.

  • In college, I studied abroad in India. Everything about it was seductive and overwhelming: colors, sights, smells, the bustling crowds of people. Our group spent a lot of time learning about the many religions that co-exist in the subcontinent; I am not religious, but nonetheless found it fascinating. One day, we received a lecture that touched on the Hindu understanding of fate and free will: a fascinating mix that combines sanskara (the imprints left on us by our previous lives and experiences) with the infinite freedom to choose our next actions and therefore to change our future selves. Our lecturer explained by way of a beautiful analogy to a card game: we are dealt a hand of cards, but in every moment, we can choose which card to play. A few days later, while exploring a mossy and overgrown area of the campus where we were staying, I found an old playing card. I gave it to my boyfriend when he was going through a difficult time and needed to make some tough choices but it–and the memory–remain my most treasured souvenir.

  • My most precious souvenir is a vintage poster from the Codorniu cava winery in San Sadurni in Spain. We visited there on our honeymoon and the poster hangs in view in our dining room to remind us of that special trip!

  • My favorite souvenir has got to be hand-made perfume I purchased in the Bahamas. Every time I spray it, it brings me right back to amazing memories from the trip!

  • A beautiful piece of driftwood from when my mom and I both saw the ocean for the first time.

  • My favorite souvenir is one that came from Portland during a trip there in 2006. It’s a tall hand made vase by a local ceramic artist that I hand carried from airport to airport on my way back to the east coast.

  • I’ve recently been collecting local honeys from my trips. My current favorite is one I picked up while visiting family in Seattle!

  • My favorite souvenir is my red stone necklace I bargained for in a street market in Catagena, Colombia. My mother-in-law liked it so much that we went back to the seller together the next day and bought her a matching necklace. Now we can wear them together and remember our wonderful family Christmas in South America.

  • I have a necklace I got when on tour in Germany, it is beaded and is a lovely reminder of a wonderful summer abroad.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a white leaded glass pendant light shade my husband and I found at an antique store on our honeymoon. We’d been looking for something to complete our dinning room and when we saw it we both fell in love with it immediately.

  • My favorite souvenirs are the journals I kept when I was living in El Salvador. It will always remind me of the things I learned and the ways I was stretched.

  • My most treasured souvenir from recent travels are the two giant bricks of handmade olive oil soap I brought back with me from Istanbul, Turkey. They small so good, but I can hardly bring myself to using them up!

  • My antique, hand carved wooden bowls from a roadtrip to Philadelphia. They are so quintessentially American and always remind me of that gem of a town.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a brass nut cracker in the shape of elegant lady legs that I got from a flea market on the France/Italian border. I know it sounds crass but it is actually quite beautiful and such a random find.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a Murano glass chandelier bought from a factory on Murano. We almost didn’t buy it – in fact I took a picture of it to be able to send to them as reference to possibly buy once we were back home and had recovered financially from the Italian vacation! We ended up changing our mind at the last minute and split the cost of it between 3!!! credit cards. Thank goodness I took that photograph because when it finally arrived six weeks later there the chandelier was in about 3 dozen parts to be put together with no instructions!
    Anyway the chandelier has brought a beautiful glow and a smile to my face – traveling to and hanging in every home and apartment from Charleston, SC to New York City and back for these last 14 years – without a doubt my favorite souvenir!

  • I love Alder & Co.! My favorite souvenirs are from a month long trip I took by myself to Capetown, South Africa and Paris, France. I had a gut feeling it would be my last chance to travel globally for a while, so before I moved to Austin, I headed off to see two of the most beautiful cities in the world. I picked up a piece from both places that I treasure and use nearly everyday. A small coffee cup in the most perfect shade of yellow from Capetown, and a scarf from Paris that reminds me of a Monet painting. I love them and I can’t wait to travel more!

  • My most treasured souvenir was a jade bell I bought in an outdoor market in Hong Kong. I was there to just “look around”, but learned my first lesson in negotiating: only ask how much something is if you intend to buy it :-) Whenever I look at that piece, I remember what it was like to be a beginner at something, and the virtue of buying something simply because it is beautiful, not because it’s value has been whittled down to something based on market value or what was predetermined in my pocket.

  • Probably the sea glass and ceramic shards I collected on the beach in Plockton, Scotland, while on a three week road trip with my mother 10 years ago. They sit in a mason jar with other tokens I have collected over the years. I love sea glass and am transfixed that something so beautiful could come from something broken.

  • The Belgian lace I brought back from Bruges for my grandmother. I see it framed in her living room every time I go to visit.

  • My favorite souvenir is a handwoven silk cloth from a village just outside of Antigua, Guatemala. I used part of it to make a colorful sundress but there’s still enough leftover for a throw on cold nights. It reminds me of sitting in an open kitchen eating pepián and fresh tortillas while listening to a woman tell old ghost stories about the village in Spanish.

  • My most treasured souvenir is my collection of flattened pennies that I started collecting on my honeymoon. Now I get one on every trip I go on with my partner, as a way to remember our time together.

  • Glass Christmas ornaments from Murano. I had to carry them all summer backpacking, but they are worth it!

  • Probably the sea glass and ceramic shards I collected on the beach in Plockton, Scotland, while the tide was out and while on a three week road trip with my mother 10 years ago. I love that something so beautiful can emerge from something broken. The pieces sit in a mason jar in my craft room window along with other pieces I have collected over the years. In many ways I am like a 10 year old who comes home with rocks and acorns in her pockets…

  • My most treasured souvenir is a little silver elephant box my husband and I bought on our honeymoon in Thailand.

  • My beautiful hand woven blanket and small basket from Belize! It was so wonderful to meet the people that made these amazing trinkets!

  • My favorite souvenirs are actually two prints I picked up at the Hatch Show Print in Nashville last year. It took nearly an hour to narrow down my choices while in the store, but I eventually came home with a Patsy Cline linocut and a Johnny Cash concert poster.

  • My most treasured souvenirs are the rocks/pebbles/shells of all shapes and colors that sit out in a small tray in my home. When traveling abroad or visiting somewhere nearby I am inspired by new places and vistas to satisfy my inner amateur geologist wannabe and pick up a small stone and take it with me. All together these rocks are a tangible (and beautiful!) memory book of all the mountaintops, beaches, rivers, and cities I’ve visited and lived in over the years.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a matroszka from Poland that I got on my first trip back. I was about 10 years old, but the doll has stayed with me since then. I love that for a nesting doll, there are a lot of little dolls inside (more so than with other nesting dolls) and it was the first souvenir that I was purchased.
    And now after spending years as an item on a shelf, she’s become a piece of interest for my nephews, who love to take her apart and look at all of the “little ladies” that are inside.

  • A huge grey and cream hand-made quilt from a women’s communal handicraft shop in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Gorgeous and warm, its quilted cranes remind me of the grace of Angkor Wat (and supporting women’s economic development opportunities made it win-win – totally worth the hassle of carrying it on the 5 airport connections in 4 countries to get it home!)

  • My most treasured souvenir is an old jade bell I bought from an outdoor jade market in Hong Kong. I was only there to “look around”, but soon learned the first rule of negotiating: Only ask the price of something if you intend to buy it :-) I think I earned that bell more than I paid for it. I bought it because it was beautiful and unusual and whenever I look at it, I am reminded of what it was like to be a beginner at something- to see the value of something with no regard for market value or worth, but simply because it is beautiful.

  • My favorite souvenir is one I had to earn. Almost 30 years ago my future husband and I biked “The Flattest Century Bike Tour”, a 100 km bike ride in Rhode Island. I barely made it but my husband at the end presented me with a beautiful durrie rug with delicate tulips around its edges. I still swoon when I pass this memory.

  • A brass coiled cuff I got on a trip to Kenya when I was 17. It sits on my credenza as a reminder of my adventurous summer in the wilds of East Africa.

  • a beautiful handmade ceramic vase from a artist colony in Tuscon AZ, I was there with my Gma :)

  • Beautiful shop!!!
    My favorite souvenir is an Aboriginal painting with a pattern representing the meaning of “home.” I was traveling alone in Australia, and figured the expense would be worth it since I didn’t know when I’d be back! It now sits in the built-in hutch of my apartment, welcoming me home as I walk through the door while reminding me of my travels.

  • My favorite souvenir is a small box of twenty tiny, tiny sand dollars my 6yo daughter and I collected on Stinson Beach in California last March – we’d never seen them so small before!!

  • My most prized souvenir are some sand dollars that I found on St. Simons Beach in St. Simon, Georgia. I have always grown up by the ocean, but never found a sand dollar until that Christmas trip.

  • My favorite souvenir is from a place I’ve never been. A friend brought me back a giant pinecone from the redwoods, simply becuase he knew that I, of anyone, would appreciate it’s beauty. It sits on the mantel above my fireplace beconing me to come see those majestic giant trees for myself.

  • Last year I went to the house and land where my mother grew up in Texas, and we walked until we found the ruins of the house her great grandfather had built, I found a brick from the home and brought it back with me on the plane, (TSA had a couple questions). It reminds me of place and impermanence, and of course, my mom.

  • Pumpkin seed oil from Syria, Austria. A real gem from the earth, purple and dark green and unstable when heated so you have to eat it raw on salads and it taste oh so good.

  • My favorite souvenir is from my first trip to Vieques, PR. I got a set of these little handmade felted people. I hang them on my front door to remind me of sunny days in the Seattle winter.

  • An 18″ diameter serving platter I bought in the desert in Morocco. It’s blue and white, and I’ve never since seen one with such detailed, careful designs. It was enormous, and I was backpacking. It didn’t fit in my bags, and I was too scared it would break, so for about 10 days I carried it on my lap in sweltering heat on un-air-conditioned buses all over the country. It went as hand luggage on the 20 hour flight home, being nursed (on my lap again) in multiple airport lounges.

    I was so relieved when I got it back in one piece! I’m not sure I would go to so much effort for something again, but darn I love it. And it’s extra-special, for the trouble.

  • My grandmother’s ring from Germany that my Grandfather bought her while he was stationed there. It’s pearl and diamond–the most gorgeous pairing!

  • I purchases a bar of soap that smelled like chocolate! in France, I had it forever wrapped in a cloth and would smell it, the smell would bring me back. I eventually used it, as soap, it was great!

  • Best travel souvenir : opting to work on a cruise ship for a few months to “travel” and winding up meeting my future spouse… This gift would go to her!

  • My most loved souvenir is a travel coffee mug I bought at a tiny shop a year ago in Seoul. The design is a pretty floral pattern by a Korean artist (I can’t read the name). I love it so much that I fill it with coffee and bring it to work every morning, and I wash it every night so I can have it the next day.

  • During a dark time, my sister knew I needed to see things new again–new hopes, new dreams. She conspired to get me away from my everyday life for a while, and took me on a road trip to our childhood home in Washington State via Yellowstone Park from Colorado. As we started north and then west, we bought park guides and journals by guides who forged the Oregon Trail, and we followed many of the landmarks from Scotts Bluff, Nebraska, west. One of us would read in the journals what landmarks to look for and what life was like along the trail, as the other drove. We stopped at Chimney Rock, Signature Rock, Split Rock, Fort Laramie, Independence Rock–so many forgotten American landmarks ignored now by tourists looking for more gilded adventures in theme parks. We relied on the guide books more than road maps and picked our way west. We walked in the wagon ruts, and along quiet trails where the traffic is mostly antelope and ground squirrels now. I picked up three flat stones in the Painted Hills of Utah to make a little cairn, or stack of stones, that sits on a bookshelf by my desk. The stones are a testament to hard ground others crossed before us, their own heartbreaks and hopes in their pockets–a reminder than we’re not alone in our losses or loves and it’s important to leave a trail through these places. The guidebooks that we thought would get us to Yellowstone are still lovely souvenirs of that trip, and the time in our beautiful National Park was full of wonders and so restorative. But those little stones are what I treasure most. One day, I want to return them. And that will be another story.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a mason jar FULL of gorgeous green, blue, brown and white sea glass I collected with my daughter (then 2 years old) while vacationing in Rincon, PR over Christmas. She called them “diamonds”. Every time I look at them, I remember the ocean and our amazing time in the sun!

  • My favorite souvenir is from Colorado Springs, where my brother carved a gift for me out of some scrap wood while he was in basic training at the Air Force Academy. It’s on my wall now!

  • Although I usually gravitate towards tchotskes in daily life, when traveling I tend towards stones and shells for souvenirs. In the summer of 2010, I lived for a month in Prague with a friend who had spent the semester there, sharing a tiny room about 4 foot by 12 foot (we slept foot to head in the room, with barely any inches to spare). On one of my first solo ventures, I was able to nab one of the square stones that make up much of the sidewalks there.
    Though small, about 3 inches by 3 inches by 2 inches, it is quite heavy. When I hold it, my mind drifts to thoughts of all of the many feet that walked on the stone (including my own), the tiny quarters my dear friend and I gladly shared, and the multitude of memories made during those 4 short weeks.

  • My favorite souvenir is a hand hewn wooden sluice box for gold panning from Central City, CO. It was made in the 1890’s and has been hanging on the wall vertically in my living room for many years.

  • After teaching English in Indonesia and traveling around that stunning country for 6 months, I developed my many photos when I returned home. (yes, developed~ it was 1991 before digital cameras) I took about 10 photos and painted some watercolors of them. Framed and hung them on the walls of my many dwellings I have called home since then. Everyday I walk by these paintings and am beamed back to 1991 when I was a fresh faced 25 yr old exploring the world. These little paintings hold such special meaning for me- of a lovely country with amazing people. I am reminded everyday of it’s eternal beauty.

  • My favorite souvenir is a ceramic bowl decorated with painted fishes in different colors. I brought it home from a trip to Damascus, Syria. I bought it from an old lady in a tiny ceramic shop with walls full of bowls, vases, cups and plates. The bowl I brought home was filled with flowers, matching the colors of the fishies. It was so beautiful, and I always think of the old lady when I look at the bowl. I sort of brought home a souvenir of her. She gave me the flowers when I bought the bowl – she said two beauties should never be separated.

  • I spent a month in Japan last year and my most treasured souvenir from that journey is a handmade piece of pottery that I purchased at a tiny shop/cafe run by a husband and wife in the small mountain town of Koyasan. The tiny space is a vegetarian cafe/art gallery and we ate at common tables with people from around the globe who appreciated the food. The art gallery featured handmade items from local artists. The piece I purchased was made from Mount Koya clay and I think of this beautiful place and that day every time I look at it.

  • My most memorable souvenir is a bag of black sand I collected from a hidden beach in Vieques. This was the most magical, beautiful beach I have ever spent time on with this incredible magnetic black sand. I didn’t want to leave the moment so I packed some sand to take with me. The best part was witnessing my boyfriend dutifully carrying it around and back home in his luggage despite its very heavy, cumbersome nature. We laugh about how silly that was, but are so glad the sand made its way into our lives forever.

  • My favorite is a tiny carved elephant made from volcanic rock. It actually broke in half on my way back to the states, but I love it in its tiny pieces. It always feels warm in my hand.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a single cobblestone from a trip I took to Prague in my 20’s. I spent weeks wandering the winding, hilly cobblestone streets there and looking around in awe. When it was time to go, I packed a little, imperfectly square cobblestone into my bag. The surface is smooth from years of being stepped on, and the sides and bottom are rough with grains of Czech earth. It has travelled with me from apartment to apartment and now sits on my dresser.

  • My favorite souvenirs are the 1970’s woven souvenir badges my parents and I collected when I was a kid growing up in Australia. Unlike my talented mom, I cannot sew, so I plan on arranging and framing them…one of these days…

  • When my boyfriend and I were in Spain last year, we purchased a lovely little watercolor from an elderly lady on a street corner. It was of a cathedral we’d just seen surrounded by flowers. We started talking to her and she told us the painting was done by her husband, and that even though he wasn’t there we could find him in a “magic machine.” Took us a couple minutes to figure out she was telling us to look him up on the internet from our computer. :) Though we never looked him up, the watercolor is in my hallway now and every time the bright red flowers in the corner catch my eye, I think of her and the magic machine.

  • My husband and I bought these southwestern inspired sconces one of first trip together to Arizona and I love them.

  • I have grown up in a traveling family, and my home is filled with reflections of this: phone insulators from a Malawian roadside, war arrows from Papua New Guinea, oil paintings of landscapes from Zambia and St Lucia. But the souvenir I most treasure is a bowl of sea shells collected by my great-grandmother on a trip to Guatemala at a time when a woman traveling alone was nearly scandalous. Driven by her love for the indigenous people and despite her age, she went anyway. That spirit is something worth remembering.

  • This perfectly rough and colored woven blanket from Mexico. So many wonderful memories being wrapped in it with the ones I love.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a small silver pig charm I purchased while studying abroad in Morocco. His little arms and legs are able to move and wiggle. I remember I was so bad at bartering that the man at the jewelry store felt guilty and actually gave me a pair of earrings along with it! I wear this charm on a long silver chain almost every day.

  • While walking the beach in Cayucos, CA, I spotted a piece of sand dollar peeking through the sand. I went to pick it up, and to my surprise it turned out to be whole sand dollar, as petite, delicate and perfect as can be. I couldn’t believe my luck! It now lives on my bathroom mirror’s shelf, and I look at it every morning while preparing for the day. It reminds me of the blessings I’ve been given.

  • A small round blue vase from the town my grandfather grew up in, and where my great-uncle lived his whole life.

  • I treasure (and use almost daily) a delicate pair of silver earrings I picked up in an outdoor market in Moscow. They are simple and modern and I had to bargain for them, so they required language skills to obtain.

  • In an out-of-the-way store devoted to maps on Cape Cod on a wintry day, I was looking for a particular map of Italy or England. But instead I found a treasure, a hand drawn map of Olde Cape Codd with shipwrecks, deer, cherubs, vast forest and dragons: gold, black and whimsical. I kept coming back to it. It wasn’t anything I was looking for but I kept feeling drawn to it.
    I found a true find. I have travelled overseas, but i love the history of my own country, too. This map of Cape Cod is truly magical, which life can be if we keep our hearts opened. I hope I can share a picture of this map with everyone.

  • I always collect patches from the places I visit. I am particularity found of my National Parks collection. I have been sewing them on a big quilt to snuggle with and tell the tales of my adventures.

  • My most treasured souvenir is the antique alarm clock that my aunt gave me when I visited China. I rarely see my relatives in China so it is nice to have something that represents my home country and my family.

  • My favorite souvenir — it is hard to pick one! I really enjoy collecting rocks and shells from each place that I visit. It is a piece of the natural environment that i can carry through my years. i also have a VERY beat-up scarf that i purchased when i was in Israel in 1997. It is something i cherish!

  • My most treasured souvenir will definitely be my dog, Louis. We live in Germany but we will be returning to the States in a year and a half. He will be our souvenir from our time in Germany.

  • While traveling in Europe my digital camera was stolen. The only pictures I have of Paris were the Polaroids I took. By far my most cherished souvenirs!

  • An oversized and perfectly shaped pinecone I picked up in the woods in Lekeitio, Basque country. It sits on my window sill, and when I move (which I’ve done quite a few times) it makes the apartment my own as soon as I unpack it.

  • A small, cast-iron turtle. If you press his head or tail, he has a wind-up bell in his tummy and it rings. Found it in an antique market outside of Paris with my mother about 15 years ago and it has been on my bedside table (wherever I’m living…childhood home, college, 1st, 2nd and 3rd apartments) ever since. I can’t explain why it has such a special place in my heart … I guess it reminds me of summer trips with my mom, spontaneous moments, and slowing down to enjoy life.

  • My favorite souvenire- definatly a wooden spoon that I brought back from Tanzania. I was able to watch the woman carve it. Makes me feel like she helps me stir my coffee each morning.

  • A beautiful ceramic container we bought in Essaouira, Morocco. We were backpacking and it cracked in my backpack, but I used krazy glue to put it back together when we got home… we use it for sugar now :)

  • My favorite souvenir is an olive wood cutting board my partner and I purchased in L’isle sur la Sorgue during an epic road trip through Europe. This beautiful town was the last stop of our trip – we were exhausted and almost out of money! We use this board probably three times a day, and it prompts us to recall all of the wonderful mishaps of that under-planned adventure. It was the best trip of our lives.

  • My favorite souvenir is a gorgeous hand made glass vase from Murano from our honeymoon!

  • A set of green juice glasses I bought at a thrift store in Como, Italy. Thrift shopping in another country is so satisfying and fun.

  • I had a rocky time coming into my husbands family. The first Christmas we were married (so 11 months into our marriage) we went to Vermont with his family. His mom gave me a silver ring with a Garnette, to celebrate our first year as a family. I wear it every day.

  • They may be small, but I treasure the handful of smooth stones taken from a beach in Toulon, France. They represent the ease I felt while traveling and every time I hold them, I remember those breezy summer days.

    Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway! Adler + Co is fantastic.

  • I bought an old astronomy star chart in Italy at a thrift store for 1 euro. It’s tattered but great, and it hangs in my office.

  • My favorite souvenir is a small ceramic holy water font that I found at a flea market in Italy. I collect religious art.

  • Extremely beautiful gilded iconography painted on small, simple blocks of wood that I picked up from a monastery in St. Petersburg, Russia for a few dollars each. Each painting tells a unique story which evokes a rich cultural, religious and aesthetic history.

  • Mine is a tie. My college boyfriend studied abroad in Australia, and when I went to visit he gave me a paper lantern made my Tibetan monks (who we met there) that has the mantra of compassion written on it. The mantra of compassion has really guided me in how I treat others, so this has been my “thing I would save from the fire” for a very long time. I also lived in Japan for 3 years, and treasure (of all things) a collection of postcards, fabrics, and small art prints that I collected throughout my time there. I hope to one day create a wall installation using all of them, now that I plan to stay put for a while :)

  • I have a beautiful jade necklace I purchased in Lusaka, Zambia in 2008. I love it so much and wear it all the time. It’s gorgeous and timeless. Jewelry is such a fun souvenir.

  • when in osaka six years ago, i bought a few basic kitchen knives from one of the oldest knife makers in the doguyasuji (kitchen street!). i was on holiday just before moving from california back to new york and starting over again, so when i finally settled in to my new kitchen in brooklyn, these knives were some of the only things i had. they are so special to me as a reminder of that amazing trip, and of starting a new chapter of my life.

  • My most treasured souvenir is from when my husband and I first started dating. Our first road trip was to a beach a couple hours away and we spent the afternoon talking and collecting sea glass. That sea glass sits in a jar on our dresser next to our framed wedding photo.

    Great giveaway, thanks for the chance.

  • Maybe silly but some of my favorite souvenirs are tickets from planes and trains – I love using them as bookmarks, hanging them on pegboards, sticking them on the fridge – I have some rail tickets from 6 years ago that I still find around in places and love the reminder of where I’ve been!

  • I have a gorgeous jade necklace purchased in Zambia in 2008. It’s a timeless style and I get a lot of wear out of it.

  • My favorite travel souvenir is a set of beautiful jacquard napkins that I bought in Chinon, France. I use them all the time and they transport me to the Loire Valley!

  • My favorite souvenir is an angel pin my dad got me on one of his bus travels. It has a prayer on it I remember my mom teaching me when she was putting me to bed at about 4 years old.

  • I love rocks. I try to bring a (pocket-sized) rock home from my travels. Rocks have been around forever and will persist beyond all of us.

  • A set of wooden Flamenco castanets (hand clappers) I bought when I was 10 on a trip to Spain, Madrid. Very fun to play with, very hard to actually make them sound nice haha

  • I have a tote bag from the weaving studio at Ock Pop Tok Living Craft Centre in Luang Prabang, Laos that I love. The trip to Laos and to Ock Pop Tok was such an education in inequality on a global scale, it was wonderful to see artisans receiving a fair wage for their beautiful, culturally important work!

  • 27 water bottles of sand. All from different beaches that we’ve gone to. Happy memories.

  • An adorable, black and white photograph print of a boy holding pineapples that I picked up on a trip to Puerto Rico.

  • My most treasured souvenir is the Moroccan shoes that I bought from my friend’s host family when I studied abroad one summer in Morocco and Spain. I bought them using only the Arabic that I had learned while studying.

  • beyond the memories of all my travels, I think my favorite is a vintage collection of James Bond stories in French that I found along the Seine in Paris.

  • my most treasured souvenir is a grey alpaca wrap around scarf from living and traveling throughout argentina, it still smells like argentina and i just love it during the winter, it’s so cozy!

  • My most treasured souvenir is a small metal figurine I got on the island of Sardinia. It is of a man playing the bassoon – which I play – and you don’t see many of them around!

  • A Saint Christopher medal that I bought in a little market in a courtyard outside a church in Spain. It had Saint Christoper embossed on one side and a very old fashioned car on the other. I have worn it on every singe; trip or vacation I have taken since I bought it and I VERY VERY sadly lost it on my last trip to Hawaii. :(

  • My favorite souvenir is oddly enough from Portland, OR! Our Ace Hotel wool blanket made by Pendleton is among my most treasured possessions. It’s one of the few things we splurged on during our honeymoon 3 years ago and stays on our bed year round. It is a constant reminder of the beginning of our adventure together.

  • My favorite souvenir is a bunch of small, dried roses from my grandmother’s garden in Dublin, Ireland. It was my first trip outside of the US. I’ve had those flowers for 18 years now…

  • I actually bought a little handmade sheep from Alder & Co. a few years ago believing it would be the only sheep I ever owned. Now I live on my dream farm and am expecting my first two real sheep in a couple of weeks! Meanwhile, my little Alder & Co. sheep sits under his own glass bell jar to remind me that dreams do come true.

  • shells that my 3-year old daughter collected from the “beach” on Lake Powell (Utah/Arizona border). She asked me to take them home for her. Honestly, I never meant to keep them, but they made their way back to Brooklyn with us and are in a mason jar on a bookshelf. Now, they are a reminder of that fantastic trip and I am so thankful that I kept them.

  • I have a tote bag from the weaving studio at Ock Pop Tok Living Craft Centre in Luang Prabang, Laos that I love. That trip was such an important education in inequality on a global scale; it was wonderful to see artisans receiving a fair wage for their culturally important work!

  • My favorite souvenir is the memories created while on vacation. I enjoy thinking on those special times. But with material possessions, I would say a world map that is rendered in music notes I got in Seattle.

  • A photo of my friend posing next to a skull-shaped grave marker at the Certosa in Naples. I take it out on my worst days, smile, and instantly feel better

  • a pair of hand-crafted leather sandals from Berlin. I’ve even had them resoled to keep them going (close to 20 yrs now!)

  • all of the beautiful rocks and stones, feathers and shells, and pressed flowers that i’ve collected.

  • Completely lost in Paris, my husband and I spotted a painting in the window of a small gallery. It was a still life by Guy Charon, and has been hanging in our dining room ever since. I admire it’s beauty every single day.

  • My most treasured souvenirs are old books in Italian (that I can’t understand) but couldn’t live without. I got them at the most charming book store in Rome.

  • A gorgeous copper pot that we watched being made in a small hill town in Italy. Every time I use it, it takes me back to our wonderful travels through the country :)

  • My most treasured souvenir is a perfect sand dollar shell found by my husband on a beach on Anna Maria Island, Florida. He gave it to me with love and I’ve kept it safe and intact ever since. :)

  • My husband and I travel and live in our Airstream fulltime — so we don’t have room for keepsakes of all our travels, but we manage to pick up small things like coasters or local made goods like honey or coffee. Recently we got a local woodworker to make us a teeny tiny rolling pin from local Maldrona wood. So everytime we make bread we remember that place!

  • A small collection of Bay of Fundy smoothed rocks – my family is from New Brunswick and we would visit the shore a lot when I was younger. When I was there to help my grandmother move away from New Brunswick I gathered a few to use as paperweights and just general, natural decorations. A bit heavy, but worth it. :)

  • On our honeymoon in Turkey, my husband and I picked out a run that is themed with Noah’s Ark. It is one of my favorite things to find a place for when we move.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a shiny white shell about 2″x 2″ made into a container. It has a silver opening that clips shut. I bought 2 (they’re both inherently different) from a tiny hole in the wall store in Calcutta India. The store was a complete mom and pop store which was more like a thrift store containing all sorts of random things mostly covered in dust. These 2 shell containers were hidden away in a dusty jewelry case and cost about 50 rupees a piece (approx $1). The souvenir reminds me of that day and time I spent in Calcutta and how in the insanity of this world we live in, that there is light and beauty in thing in places you least expect.

  • My favorite souvenir are my memories of summer beach trips with family and friends. Plus the boxes of snapshots stored in my hall closet!

  • My souvenirs from Paris: French language copies of my favorite books “Madeline” and “Le Petit Prince”. Got them while at the Louvre book/gift shop when I was 17! So proud of myself for this thoughtful souvenir that continues to mean so much to me. I hope to pass them down to my future children.

  • My favorite souvenir is a small piece of driftwood that looks like a bearded man. I found it while on one of my first hikes along the Oregon coast shortly after I moved to the PNW from the Midwest. It’s a wonderful reminder of all the excellent things this place has to get out again for a hike!

  • I have two! The first is a sketch of the English countryside a very nice, elderly man on the train gave me after we struck up a conversation…he liked to ride around on the trains to different places, sketching as he went along. The second is a pressed penny of the Lord’s Prayer from the Musee Mecanique in San Francisco.

  • My most treasured souvenirs would be my photos I have taken on the trips. Helps me to remember everything I did on the trip and something I can always share with people.

  • Purchased 1st Ed. Jane Eyre on the SouthBank in London at the book kiosks. I open it regularly, to look at the woodcut pictures and go back in time to that walk.

  • I have a collection of stones and shells from forests and beaches that I love. They are a reminder of quite and calm when I need it.

  • I picked up this vintage American flag that I absolutely love. It’s the first thing I hang up when I move to a new apartment

  • Being a student, I haven’t been able to travel as much as I want to, but my favorite excursion thus far was to a remote village in eastern Uganda. I volunteered at a pediatric clinic for a few weeks and left a little piece of my heart in the deep red mud when I left. Two of my favorite keepsakes from that trip are 1) locally roasted coffee beans (literally roasted by my neighbor!), and 2) a handwoven scarf made by a mother in the village. The scarf is my go-to and a great reminder of the people and places beyond my immediate surrounding.

  • My most treasured travel souvenir is a simple sterling silver necklace my husband bought me on our honeymoon in Charleston, SC. It reminds me of our peaceful time there, enjoying balmy weather and good food and time alone, together.

  • My dad would always bring me & my sister back thimbles from wherever he had traveled. I still have my collection.

  • My favorite souvenirs are the Christmas ornament my husband and I pick up whenever we travel out of state. They aren’t necessarily “ornaments” but bits and bobs that remind us of the place or the mood. Every year we place them on our tree and the memories come flooding back. We will have 31 (!) ornaments this year.

  • Not only was my favorite souvenir from a trip a bottle of olive oil from the Alps that I bought at a hole-in-the-wall fantastic restaurant in Paris, it was the most delicious one, too.

  • My favorite souvenirs are stones from each of my favorite beaches. My daughter is named Alder! So I’m natch thrilled to see that your store is interesting, thoughtful, and beautiful!!

    xo Jorey

  • My favorite souviners are the street art from italy framed throughout my home. The pieces are beautiful but its the stories behind them that I’ll cherish forever. Hearing stories from each artist was truly magical.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a two and a half foot long Turkey Vulture feather that I found on a camping trip at the Russian River many years ago. It is epic in size and makes up for its ignominious origins by the memories it holds. It was a hard time in my life and I was going through a lot of financial strain and uncertainty and the idea of scavenging was actually very heartening to me. In a way I followed the lead of the much reviled, but also totally awesome, Turkey Vulture by scavenging my free souvenir, which has stayed on the dashboard of my old Subaru through 7 moves and 3 states. It is a memento in the best sense of the word as it jogs my memory every day, symbolizing both that lovely camping trip and a perfect day at the river, as well as my own personal resiliency.

  • An enamel box that I got at the flea market in Paris. I collect them but this is by far my favorite one. It is an abstraction of a bird, wings, feathers, but the image is starting to rub away which for me makes it really magical.

  • A coin pendant my best friend and I found in Lisbon on our last day of travel. This man was taking coins from all over the world, usually given to him by travelers, and carving out the shapes and designs. He had two coins from Cyprus that feature a girl riding on a cow’s back carved out (we THINK he said Cyprus. I’ve tried googling “Cyprus coin girl cow” with, oddly, no luck). We each got one, before parting ways and going to college in different countries. I wear it every day.

  • This is a difficult question. I love to travel so my home is filled with souvenirs from trips abroad. My most treasured souvenir… the colorful dala horse from Sweden. It always makes me smile.

  • My most treasured souvenir are te spices we purchased while on St. Lucia. Every time I open the jar of cinnamon sticks or sassafras root, I’m taken back to markets. Oh the sulfur soap!!! It’s all amazing and it all brings waves of sense memories….

  • My dad gave me a tiny silver box and a silver bracelet he bought in Seville when I was 12, and when he gave them to me, it was the first time I really thought about traveling and wanting to see new places. I’ve basically had the travel bug ever since.

  • A quetzal feather we found laying on the ground of the costa-rican rainforest – apparently quite a rare find!

  • My favorite souvenir is a blown glass vase from Freiburg in Germany from a family vacation – it is all these beautiful blues and whites, and we saw them making them right there!

  • Wow! Such a beautiful shop. My favorite souvenir is a chandelier a friend gave me in France. It’s small but sparkly. I brought it home on the plane as my carry-on and had to change the wiring so it would work in the US, and I completely love it.

  • In 1985 I bought a dress at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. I think I can just squeeze into it and it makes me feel just a tiny bit Parisian.

  • My mother and I went on a road trip together to Ireland after she was diagnosed with a terminal illness last year. We stopped in a little antique shop in Galway to try on jewlery, just for fun. But I fell in love with this ruby ring, and after some prodding from mom, bought it for myself using some money my grandfather left me. It’s beautiful and extravagant, but it makes me think of my grandfather, and will always remind me of that trip with my mom, and was worth every penny.

  • While abroad in Italy, we were walking around touring all the beautiful leather shops. During a rest period, I was leaning against a windowsill outside a storefront, when I found a very tiny silver key (smaller than my pinky) on the windowsill. I’m not sure if it was from anything significant–a gift shop item, a missing charm from a tourist’s necklace, I’m not sure. But I preferred this found treasure to any other item I purchased on that trip.

  • I make sure that I get a bottle opener from every place I visit. I have a collection of them hanging on my wall. I’m slightly inclined to say that the one I brought back from Chicago is my favorite souvenir but it’s almost like picking a favorite child!

  • When we were in Mexico we had a street artist paint us a picture of the beach at sunset. The technique was amazing he used a credit card and cans of spray paint – and this amazing picture emerged while we watched. I’m also rather fond of the lobster trap bouys from the Florida Keys that hang in our dining room – barnacles and all.

  • My sister lives in Seattle and I love visiting her. A few years ago I asked her if we can go see a glass blowing workshop. The artists there are amazing and I was thrilled to share the experience with family. While we were there I picked out a small bowl. Every time I look at it, I think of my niece, nephew, and sister and it makes me smile.

  • A couple of watercolor paintings bought off the streets of Florence. Street art is the best.

  • my dearest find from my travels was in germany, we did a road trip from town to town and since it was during christmas, got to enjoy the christmas markets that every town offered. one of the booths had cowhides and leather goods and i found the most gorgeous little cowhide ive seen. the whole trip i was in awe of how gorgeouse and white were all the cows in their fields , so buying this was really special to me. it was a pain to bring it home to the states, but its now in a special corner of my home and it reminds me of that trip.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a pair of tapas from Tonga. They are handmade paper panels painted with vegetable inks. I love the complex patterns and the symbology behind the patterns.

  • My favorite souvenir is a small, oddly shaped yet beautiful porcelain vase that my husband and I brought back from Japan on our honeymoon. It’s such a unique piece that makes me happy every time I see it.

  • When my grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, we knew that we’d only have a short window where he’d be able to travel back to Ireland to see family and friends. So we blocked off 2 weeks, rented a car, and spent a crazy family vacation corralling my grandparents and my family around the country. We brought home a lot of trinkets and sweaters, but my favorite, most precious souvenir is a photo of me and my grandfather smiling, with the Cliffs of Moher in the background.

    The Alzheimer’s took him pretty quickly – first his short-term memory, then his long-term memories, then his ability to eat. Eventually it took his life. But I will always have the happy photo of us together in his favorite place in the world.

  • So hard. I have a lot of great ones from my time studying abroad in Europe, but I think my favorite is the wine tasting spoon I was given the first time my study abroad group went wine tasting in the caves of Beaune. It now sits on my dresser and holds my rings.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a collection – the deer and moose antler sheds, wolf’s tooth, and various skulls and feathers collected by my boyfriend and I while working as tree planters in Northern British Columbia.

  • I have a large painting from Florence, IT that I carried through four airports! It was a hassle to say the least, but it looks amazing framed on my wall. Thanks for the chance!

  • One of my most memorable adventures was a 5-hour hike from Ollantaytambo, Peru to the small Quechua village of Patacancha. Walking along the valley, I was greeted by a friendly family who shared a glass of homemade chicha, a woman sorting quinoa in the bustle of her dress, and school children that were delighted when I joined in on a game of rolling a car tire with a stick. When I reached town, I was met by locals who wore the most colorful woven fabrics and hats. I bought a beautiful pink alpaca textile with geometric and floral patterns on it from a local weaver. I was amazed when she quickly counted and made note of the intricate pattern, before giving me the piece. Her friend, who spoke some Spanish, told me that it was the only way she could replicate the design. I cherish this souvenir, not only because it is beautiful and unique, but also because it reminds me of these amazing people and place.

  • My favorite souvenir is this gold beaded butterfly clip that I got from a very kind man whom I met when trying to get from KaoShiung to Taipei late one night after flying in from Hong Kong. When we were both waiting for the bus to go from the airport to the train station, he asked if I had any change to break one of his bills. I didn’t have enough change for that, but I had enough change to give him for the bus fare. On the bus, I came to tell him of my story of how my mom & I got separated because the flights to Taipei were oversold and I had to be rerouted & how I had never taken the train before so I was nervous about the journey. Coincidentally, he happened to work for the train station & pledged to a) pay me back for the bus fare when we got to the station (his office) & b) to help me get to Taipei. He rode with me for part of the way and told his conductor friend to issue his “niece” a ticket when we got to Taipei. Before he got off the train, he gave me one of many butterfly clips he brought back from China as souvenirs for his family. I now keep that butterfly clipped to my desk pen holder to remind me of that kind man and to, in general, remind me of the good in the world =)

  • I treasure a pair of glass earrings I bought on a trip to New Orleans. I was visiting my best college friend there and noticed she had a similar pair, so went to buy some for myself. I think of her each time I wear them!

  • I love all my suvenirs, coz each one of them reminds me of a beautiful place that i visited! But i love jewlery so the most i treasure my bracelet from turkey!

  • A stack of 50 gorgeously graphic black and white vintage letters purchased at the flea market in Nice on my honeymoon. I mounted them on a board and framed them. Now they hang above our sofa as a reminder of a life-changing trip!

  • I always collect a rock or shell from my travels. My favorite and most treasured is my little rock from Big Sur. That place is magical!

  • Two things – I have a bowl of packets of sugar and sugar cubes from everywhere I’ve been. I also like to buy something ordinary – like soap, shampoo or a nail polish so I can have a little trip down memory lane when I use these products after my return.

  • My favorite souvenir is a porcelain jewelry box I bought while living in Prague. It has a beautiful Mucha painting on the lid.

  • My favorite souvenir is a traditional Chiapan pottery bird that we bought at a market in San Cristobal de las Casas on a backpacking trip in 2007. After carefully packing it all the way home, it sits on our mantel as a reminder of our great trip .

  • It’s a little silly, but a heart shaped rock my boyfriend brought back from our trip to the Oregon coast.

  • i love Alder & Co, they were so lovely when I ordered from them and all my stuff was beautiful! My favorite souvenir is sand from every ocean I visit. I put it in vintage bottles on a shelf and it makes me feel closer to the ocean. I was never into collecting shells but the sand and it’s colors feels calming. If it has to be a purchased souvenir, my girlfriend talked me into bringing back a cowhide from Brazil and I have never regretted it!

  • a cotton hand crocheted bag from Colombia – it remind me of the beautiful places I saw there and it’s deliciously handmade.

  • Three wooden spoons I purchased in Avignon, France. They’re the only thing I reach for when I’m cooking — they’re perfectly designed, simple as can be, but the most valued tool in my kitchen. And they always remind me of the tiny kitchen store I picked them up in, and my wonderful trip.

  • My favorite souvenirs are usually rocks, shells or other small natural reminders of a trip. Though, my Josef Frank coasters from Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm are probably my favorite purchased souvenirs.

  • A few years ago I visited Cuba and found these papermache recreations of Andy Warhol’s Cambpell’s Soup cans with subversive soup names. Instead of the traditional Cambell’s soup medallion, the medallion features the iconic Che Guevera silhouette. I still smile when I look at them.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a sterling brooch with my Mom’s initials, that I brought back from Budapest for her. Now that she is gone it means even more…

  • my mask collection. i have masks and skulls from guatemala, china, africa, germany, mongolia, etc.

  • My home is full of sentimental family mementos and items great-grandparents and grandmothers have made, but my favorite travel souvenir is a carved wooden Welsh spoon from when I studied abroad in college. I gave it to my grandma, but when she passed away my dad gave it back to me. It’s hanging above my kitchen sink.

  • On my bookshelf I have a little glass of snake wine with the snake still inside from Vietnam. I’m Vietnamese and it’s nice to have an interesting keepsake that reminds me of my heritage.

  • My pope snow globe from Rome. Inside the globe a giant Pope John Paul II towers over St. Peter’s like Godzilla as the snow gently swirls around him. I think it was 4 Euro.

  • my most treasured souvenir is a pair of old traditional korean baby shoes that my mother saved from when i was a baby. they’re simply adorable and i love the beautiful colors.

  • My favorite souvenir is a large heart shaped rock that I found on the beach in Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire. It’s not only heart shaped, it’s fairly anatomically correct and is an amazing shade of dark red.

  • A few years ago I came across some clever paper mach recreations of Warhol’s Cambell’s soup cans at an open market. The artist gave the soups subversive names and painted the iconic Che Guevera silhouette in the traditional Cambell’s soup medallion. I still smile when I look at them–they are so absurd and yet so brilliant at the same time.

  • My favorite souvenir is a miniature figurine of The Little Prince that I found in a tiny village in France when I was 8 years old. This kind old man, straight out of a fairy tale, had a shop where he made these intricate little figurines (only an inch or so big) by hand, and they were beautiful. It always reminds me of the magic and beauty of France.

  • My most treasured souvenir is my EuroRail pass from the semester I spent studying in Switzerland. I used the pass to travel to Italy, France, Germany, Holland and Luxembourg. Such beautiful memories!

  • A hand carved water buffalo from the Philippines. Not only does it remind me of the trip I went on as an adult, but it reminds me of being a child and playing with the similar one my sister had.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a woven wool blanket that I bought at an artisan craft fair in London. I was able to talk with the artist about her beautiful work and bring home something that I use every day. I love to buy art when I travel as it reminds me daily of all the wonderful places in the world.

  • Delicate ceramics from Portugal that miraculously made it home safely in my backpack!

  • My most treasured souvenir is a heart-shape rock that my son, Joseph, brought to me from the Oregon coast. He went there to visit my folks and brought this gift for my heart-shape rock collection. Joseph has left this life and my folks are living in memory care.

  • My most treasured souvenir is actually our collection of teas that we’ve picked up from across the world! We have over 150 of them! Every time I brew a cup I’m transported back to the place where I first tasted the tea. It’s such a simple, beautiful pleasure.

  • Not sure this qualifies, but my cat. She was a stray that I brought home with me. For years, she provided me with love and companionship and a daily reminder of that wonderful beach trip as well.

  • since i graduated from school and moved into the city I have had a christmas tree but found that it was pretty bare compared to the one i remember from growing up. so my boyfriend (now husband) and i decided to start collecting ornaments from where ever we go. Now every year as we decorate the tree we remember the sunset in santorini, the elephant ride in thailand, the bonfire in santa ynez and so on.

  • I have a tote bag from the weaving studios of Ock Pop Tok Living Craft Centre in Luang Prabang, Laos that I love! What an incredible opportunity to see women getting paid fairly for their beautiful work.

  • My most treasured souvenir is this hand thrown porcelain plate I bought myself in Switzerland on my first trip out of the country when I was 19. I signifies so much to me: independence, dreams do come true, and true craftsmanship lasts forever.

  • A skeleton key that I bought at a Paris flea market. I wear it on a chain around my neck almost every day.

  • My favorite souvenir was a little voodoo doll from Marie Laveaus house of voodoo in New Orleans. I put it in a shadow box and hung it in my living room. It is quite the conversation starter and only cost a few dollars.

  • I had my first travel experience when a friend and I went to New Zealand in college. We played rugby and backpacked throughout the country. We spent time and befriended the “presidents” of the Weymouth community. We were 18 and they were 30, an older team from the rugby club. They were on tour in the south island and they asked us to come along. And so started a life long friend ship. They gave me a South Auckland rugby jersey that was a sign of acceptance. I still have the jersey today and it is a powerful reminder of the importance of friendships and making authentic connections.

  • My husband Eric and I have been fortunate enough to take out fair share of trips around the globe. This past summer, as a last hurrah before we had our baby this past winter, we decided to discover part of our own country rather than skipping off to an island or Paris (my favorite). We ended up in Port Townsend, Washington, and had the most fabulous time. The people of the town were so welcoming, the weather was phenomenal, and the shops along the town’s main street gave us a deeper understanding of the West Coast culture we were living in. It was in one of these shops, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, that I bought my most treasured souvenir, though I didn’t realize it at the time. It was a small, waterproof marine map that showed all of the waterways, little coves, and inlets in the surrounding area. On our ferry ride to Seattle, at the end of our trip, I glanced over the map trying to pinpoint all of the places we had visited over the past week. A little tiny body of water, named Lake Isabel, jumped out at me. We hadn’t been there but the name of the lake would not leave my mind the whole way back to Brooklyn. Up until this point Eric and I could not agree on a name for our little baby girl that was to come in the next few months. When we returned home I showed Eric the little lake near the little town in Washington that we had just spent the most wonderful week at and we both knew our new baby would be named Isabel .. it just felt right. My most treasured souvenir, the marine map with Lake Isabel, is now hanging above her crib … it is a reminder of the wonderful people and culture that we discovered in Port Townsend, Washington.

  • My most treasured souvenir is the pair of Moroccan shoes I bought from my friend’s host family while studying abroad in Morocco. I used only the Arabic that I had learned to buy them.

  • I have a small jade bell that I purchased at an outdoor market in Hong Kong years ago. The experience of traveling on my own, finding and negotiating a price for the bell, and bringing it home as a reminder of my days’ adventure always acts as a touchstone for the importance of going out into the world, of traveling and of being open to small objects of beauty, and the importance of memory as a key to keeping you true to what makes you special and unique.

  • My favorite souvenir is my sketchbook from Italy – it’s one of my most prized treasures. Kind of like I got to bring back all those fabulous buildings and details that I drew home with me.

  • A lovely set of hand-made bowls I bought from an artist while I was living in Korea. It’s nice being reminded of the wonderful memories I made there over breakfast cereal or a bowl of soup.

  • My favorite souvenir is the perfect sand dollar I collected on the Oregon coast, while visiting friends. It was pristine, unbroken, and seemed to be waiting for me on the beach. It came at a time when I was feeling low and discouraged about what life had ahead for me. I keep it on my desk as a reminder that there are beautiful things in life right in front of you.

  • A hand carved wooden owl from my mom’s hometown of Oxapampa, Peru. It took her 31 years to go back home, a 10 hour drive from Lima, and 5 years after my brother had passed away. We never got to go as a complete family, but I hold that souvenir close to my heart and near a picture of him to remind me of where I have come from.

  • A 1960s Dutch “vruchtbrood” bread tin I got from the Noordermarkt flea market while in Amsterdam. I kept all my train/bus/flight/museum/concerts stubs and small finds along my travels in there. Almost 4 years later, it still sits on my desk with all the mementos packed in there.

  • Normally I’m not one to buy souvenirs because I’d rather be out exploring rather than shopping, but I am in love with the little kiwi bird figurine I brought back home with me from New Zealand. We were able to see a real one while on our trip and I was so amazed by the flightless bird!

  • When I lived in England as a college student I found a lovely, antique, illustrated copy of Wind in the Willows in London, and I pressed flowers and grasses in its pages from each place I traveled to that spring. Those flowers are still there hiding between different sections as I now read the book to my 7 year old son, and our love of the story, that book, and those pressed flowers reminding of that spring are a perfect combination of memories from past and present.

  • My favorite souvenir is the hand carved wood sculpture my husband and I got on our honeymoon. We watched the man engrave our names and the date into the sculpture. I’d like to start collecting memories form our future trips in the form of photos or scrapbooking though. Our house can only handle so many souvenirs.

  • Before we were married, my husband traveled to Japan and returned with gifts for me. In addition to very nice girlfriend-y gifts, he brought me one silly present. I love my monkey hooks. They are heavy painted metal, and link together like the barrel of monkeys toys. We have hung them somewhere in every place we have lived together.

  • My most treasured artifacts from travels abroad is a section of mosaic flooring found in Paestum, Italy. Unlike the touristy barricades of Pompeii, Paestum remains nestled and virtually untouched in the countryside of Italy. The ancient ambiance persists to this day and their magnificent home decor stands the test of many centuries.

  • I’ve longed to travel to Paris but it’s an unrealized dream at the moment. My favorite souvenir is a little gold charm and trip photo of the Eiffel Tower that my late mom picked up in her adventures in Paris over 40 years ago. While these vintage gems aren’t something that I personally collected, they’re a wonderful memory of my mom that also serve as inspiration for my future travels.

  • I visited this great artist in Granville Island in Vancouver. She creates and hand paints ceramic tiles. Her workshop was so quaint and lovely. I picked up a little tile with my initial strung on a silver chain. One of my favorite souvenirs!

  • In every city I visit, I purchase a map, these maps are everything from prints of antique maps, to artist maps, to postcard maps, ect. My absolute favorite map, which I actually lost in a move, was a print of an antique map of Venice. I studied Art abroad in Venice for a semester in college and while there I fell in love with one of the maps we looked at in my art history class. One day I wandered into this tiny little shop in a back alley covered from floor to ceiling with all sorts of trinkets, joke gifts, venetian flags, old tins, prints, and anything else you could imagine. It was literally just piles and piles or random things stacked in unstable mounds. You had to dig to find what you wanted. It was run by this adorable little old Italian man who joked with us about leaving through the back door, which led straight into a canal. After that day I tried to return but could never find it again since Venice is such a maze, of a city. That map is definitely my favorite souvenir of all time!

  • The incredibly soft handwoven wool scarf I purchased from a family of sheep farmers located in the Indian Himalayas. They used natural materials for the most beautifully bright colors. Their weaves, while very traditional, look incredibly modern.

  • When I was 18, I was lucky enough to travel to Italy and spend a few nights in the house where my Grandmother’s father was born. I had never met my Italian family, and they took me in and treated me as if they had known me all my life. We took a day trip to the Murano island and Nonno (My grandmother’s cousin- a gentle, loving man) bought me a traditional blown glass pendant. This is my favorite object!

  • My most treasured souvenir is actually a little dress that I found in the town of Hudson New York for my daughter. It was sewn by a mother and her daughter who collect vintage fabrics. My daughter Lillian worry it to the seams but despite its wear, I have saved it for another baby or maybe for my sisters daughter one day. It was so inexpensive for all the handiwork that was put into it but I have come to learn that the most treasured objects have no true price.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a silver ring from a trip to Geneva, IL. I visited once in high-school with mom and we stumbled upon a little street vendor who made all her jewelry, I haven’t taken it off since!

  • When I lived in England as a college student I found a lovely, antique, illustrated copy of Wind in the Willows in London, and I pressed flowers and grasses in its pages from each place I traveled to that spring. Those flowers are still there hiding between different sections as I now read the book to my 7 year old son, and our love of the story, that book, and those pressed flowers reminding me of that spring are a perfect combination of memories from past and present.

  • My most treasured souvenir would have to be the taxidermy squirrel my husband used to propose to me with (long story :) ) It came from a quint little town in Norther California.

  • A friend gave me a beautiful, painted handmade bowl from a Weihnachtsmarkt in Germany while I lived there. I still use it for my porridge every morning. My happy little ritual.

  • My favorite souvenir was a beautiful wood carved mask that I brought back from a trip to my family’s in Cameroon! It was cheap to get and yet so beautifully made.

  • My most treasured souvenirs are the vinaigrette necklace I bought at the antique store in New Orleans that my father bought my mother’s wedding ring, and the rosebud perfume from the parfum shop next door to the antique store that I soak pieces of cloth in to keep inside the necklace.

  • Every vacation, my husband and I get a Christmas ornament that reminds us of the trip. This collection of ornaments is my favorite souvenir.

  • I was on a four month backpacking trip in Europe when I was 20 and I bought this beautiful small quilt in the town of moustier st. Marie in France. We visited there in the beginning of the trip and I really didn’t want it to get ruined so I wrapped it in garbage bags and a dry bag and put it in the very bottom of my pack. It survived perfectly and I still have it ten years later.

  • My all time – number one souvenir is a photo strip. I know – this is not something you can sell in a store but it’s the honest to goodness truth. My husband and I got lost on the way to pantheon in Rome – we hadn’t had enough gelato that day so things were getting a bit tense….when we turned the corner and there is this cute little photobooth. I love photobooths – almost to the point of it being a tad unhealthy. I have photo albums dedicated to photo strips…I seek them out on every vacation.

    My second favorite souvenir is a polka dot linen scarf. I bought if from a street vendor for 5 euro. I love it so much because it is unique and yet so everyday. Not precious but super special none the less.

  • When I was 26 years old I traveled to Ethiopia with my job to visit an orphanage and also to pick up two little girls who were being adopted by a family in the States. It was my first time in an African country and it was a whirlwind. I didn’t have much time for souvenir shopping but on our sole trip to a market I spotted a beautiful long necklace of colorful beads, bobbles, clay pieces and shells. I thought it to be a beautiful representation of the color, warmth and culture of the country. I have promently displayed it in every place I have lived in since then (it’s too big to wear). And now it is even more significant to me as my younger 24 yr old brother recently moved to Ethiopia with the Peace Corps! I’m so proud of him and can’t wait to visit again, in the meantime the necklace is a reminder of my past trip, the wonderful people I crossed paths with while there, my future trip, and my brother who I am very proud of!

  • When I was in high school I was traveling around Washington with some of my best friends. We were in the San Juans and enjoying the beaches and fresh air. A friend was searching for sea glass and came upon a large shell which she handed to me. Ever since I’ve kept it with me, and it instantly makes me think of her and all of the moments we’ve had together.

  • When I was in my early twenties I went on a mini tour with a local punk band I was friends with, just a few days with a couple of shows. We stopped into this hole in the wall thrift / junk shop in the middle of nowhere Montana and I stumbled upon a perfectly sized vintage jean jacket. Nearly a decade and a half later I still wear it. A tiny bit snug in the shoulders but it reminds me of that feeling of freedom and lack of boundary. The authenticity and joy of a life well lived and opportunity not missed can not be underestimated! Carpe diem!

  • An amber ring I bought on trip to Honolulu 15 years ago.. I still have it and wear it all the time! The amber is cracked down the middle and I feel it adds character.

  • My most treasured item is a small, hand-carved wooden elephant from Thailand, discovered at the Elephant Nature Park outside of Chiang Mai while on a trip with one of my oldest friends. They’re a non-profit shelter that not only takes in elderly or injured elephants, but also has over 300 dogs and cats they care for and adopt out. Each elephant has their designated mahout caretaker, and the mahouts carve and sell little statues of their elephants. It’s a reminder to me of the spirit of adventure, and humanities capacity for extraordinary acts of kindness.

  • Every time I visit my family in Belgium I pick up something random in a shop and whenever I see it around my house, it instantly brings up memories of my trip and my family, who I don’t see often enough.

  • My favorite souvenir is a sand dollar that I found on the beach in Oregon while I was visiting friends. Unlike others I had found in the past, this one was intact, pristine and seemed to be waiting for me. After going through a personal setback, it came at a time when I was feeling there wasn’t much ahead for me. I keep it on my desk as a reminder that there is a lot of surprises and beauty, if you keep your eyes open.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a painted handmade bowl from a Weihnachtsmarkt in Germany that a friend gave me for Christmas while I was living there. It is my morning ritual to have porridge in it every day I have time to eat at home in the morning (except on pancake days, of course).

  • Some ridiculously, foolishly wide legged jeans from when I studied in Spain. They have gone from something I wear regularly to the costume bin, but treasured none the less!!

  • My favorite souvenir is a pair of hand-carved gourd and silver earrings purchased straight from the artisan in Lima, Peru. (In fact, I’m wearing them right now!) They mean a lot because they remind me of my visit with family there, and I love their unique, handmade look.

  • This past summer, i went on a trip to France with my guy and my 11 year old son. We had the best vacation of our lives and , at one point, we found a tiny flea market in St Martin. The sun was shining, the beautiful beach was to our left and the flea market was in a small parking lot where the ground was made up of what seemed like crushed shells , as the ground glittered in the sun. I found an antique trifold vanity mirror ( in pretty rough shape) and an old metal sign warning of the danger of electricity which has , in large red letters, the words : Danger De Mort (danger of death). My son’s middle name is Danger so it had to be bought. I got to haggle in french and brought the treasures home wrapped up in my clothes. Now whenever my eye catches one of these beat up treasures, it evokes the exact feeling of that beautiful day in France with my two favourite people.

  • I am a California girl who loves being outdoors in nature. Several years ago my generous husband gifted me a trip to Esalen to take a raku class. We dug clay from the hills during the day and stayed up all night drinking tea and building the kiln to fire our pottery.
    It was a magical trip that changed me in many ways. Big Sur has always been a place of creative inspiration for me and I carry a small piece of driftwood with me from that trip as a reminder.

  • A wood love spoon from Wales is my favorite souvenir from a trip… A bought it with my then boyfreind – now husband ! It’s still hanging on the wall of our kitchen !

  • The scarves, jewelry and trinkets I picked up at the Gold Souk market in Dubai during a trip with my sister in January 2011. We ate a copious amount of lime infused pistachios and pomegranate seeds.

  • My favorite souvenir is the handmade aphgan that I rescued from my grandfather’s home in northern, rural Wisconsin after he died. The rich earth tones lead to me believe that it was a family heirloom left over from the 60s or 70s and I like to imagine all of his loved ones that found comfort in it’s embrace.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a small wooden wall carving from Kenya. I bought it for my parents when I was studying there in college, and toted it around in my backpack fro 4 months. It arrived home worse for wear, cracked and broken. I painstakingly glued it together, careful of the rhinos and elephants. They had it on their wall for many years. Now they are gone, and I have it in my kitchen, where I see it every day and think of them, and of Africa.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a small glass “Hershey” styled kiss. It’s tiny and fits in the palm of my hand. My husband purchased it for me on one of our first dates while we were exploring downtown Portland, ME. It walked down the aisle with me when I married him, tucked into the ribbon fold of my flowers. And I have had it with me when we have welcomed all three of our boys to the world. It is currently tucked away in my hospital bag to welcome our first daughter…..any day now.

  • I have a little goddess statue – all breasts and belly and fertility – that I brought back from a lovely sun-drenched trip to Crete with my dear mom.

  • When I was a kid I found a perfectly intact sand dollar on a family trip to the gulf coast. I was so proud of myself that I ran around showing everyone and boasting to my cousins. My mom was worried that I would smash it, so she had my grandpa create a cast of it in dental gold (he’s a dentist). Now I have a beautiful and unique souvenir that also doubles as a family heirloom.

    This is a BEAUTIFUL store. I live in NW Portland in an apartment that could use a little love from Alder & Co.

  • I try to buy a scarf from every place I visit; then when i wear it, it always takes me back to vacation mode.

  • I wear a custom ring that I had made in Jerusalem. It’s a daily reminder of that amazing trip (and one of my favorite cities). *fingers crossed*

  • My favorite souvenir is oddly enough, from Portland, OR! Our Ace Hotel wool blanket made by Pendelton is among my most treasured possessions. It’s one of the few things we splurged on during our honeymoon 3 years ago and stays on our bed year round. It is a constant reminder of the beginning of our adventure together.

  • A rock my husband and I brought back from a beach in Sydney on our first trip together!

  • My favorite souvenir is from when I was in India right after the tsunami. We visited a leprosy colony where alot of damage was done from the store. Some of the patients in colony were selling paintings that they had done so that they could raise money to rebuild their village. I bought a beautiful painting of an elephant which I still have hanging above my bed!

  • Most of my traveling in my 26 years of life has been when I was younger, and unable to fit souvenirs into my budget or baggage. I went to Spain and Morocco when I was 14, and bought nothing but cheap fans and general crap – my most treasured souvenir from that trip is the collection of photos I took, from a disposable camera, no less!

  • It was 7am and I’d just gotten back to my hotel room where I took a 15 minute nap then hopped the first cab to Charles de Gaulle. I tossed the curly white duke’s wig into my carry on. A chance (platonic) encounter with a French model won me an invitation to the annual Princesses Ball in Paris at the Bois de Boulogne where the required dress was as Duke or Princess – something they took seriously. It was one of the best nights of my life and I was one of the only Americans at the party. I stayed up all night with 2,000 new French friends dancing and talking. The wig hangs today in my closet. Every time I see it I’m reminded of the night I was a fish in a different sea rubbing elbows with the Paris elite and I smile at life’s serendipity.

  • I have a vase I bought in Tours, France when visiting my college roommate during Spring Break my junior year. It is about 4 inches tall and brown with yellow flowers painted on it. I bought it at a flea market. It was the only thing I could afford. The experience buying it felt so grown up to me and it is something I will always love.

  • a molinillo: a carved wooden whisk from mexico that you spin by rubbing between your palms.

  • 18 years ago, this Sunday March 9, our first grandchild was born. Two months later we traveled to Fort Polk, Louisiana to visit our son, daughter-in-law and two-month-old Amanda. We all spent a day in town window shopping and at a little antique shop I picked up a small glass container with a glass lid. It always reminds me of that trip and seeing our beautiful granddaughter for the first time.

  • My most treasured souvenir is my Moleskin notebook filled with sketches and class notes and ticket stubs from my semester studying architecture abroad in Paris, and traveling to a new European city every weekend!

  • When I was an art student, we didn’t have the money to send me on a study abroad program so when the opportunity presented itself to win a travel grant in my senior year I devoted every waking minute to my application. I presented a proposal to travel to Stockholm with every last detail planned out, I was so desperate to see firsthand the art and design of Sweden from both today and the past. Long story short, I received the grant, and being on a student’s budget I couldn’t afford any souvenirs but postcards of my favorite places and pieces of art which have become such a wonderful memory of my week there. I so hope to one day return to Stockholm!

  • When I was 26, I traveled to Ethiopia with my job to visit an orphanage and also to pick up two little girls who were being adopted by a family in the States. It was my first time in an African country and it was a whirlwind. I didn’t have much time for souvenir shopping but on our sole trip to a market I spotted a beautiful long necklace of colorful beads, bobbles, clay pieces and shells. I thought it to be a beautiful representation of the color, warmth and culture of the country. I have prominently displayed it in every place I have lived in since then (it’s too big to wear). And now it is even more significant to me as my younger 24 yr old brother recently moved to Ethiopia with the Peace Corps! I’m so proud of him and can’t wait to visit again, in the meantime the necklace is a reminder of my past trip, the wonderful people I crossed paths with while there, my future trip, and my brother who I am very proud of!

  • I love sticks and stones and, since most of our trips involve hiking, I’ve had the chance to collect them from all over. If you visit, you’ll see these sticks (small and large) and stones (big and small) displayed in every room. But my favorite is a stone from a hike my husband and I were on with my father-in-law in the White Mountains on the Presidential Range in New Hampshire two years ago. My father-in-law was sick at the time and, while we didn’t know it, it was the last hike we would share. I feel lucky to have had that day with him and the stone is a generous reminder.

  • My favorite memento is a simple pebble I picked up off a beach in Greece. Everyone I see it reminds me of my trip to the Greek isles.

  • Well right now it’s a mug I bought at the Wellcome Museum in London. It’s illustrated with two hands holding it, but it’s only the bones, identified. It’s dainty and gothic at the same time, and I am apparently a sucker for that.

  • My most treasured souvenirs are often something very natural that reminds me of the time spent there. Earrings made of sea glass from Hawaii, shells from just about any coast I’ve ever visited, rocks from Alaska. Heath Pottery from visits to San Francisco, keepsakes from my mother-in-law in Connecticut. I love looking at things that can send me back to a favorite time or place.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a bag of sand dollars my partner and I collected in the gulf at sunset in Siesta Key, Florida. We had been searching for cool shells and things on the bottom of the ocean all day and I had begun to get discouraged until we stumbled on a sand bar where there were hundreds of sand dollars. He and I had a competition to see who could collect the most, and by the end of the day we had a huge bag full. I am currently trying to find a creative way to display them or make something out of them. I’m thinking…. chandelier?

  • We’re usually backpacking, which leaves little room to carry and bring home treasures, so our favorite souvenirs are our photographs – we have a large photo gallery on a living room wall and regularly swap out images from trips. It’s a fun way to keep a room feeling fresh!

  • In college, I had the fortune to study for seven weeks in Sevilla, Italy. There I fell in love with the sounds and the smells, the color and the culture. The smell of Rosemary still reminds me of the religious processions that closed down the city for a day. My favorite souvenir is a poster advertising a night of flamanco. The dancer is looking over her shoulder at me, inviting me to visit once again.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a postcard of my small hometown’s main street from the early 20th century. It looks familiar and strange at the same time. I live far from there now and travel often, I like it as a reminder of the history of where I’m from.

  • The set of Swediah Dala horses from a trip last fall. I love their simple Nordic design and the reminder of happy vacation days with my sister in Sweden, the land of our ancestors.

  • All the handmade arts and crafts bought with my husband while traveling—murano glass from Italy, handcarved masks from Guatemala, ceramics from Mexico, textiles from Peru. I love looking around our house and remembering where we were when we purchased them!

  • The traditional carved wooden mask used in a fertility dance that I purchased in Ghana when I was 15. It was my first (non-Europe) international trip, and my first time traveling without my parents. A totally empowering experience that lead to a love of travel and a passion for working internationally.

  • My mother’s family is from the Ozarks of Arkansas. When I was a little girl, we would visit during the hot summers, when hundreds of our family members would travel to my uncle’s farm. We would catch crawdads in the creek (I would always force everybody to put them back, which probably presaged my early vegetarianism a few years later) and at night, we would run around capturing lightning bugs in mason jars while the adults sipped sweet tea on the porch.
    That creek was littered with natural quartz, and every year my mother and I would tuck those white glittery river rocks everywhere that they would fit in our beat up little car. My dad would always laugh at us with our souvenir rocks that we lugged thousands of miles with us. For years, they adorned my parents’ garden in our home 40 minutes north of Portland in a small town in Washington state. Now that I’m an adult, I have a clear vase full of them where the sun hits them and they always make me think of jars full of lightning bugs.

  • Flattened pennies…they don’t take up much space! However, I always seem to pick up some bits and pieces, I love baskets.

  • I just came back from Tulum which has made the top of all time favorite vacations list. Coincidentally enough I came across Coqui Coqui and went mad and purchased as many candles and parfum as I could carry. Each time I light one of those candles I am brought right back to those gorgeous beaches.

  • My favorite souvenir came from Oahu, where my husband and I took our first ever vacation together after he returned from a year long deployment overseas. We arrived just before Valentines Day and my husband surprised me with a handmade heart necklace on a neon pink cord from a local artisan. It was so thoughtful and such a surprise, knowing someone crafted it by hand makes it extra special.

  • My most treasured travel souvenir is a vintage jar filled with sand from the beach at Lake Tahoe. Early on in our relationship my boyfriend and I took a spur of the moment trip to Napa Valley and Lake Tahoe. I’m not a very adventurous person so this trip was definitely outside my comfort zone! I wasn’t a very luxurious trip and we really had to pinch our pennies. We stayed at this little hole in the wall surfer type motel in Tahoe and for entertainment we just sat on the beach (which was like 5 steps from the door!) and enjoyed the sunset. We scooped up some beach sand in a plastic sandwich bag. Six years later it is still proudly displayed in a old jar labeled “Lake Tahoe” with our old school Dymo label maker. Warms my heart every time I look at it…reminds me that the simplest moments are the most treasured!

  • I will always love a vase I bought at a flea market in Tours, France when I visited my friend Spring Break of my junior year. It is a small brown pottery vase with yellow flowers and was the only thing I could afford. I loved the experience of talking with the stall owners and felt so grownup. It is one of the things I would grab during a fire!

  • My most treasured artifact isn’t something I purchased, but something I carry. It’s a leather heart key fob my brother and his then wife brought back from Mexico. It is so dark and worn and I’ve had to glue the layers back together. I’ve had it for more than 20 years. With it, my brother is always with me.

  • A few years ago, I traveled around the southwest for about three months. I stayed in Taos, NM where my friends and I befriended a few potters. They showed us how to throw pots on the wheel and prior to letting our pots dry out, we took them out into the middle of nowhere, shot at them with shot guns until we had a number of bullet holes busting through them and then we fired and glazed our treasures. Not only do I absolutely adore that pot and think of that special time whenever I look at it, but I am currently taking pottery classes and just recently acquired a potter’s wheel! Discovering new passions while on new adventures are perhaps the best souvenirs of all!

  • I will never forget shopping the Saturday Market in Cairo full of smells and food and thousands of tiny stalls. The girl who sold me my tiny tin tabletop barbecue wrote the numerals of the price on my palm so I would understand. It has three starts stamped into the side. I my jewelry inside it and feel good every time I see it.

  • My favorite souvenir is a set of silver bracelets I bought on a trip to Mexico with my brother and sister-in-law to be. Perfect day, new family bonds and a memento that I’ve cherished for decades.

  • A coral skeleton that I found while snorkeling off of Andros Island in the Bahamas. Such intricate pattern and delicate details.

  • My husband and I actually went to Portland for our honeymoon and we ADORED Alder & Co. …what an amazing giveaway!

    Anytime I go on a trip, I go to a local book store and pick up a copy of one of my favorite books and write about the trip on the inside. It is so fun to have different copies of my favorite stories from places where I’ve made great memories!

  • My favorite souvenir is a blue wool military style jacket my mom bought when we visited London— complete with gold embossed buttons, red “epaulette” tabs on the shoulders, and matching cap! The year was 1968, the store Harrod’s, the cap has long since gone missing but the jacket still hangs in my hall closet.

  • My favorite souvenir is oddly also from Portland, OR ! Our Ace Hotel wool blanket made by Pendleton is among my most treasured possessions. It’s one of the few things we splurged on during our honeymoon 3 years ago and it stays on our bed year round. It’s a constant reminder of the beginning of our adventures together.

  • I haven’t travelled much since having our oldest son in 2010. Now, it feels like an adventure just to leave Brooklyn and go to Manhattan! Before children, I might have pointed to an antique inkwell with the head of a smiling ghoul that I found at the Marche aux Puces in Paris during the coldest winter in France since the 1940s (cheap flights though:). Now, my most treasured souvenir is a large piece of a wasps nest that my children found in Coffey Park in Red Hook, Brooklyn just blocks from our apartment. I look at it and think of the ee Cummings poem “somewhere I have never travelled” and think of all the things my children teach me every day.

  • I went to Europe when I was 14. I got a mini Eiffel tower from Paris and a mini Porcelain Dutch couple. They’ve been on display in every house I’ve lived in since then, cheesy, but memorable.

  • I brought home a lovely vintage magnifying glass from an antiques shop in Antwerp on my honeymoon. It’s beautiful!

  • I haven’t found my most treasured travel souvenir yet. I dream of going to Ireland one day since I’m part Irish, and I’m sure I’ll find something lovely there to take back :). #aspirationalworldtraveler

  • When my husband (then boyfriend) and I were in college we spent a summer backpacking through Europe. After an entire summer of eating bread and cheese for every meal, we decided to treat ourselves to a dinner out on the last night of our trip, which happened to be in Paris. After just wandering all day and getting lost in the city, we stepped into a cute little bistro and had a fantastic meal, with great service and a waitress that even let me stumble through ordering in my broken French. Upon returning to the states we tried countless times to find this restaurant online with no luck – which years later turned into a joke about how maybe we imagined it! This spring, 9 years and 5 apartments later (!!!) I was cleaning out a drawer and found the business card of this restaurant! Hands down the best souvenir we have from all of our travels.

    Hilary did the flowers for our wedding last spring, and they were amazing – by far my favorite part of the entire wedding, her work is so beautiful and natural!

  • my fave souvenir? the red-dirt stains on my hiking boots from our honeymoon in sedona. (that stuff just does NOT come off!)

  • Thank you for this lovely giveaway! My most treasured souvenir is one that was passed down from my great aunt. She was given a ring when she was teaching in Southeast Asia in the 50’s by a dear friend she met there. She wore that ring every day until she gave it to my husband to give to me as my wedding ring. My aunt is the person who inspired me to have adventures of my own and the thing I value most is the people who impact me on those journeys :)

  • I went to Venezuela on a volunteer trip when I was 13- I saved my babysitting money for a year to pay my way. While I was there I bought all five of my siblings and myself heavy, hand made blankets. We all still have them. It connects me to them as much as to the trip.

  • My husband and I recently went to Portland on our honeymoon and stopped in at Alder & Co…such an amazing place!

    My favorite souvenir is a growing collection of sorts. Each time I travel somewhere, I find a local book store and pick up a copy of one of my favorite books. Then, I write about the place inside the cover. It is a fun way to include my memories within my favorite stories!

  • My favorite relic are the photos I’ve taken from my travels. I’m not one for souvineers but looking at the pictures take me right back to the moments they were taken.

  • Everywhere I go, I buy one piece of jewelry, and over the years, they remind of my of all the places I’ve been – my most favorite is probably turquoise earrings that I bought on a recent trip to Colorado.

  • a black and gold Guinness clock with an image of a toucan flying over rooftops and a pint of Guinness on his beak. i purchased it my first day in Dublin during my semester abroad there over a decade ago- we have it on prominent display for our annual St Paddy’s Day party.

  • I have been very lucky to have had many opportunities for travel, and though I have brought home amazing ceramics from Sweden, gorgeous textiles and clothes from Spain, I most cherish the artifact from my visits to my grandmother in Montreal. As a child I would fly off alone to spend a few weeks with her every summer and during that time I would roam her home enjoying all the various tokens from her own travels. She recently passed, but I was lucky enough to carry one of those items home with me: a beautiful painting of yellow vases, likely from Italy, a place she and my grandfather cherished. I adore that this now hangs in my own home, and when I look at it I am reminded of her, our summers in Montreal and how lucky I have been.

  • A beautiful red leather scrapbook I bought at a market in an alley in Sorrento, Italy. I put my travels of my study abroad adventures in it.

  • I like to buy a piece of jewelry everywhere I travel. My favorite piece is a gorgeous malachite and brass bangle that my husband brought me back from Kenya.

  • My most treasured souvenir is the sketchbook I used when I studied abroad in Italy. It is filled with all my thoughts, sketches and tickets from the time I spent there.

  • My most treasured souvenir would have to be my huge stainless and brass cooking pot I got in a New England junk store on a family trip.

  • My favorite souvenir is my red stone necklace I bargained for in a street market in Catagena, Colombia. My mother-in-law liked it so much that we went back to the seller together that evening and bought her a matching necklace. Now we can wear them together and remember our wonderful family holiday in South America.

  • Oh, I love traveling, sigh. My favorite souvenir is a small hand-woven grass basket a friend gave me while traveling on the island of Borneo. It hangs next to my kitchen sink and holds my sons toy shark collection.

  • Shoes! I come back with a pair of shoes from just about every trip I go on.

  • My favorite souvenir is the business card from the best Indian restaurant in Palma, Malloca that we stumbled on and had literally the best meal of our lives.

  • While in Aarhus, Denmark for a public art installation, I bought a small, pale pink, handblown water glass. It made it safely back to the west coast with me after 36 hours of flights and layovers. Whenever I look at it, I’m reminded of the gorgeous Denmark landscape, and dusky summer nights I spent there. It also reminds me to say “yes” to adventure.

  • After a long walk through a Beijing suburban neighborhood, I found the address and blue door I was told about. I knocked and we were greeted and quickly shuffled through a garden filled with the most luscious greenery I saw while in the city accented by a large and explicate neon sign and other sculptures. There were many cats as well, climbing over the sculptures and rummaging through the bamboo. A friend of mine followed one of the cats in hopes of petting it. A deep voice arose, ” You don’t want to go in there” the man said. We all turned and looked at the man. He was just what I imagined but happier and so happy to see us he was capturing every moment with his little black point-and-shoot camera. He told us he wanted to remember the moment when we came to see him and he probably wouldn’t otherwise due to his previous brain injury. So we pulled out our cameras and began to capture him. A photographers thing I guess, if you can take a picture of me then I can take a picture of you. He made fun of me, as I was the only one there with a film camera and a Hasselblad at that. ” Too much camera” he said. I replied, “Overdoing it is my strong suit”. He laughed and pulled me to him and kissed my cheeck. I gasped like a little girl, as I was not expecting that reaction. My favortie souviner is a photograph of Ai WeiWei.

  • My favorite souvenir is from a place I’ve never been. A friend brought me back a giant pinecone from the redwoods, simply because he knew that I, of anyone, would appreciate it’s beauty. It sits on the mantel above my fireplace beconing me to come see those majestic giant trees for myself.

  • this is cheesy for sure, but my favorite keepsake is a rock from a block island beach. my husband proposed there by spelling out “marry me” in rocks; naturally, i kept one! despite his best efforts to direct my attention, it took a while for me to see the message in the sand. i laugh every time i look at that rock, remembering how my frustration was replaced by pure bliss! :)

  • I didn’t bring back many souvenirs from my most memorable trip, a solo drive around the Irish countryside. In fact, the only thing I brought back that I keep on hand is a rock from the Burren, a rocky, moonscape-like area in County Clare. (You aren’t supposed to take rocks from there, but I couldn’t help myself – I wanted something to remember that lonely, desolate landscape by!) Whenever I look at that chunk of limestone, I remember having to tamp down fear to hit the (opposite side of the) road by myself and blaze my own trail!

  • While studying abroad in England, I bought one mug to make tea in every morning. I was able to get it home without breaking it and I still use it every morning. Every time I look at it, I think of my adventures in Cambridge. Plus, it only cost a pound!

  • My most treasured souvenir is a beautiful spice grinder that I found with my boyfriend in a tiny antique store in Istanbul. After seeing the endless cute but overpriced knockoffs at the Grand Bazaar we bought this one from a sweet old man on a quiet street. We use it every day.

  • My favourite travel souvenir is my silver dessert spoon from Iceland! My partner gave it to me as a gift this past Christmas. They have years on them, and everyone in her family uses their won for desserts over the holidays. So special!

  • My box of rocks! Literally, I have collected rocks from each trip and gathered them up in a wooden box. Always fun to sift through the memories and also a good conversation starter.

  • A painting I bought in Paris of the Seine in high school. I still love looking at it, and added a second when I returned years later and found the same artist still working at the same spot!

  • My favourite travel souvenir is my silver dessert spoon from Iceland! It was a family heirloom from my partner. So special!

  • My favorite souvenir is a stack of gorgeously graphic vintage letters I purchased on my honeymoon in Nice. They are white with heavy black borders, hand addressed tot he same person in Paris with red vintage stamps. I mounted them to white board and framed them in a black shadow box, which now hangs over our sofa at home. It’s a lovely reminder of a life-changing trip!

  • A print I bought in Venice reminds me of that beautiful city whenever I look at it.

  • While living in Dublin, Ireland for graduate school I bought six small, delicate pink bowls. I have moved six times since Dublin and am down to just two of the original six bowls. For the past few moves, I wrap these last two bowls and carry them by hand to where ever we are going next. I just bought my first house and I am hoping that this is the last time I’ll have to move my two little pink bowls.

  • My most treasured souvenir would have to be the taxidermy squirrel my husband used to propose to me with. (long story! :) ) We picked it up in a small town in Northern CA.

  • I went on a cruise to the Bahamas recently with a friend, and soon after we got back she gave me a tiny vintage pendant that says “I Love The Bahamas.” Though she didn’t get it from the Bahamas, I still consider it my favorite souvenir.

  • Two handmade brass cones that each have rings filled with brass balls encircling them. They are designed to fit on the horn tips of Oxen pulling carts and to jingle to let you know they’re coming. Bought at a bus stop near Hampi, India.

  • I treasure many things I’ve brought back forms little trips here and there.
    But my most treasure one is a blanket, brought back not from one of my trip, but my dad’s, when he was my age. It’s the cutest wool blanket from Guatemala with a nice little man pattern.
    It makes me think of him <3

  • When I was in the Netherland last year I got pregnant. Now my baby-boy is seven months old and such a cutie. He is the best souvenir of the world.

  • A plain Italian green drinking glass from the blowers in Empoli. Stayed in a marvelous old mill house in Vinci, you could watch the water coursing through plexi tiles in the floor. It had a huge kitchen and I took a dozen students there. Sitting around that table , eating what the students bought and cooked from the market, drinking local wines and visiting vineyards are one of my best memories.

  • My most loved souvenir is a travel coffee mug that I picked up a year ago in a tiny shop in Seoul. The design is a lovely floral pattern by a Korean artist (I can’t read the name). I love it so much that every single morning, I fill it with coffee and bring it to work and enjoy seeing it on my desk, and every night I wash it so I can use it the very next day.

  • I picked up a great pair of earrings at a small boutique in Hawaii! Love them – and it always reminds me of our trip.

  • Two tiny candles from Odorantes. Still sitting on my shelf with a sliver of wax left in the bottom. Basilic and jacynthe. Smelling them sends me back to the moment of stepping into this magical Parisian flower shop.

  • My most treasured souvenir is from when I lived in New York. On the day Kurt Vonnegut died, the New York Times published one of his poems on the cover. It was a previously unpublished poem and one I’ve since been unable to find anywhere online. On that morning, I cut it out and placed it on my fridge in my apt on York street. It’s yellowed now and has traveled with me to many other cities and apartments but remains one of my prized possessions and reminds me of my time in New York.

  • Two tiny candles from Ordante in Paris. A sliver of waxy scent remains,reminding me of stepping across the threshold into their beautiful dream of a flower shop.

  • On my first trip to Ireland we ended up lost on back roads trying to find a castle in Co. Clare. We randomly saw an old sign pointing toward a cottage where we met a potter who had a tiny shop where we bought to of the coolest handmade mugs I’ve ever seen- all by coincidence.

  • Although this might be a bit biased, because of it’s relative recency, I have to go with my hand-made bedspread from Mexico. On my first out-of-the-country worktrip, I was able to take an extra day to visit the Teotihuacan ruins near Mexico City, and brought back a thick bedspread from a local craftsman. Beside its warmth and design to meet both my eclectic taste and my fiance’s more refined, clean-lined approach to interiors (I ended up choosing, after pained consideration, the black and white option), the fact that I was able to bargain it down (IN SPANISH!) to about a 10th of the original asking price makes me smile a little whenever I jump on our bed.

  • My favorite souvenir is actually a gift I bought for my boyfriend at the time (he is now my husband, so I suppose the souvenir now belongs to me as well). I was touring Italy with my father, and we were shopping around some of the glass shops in Venice when I saw a tiny little glass chicken in a store window. My husband’s family has given him chickens as gag gifts for years, and I just had to buy him that little glass chicken. I tried to piece together enough of my limited Italian vocabulary to say, “I want to buy the chicken in the window,” to the woman running the shop. I did pretty well, but instead of using the correct word for hen (gallina I believe), I asked for “pollo,” or the dead chicken that we eat. Oops. The woman had a good laugh, kindly corrected me, and sold me the little chicken in spite of my failed attempts at Italian language. The little gallina now watches over our kitchen–even when we cook pollo.

  • A beautifully painted tray from Mexico City from the same store my grandparents bought their first set of dinner plates after they got married more than 60 years ago!

  • Stones, rocks. Everywhere we go we look for interesting stones to bring home. We have them placed around the house – on windowsills, sitting on a book, in a row, in a neat pile.

  • I have so many favorites, but one in particular is a block print from Kyoto, Japan. I had the pleasure of watching the 92 year old artist carve the block & make the print. I feel so honored to own it. Truly a treasure.

  • My husband and I took a thrifty trip to Brazil for Valentine’s Day. We picked up an large, old, hand blown amber glass wine jug on a road trip, borrowed a HUGE duffel bag from a friend, padded it with boxes and egg crates we raided from a grocery dumpster, checked it as oversized baggage and waved au revoir! We bit our nails the whole flight home, but it made it unscathed!

  • My most treasured souvenir is actually from Portland! It’s a cuff-like ring from Tender Loving Empire with a plus sign punched out of it. It always reminds of my rainy, magical first trip to Portland.

  • A rock containing a fossilized fern that I found on the shoreline during my honeymoon.

  • My most treasured souvenir is the memory of my first motorcycle trip through Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. I will never forget the gorgeous and diverse landscapes and the incredible feeling of freedom. How lucky am I?!

  • My favorite souvenir is a photo I took on our honeymoon which is blown up and printed on sheet metal displayed in our living room.

  • My most treasured souvenir is the (Polish) (now) husband I found in Italy while studying there thanks to an Erasmus exchange.

  • My favorite souvenir is a box of colored pencils that I bought in Florence. I was travelling Europe while wavering and pondering an art career. The ART won, that was 1993. I used the pencils the other day with my 6 year old daughter…..she thinks they are “hers.”

  • The scarves, jewelry and trinkets I picked up at the Gold Souk in Dubai during a trip with my sister in January 2011. It was my first time bargaining for goods.

  • My most treasured souvenir is my daughter. She came back with us after a magical trip to the Davis mountains in otherworldly West Texas.

  • GREAT giveaway! This is my favorite store in Portland! I travel constantly and am always inspired by the unique trinkets I see in different countries. I have to say my favorite item is my blue striped blanket from Morocco. Every time I look at it, I remember going to that magical place.

  • Sand from a camping trip on Fraser Island. I keep a little bit in a jar with some shells and I’m using the rest in my handmade foot scrub soap.

  • I save all the postcards from places friends, family, and I visit, and then use them as highly-portable wall art. I am about to move to Portland, and can’t wait to check out Alder and Co.!

  • A dia de los muertos dentist doll that my fiancé brought back to me from Texas. It’s really rad!

  • Great giveaway! This is my favorite shop in Portland! I love traveling too, and my favorite souvenir would have to be my blue striped Moroccan blanket. It was such a thrill to haggle in the souks for a piece I’m proud to have in my home.

  • I love your shop! I stumbled upon it on my last trip to Portland and can’t get it out of my head. I’m a florist/ ceramicist and your space hit my sweet spot. Having moved overseas multiple times there isn’t very much I have held on to but I have a silly little tooth pick holder that my husband and I bought on our honeymoon in San Francisco that I’ll keep always.

  • My favorite souvenir is by far the flowered paper fan I bought desperately while melting in the New Orleans heat. It saved me throughout the trip & reminds me today of the beauty and energy of New Orleans!

  • My most treasured souvenir is a postcard of my small hometown’s main street in the early 20th century. It’s a good reminder of where I’m from now that I live far from there.

  • My favorite souvenir is a beautiful piece of sea glass I found on the beach in Annapolis, Maryland while visiting my now husband. We were still doing the long distance thing, and during that trip he asked me to move in with him.

  • My favorite souvenir is a small tiki god sculpture that I picked up in Hawaii. It adds a bit of tropical where ever I put it.

  • Tough question, sheesh!

    My favorite souvenir is the chunk of blue and white tile from my Mom’s childhood home in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. The house was reduced to rubble, along with many others, in a natural gas explosion in 1992. Thankfully, no one was in the home at the time!

  • A crystal prayer bracelet that my son and daughter-in-law brought me back from Japan!

  • I purchased a little clay dog in Mexico City. I was missing my own pup and it was something that reminded me of her. It rattles and I am not sure if it is supposed to, but I love it. The dog is simple and charming.

  • A piece of the sidewalk with a circle design on it from Barcelona. Now I have a collection of sidewalks, roads, and rocks from places I have traveled.

  • I went on a trip to Peru to hike Machu Picchu a few years ago. By myself. I started off scared, but ended my trip confident and feeling independent. I decided to bring back a souvenir that would remind my of this personal triumph every day. So I splurged on a beautiful, unbelievably soft Alpaca wool throw. It now sits on my sofa in my living room where I see and use it every day.

  • A piece of drift wood I picked up in Manzanita on one of our last visits. Living in Minneapolis we love our many lakes but there is nothing like the Oregon coast and the raging yet soothing ocean. Each August we head to Manzanita for our most favorite week of the year..time to let our minds drift, dig our toes in the sand, fly kites, read, write, and remember how to play like kids again. Every time I feel the smoothness of the wood I am taken back to the beach and I take a deep breath.

  • I bring home plant clippings or seeds to sprout from wherever I go in the world. (Our house is a jungle.) This may be illegal. Please don’t tell.

    Particular faves are a dragon tree from my hometown of San Diego and a mango from San Blas, Mexico, where I turned 22 while swimming with friendly pigs. Some light-loving things don’t survive in our Pacific Northwest home, but most do. One of the many palms even lives outside now, though it’s possible he resents it. Our cat repeatedly tried to nom that one in particular.

  • My Turkish backgammon set. I met friends in Istanbul after studying in Cairo for a semester and we learned to play backgammon from a man who owned a restaurant around the corner from our hostel. Playing on the set reminds me of chilly nights, mint tea and delicious lentil soup.

  • Two years ago I drove my car across the country from California to New York. I took my time and spent nights camping in national parks. In the mornings I would wake up before dawn to beat the crowds and the heat on the trails, and then spend the afternoon reading books off the shelves in the gift shops. At each one I tried to purchase a little hand painted/printed card of the park. Now these travel with me to all of my different apartments, boarding houses, cabins. When I move, I simply take them off the wall and slip them into a book for the ride, then put them back up in my next camp. They make everywhere I go a home, and remind me that adventures are just around the corner.

  • My most treasured souvenir is my oversized Icelandic wool sweater, knit for me by an old family friend while I was traveling there as a young college student. I scoffed when she told me that it was magical, but in fact I was wearing it for the first time in Iceland when I met my (now) husband.

  • My favorite souvenir is a very small stuffed bear that I purchased with my allowance on a family trip to the Smoky Mountains. I must have been about 6 at the time, and was given a bit of money, along with my siblings, to purchase something on our family vacation. I chose a small 6″ tall bear wearing blue pants, a gingham shirt and a silly grin. I still have him over 40 years later. His smirk has become a bit more mischievous over time and I have nicknamed him crooked bear. Every time I see him, I think of simpler times when my family was all together. Mom and my brother are gone now and items like crooked bear have become much more important.

  • My favorite tchotchke would have to be a pinecone penguin I picked up at a farmers marketing in Amsterdam during my first trip overseas alone. I had to travel to London and decided to add a few days onto my trip to explore in my own company. The penguin reminds me the world is bigger than what’s in my own backyard.

  • After 6 weeks of traveling by bus and boat through Turkey, I ended my journey in Istanbul. While navigating the colorful Grand Bazaar, I happened upon a booth of beautiful, but simple jewelery. After speaking with the charming shopkeeper and enjoying some tea for about an hour, I found and purchased a simple turquoise ring. When I wear it, I am reminded of the sites, sounds, and tastes of my incredibly Turkish vacation.

  • My most favorite souvenir is from a thrift shop in Chicago…it’s a cast of an abdomen that now hangs on my wall (no thanks to my husband’s distaste for my little treasure!). It’s such a pleasantly odd item that reminds me of my wonderful trip to Chicago!

  • My most treasured souvenir is a bright turquoise Balinese dance mask, which I got while I was backpacking Indonesia with my best friend about 7 years ago, when I was 19. A friend of a friend of a friend had an Indonesian relative that made the masks from a small studio in the countryside. He gave us a tour of his lovely studio and I bought the mask from him. Since I’ve had it, I’ve always hung the mask next to my bed, so its one of the first things I see every morning. It is so beautiful, and I just love to look at it. But also, it reminds me of my first Big Adventure, and more importantly, my best friend.

  • So funny, I’m in Portland for work and stumbled upon this adorable store last night! My most treasured souvenirs from traveling are my starbucks from each city/state/country I visit. I display them in my Living Room and love looking at them and remembering where I’ve been.

  • My best friend and I did a trip of a handful of European countries. It turns out the second hand shops in small towns in Scotland are quite magical. I found a bib necklace made out of brass leaves. I also found a small, delicate ring with blue stones in it. I’d been imaging one forever, but hadn’t been able to find one in the U.S. or Canada. Not only are they beautiful and unique pieces, but they remind me of all the great times that my best friend and I had before we fully committed to the real world with jobs and partners and finances and big, scary plans.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a beautifully crafted pair of leather heels from Italy while my mom and I were traveling together.

  • I found a beautiful aqua blue glass float on the Oregon coast many years ago and it continues to be one of my favorite objects.

  • My most treasured souvenirs are the rocks/pebbles/shells of all shapes and colors that sit out in a small tray at home. When traveling abroad or visiting somewhere nearby I am inspired by new places and vistas to satisfy my inner amateur geologist wannabe and pick up a small stone and take it with me. All together these rocks are a tangible (and beautiful!) memory book of all the mountaintops, beaches, rivers, and cities I’ve visited and lived in over the years.

  • A small heart shaped rock I picked up on my 34th wedding anniversary while in Spain walking the Camino. First time we’d been apart on our anniversary. Such a tough hike – even more so by not having my best friend with me. During the 30 days only found 1 heart rock.

  • My favorite souvenir is a beautifully crafted pair of leather heals from Italy when I was traveling with my mom.

  • My favorite souvenirs are a couple pieces of art my husband and I purchased on the streets of Paris on our honeymoon :)

  • My husband & I started a collection of children’s books in foreign languages when we were on our honeymoon. We pick up a book to add to the collection every time we travel to another country. Now that we have an 8-yr-old, the books are more than a collection – we actually use them!

  • I love Alder & Co.! My favorite souvenirs are from a month long trip I took by myself to Capetown, South Africa and Paris, France. I had a gut feeling it would be my last chance to travel globally for a while, so before I moved to Austin, I headed off to see two of the most beautiful cities in the world. I picked up a piece from both places that I treasure and use nearly everyday. A small coffee cup in the most perfect shade of yellow from Capetown, and a scarf from Paris that reminds me of a Monet painting. I love them and I can’t wait to travel more!

  • my favorite souvenir is a seed i accidentally brought back from Peru. On a whim i began germinating it and i now have a sapling of my most favorite tree, the ice cream bean. can’t wait to see if it will fruit!

  • My favorite souvenir is a hand dyed and woven rug from Oaxaca, Mexico. We watched a family create beautiful pieces before our wedding day. After our groomsmen gifted us with the rug we fell in love with! Awesome!!

  • I am convinced that in a past life I was a glassblower–so for my 50th birthday I went to Italy. I meandered into a small shop in Murano and found a large, round gorgeous piece of heaven. The artist, Cesar Sent, was in the back and I was so googly-eyed and awed and I’m sure my Italian was awful, but I was so delighted and excited by the whole experience that I didn’t care. Every time I see the piece it makes me smile and honors the part of me that believes in another time.

  • My favorites are the stones and shells that I’ve collected for the last 35 years. They come from all over the country and world.

  • I first fell in love with Alder & Co while visiting Oregon, where my husband and I spent much of our time on Oregon coast, walking the beaches and watching the water. We still have stones from those walks stacked on our bookshelves.

  • My most treasured plunder is a set of tiny hand-turned and dyed wooden vessels from Java–one bottle green and one dark burgundy. They didn’t cost much but they are so unique and I feel like they carry a little bit of Javanese magic in them.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a weird tiny eel fishing lure that me and all my bbfs in middle school bought on a whale watch in Maryland. It’s one of those weird pieces of crap that your parents tell you not to waste money on, but for some reason it’s randomness and neon color makes it amazing. Now 17years later I still have it.

  • My most treasured souvenis is a carved wooden mask with eyes closed being held up by a hand that is making the “Shhh” sign with its index finger over the mouth. It calms me to look at that piece. I saw it and knew I had to have it while visiting a gift shop of the cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC. That was about 17 years ago when I was only 13, and I still cherish it to this day.

  • A painting that I picked up from a summer spent in Bali. It depicts a traditional Barong dance, and is very unusual. The painting sat rolled upfor several years, until I met my husband. One of his first gifts to me was having it framed. It had hunt in every home we have had together since.

  • i love love love giraffes! when i was studying abroad in switzerland during college, we made a weekend trip to paris and i bought this eiffel tour statue that was yellow with brown spots and had a giraffe head on top. it reminds me of the young carefree college days.

  • Right now, it is a stylized print of Lahaina, Maui. I plan to use my travels as a source of home decor.

  • my favorite souvenir is a tiny doll, about one inch in size, that we found on the beach on block island. we named her block island girl, and she sits permanently on my shelf of miniature collectibles.

  • Whenever I come home from a trip, it is with a kitchy mug, and a piece of nature – usually a stone or shell that sits on my mantel in an old glass jar!

  • seashells from our honeymoon. we did a sand ceremony at the wedding, and then topped it with beach finds from the honeymoon. i love seeing that each day.

  • In South Africa I received a beautiful malachite and brass bracelet as a gift. I wear it constantly and reminds me of the amazing people I spent time with while I was there.

  • I tend to pick-up a treasure everywhere I travel but, my most treasured trinket is a small ceramic sea turtle I picked up at a local art center in Maui. It’s beautifully painted and has great detail. During our trip there, we were able to go kayaking and swim with the honu. When I look at my ceramic turtle, it instantly reminds me of our amazing trip to one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been.

  • My favorite treasure is a ceramic turtle we picked up at a local art center in Maui. Every time I see it, I’m instantly brought back to swimming with the honu, the ocean air, and my favorite vacation ever.

  • One of my favorite souvenirs is a ceramic cup that I brought home from buying yogurt in France. My husband and I were backpacking around Europe, mostly eating from local grocery stores on a very frugal budget. That yogurt was so delicious and I loved that they were packaged in glass or colored ceramic cups. Now I can use them all the time and be reminded of that frugal but adventurous time early in our marriage.

  • I adore the hammock we have on our back porch. It is from Mexico and we spend so many sweet summer evenings lounging in it with my sweet daughter. It is beautiful, transporting and holds my favorite people.

  • Not sure if this is coming through so trying again. My most treasured souvenir is a tiny stuffed bear that I bought all by myself on a family trip to the Smoky Mountains. Myself and my siblings were each given a bit of money to buy one thing. I picked a tiny bear wearing blue pants and a red checked shirt. Over 40 years later, I still have that bear! He’s a bit worse for wear, but reminds me of simpler times and family, some of whom are gone now.

  • My most treasured souvenir is from a trip back to Denmark to see my extended family in the early 80s. All of my same-aged / teenage cousins had tea sets in their bedrooms at the time which made me green with envy. I used all of my spending money that trip on an oversized stonewear teapot & warmer set from Ikea (from the days before Ikea hit the US) that I promised up and down I’d manage on my own during the return trip. Turns out stonewear is heavy. My dad took amused pity on me in the Copenhagen airport as I struggled with the weight of it all and swapped carry-ons with me. Many a teapot has come through the doors since then, but that’s the one I still use every day.

  • Most (or all?) of the traveling we do includes hiking and I’ve collected a fair share of sticks and stones (in this instances sticks and stones are a good thing). Our home is filled with sticks (large and small) and stones (big and small) displayed in every room. A favorite stone is from a hike my husband and I did with his dad, my father-in-law, a couple of years ago in the White Mountains in the Presidential Range of New Hampshire. We didn’t know then that it would be the last hike we would share with him, he passed away a few short months later. I’m so sorry he’s gone but grateful for the memories of that hike relived every time I look at the flat, smooth oval stone with a stripe marbled through. Thanks for asking.

  • a small little zipper clutch bag I found in a tiny boutique in paris. I was with my mom and we both purchased similar bags. I use it to carry lipgloss and little odds and ends in my purse and it is a lovely reminder of a great trip

  • A pink, purple, white and black woven throw blanket from one of my many trips to Cozumel, Mexico. No matter where I travel, Mexico always feels the most like my happy place. So I keep the throw on my bed, just feel a bit more like I’m on vacation every day.

  • Books! I love books and try to buy some every place I travel to. Especially children’s books. There’s nothing better than having children’s books from other cultures and countries to share with family and friends.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a pair of silver goblets that were my great-grandmother’s who is also my namesake. I love anything with family history and these are beautiful on my buffet! I would love to replace my dinnerware with the beautiful stoneware from Adler & Co. Thank you!

  • My favorite souvenir is a pink, purple, white and black woven throw blanket from one of my many dive trips to Cozumel, Mexico. No matter where I travel, Cozumel always the most like my happy place and has greatly influenced my personal style. I keep my throw blanket on my bed, so it always feel a little bit like vacation in my bedroom.

  • I collect rocks from each of my travels. Two favorites are a marble paver from Prague and a near perfect sphere of granite from Vermont.

  • My favorite souvenirs are these vintage 1920’s sheet music covers I bought in a Parisian flea market. They make beautiful, and unique wall art and always remind me of my time abroad.

  • I bought a measuring tape from J. O’Toole & Sons in Galway Ireland when I lived there years ago. It’s still part of my household tool kit. When I pull it out of the drawer, seeing the Irish name and address (5 Rosemary Avenue) always briefly transports me to the days I spent fixing up my room in an old house on Lower Salthill Road.

  • I haven’t had much opportunity to travel in my (young) life so far, but I’m currently studying for a semester abroad. I don’t think my favourite souvenir has happened yet, beyond memories, photos, and experiences! I am hoping to get a tattoo before I return home at the end of semester, which will mark the experience and serve as a non-loseable reminder. I hope to discover a design that symbolizes not only where I’m visiting, but who I was coming here, and how the experience has changed me.

  • I haven’t been able to travel very much in my life, but my husband and 8 month old (at the time) took a trip to Spain a few years ago. It was the first time I had ever left the country. Most of our travel souvenirs were consumables, but I did pick up a lovely scarf at a small market one day. It is something I still wear several times a week and it has me longing to revisit Espana!

  • My favorite souvenir is one I had to work for.. My future husband and I did the Flattest century bike ride in Rhode Island- 30 years ago.It was hard, I was exhausted . I made it and my husband gave me a beautiful durrie rug with delicate tulips around the edges. As I pass by it now it brings back this young love, such memories.

  • Last year my boyfriend took me to New Orleans when I was eight months pregnant. He proposed, so maybe my favorite souvenir should be my ring… But really it’s the stuffed alligator we bought for our yet-to-be-born baby. It’s a sweet reminder of an amazing weekend together and how excited we were to meet our son.

  • On a trip to India when I was 18 I purchased a pair of Indian wedding rings (worn on the toes). While they were very useful as a single woman traveling alone, they became to symbolize a commitment to myself. Twenty-two years later I still wear them.

  • It’s difficult to pick just one, but I think my favorite souvenir is a set of delicate, simple, small, perfect tea glasses and plates we bought in a little shop in the historic center of Damascus in Syria. It was my first time in Lebanon, meeting my husband’s family and we decided to take a taxi and go to Syria for a day trip. All of those memories, tastes, smells will always be with me and it makes me extremely sad to think of the times that the city and it’s inhabitants are going through right now. I’m glad we decided to make that trip and hope this situation will end up soon.

  • My big project will be making a Bucky Fuller inspired dog house for my adorable corgi. I hope she likes it!

  • One of my treasured souvenirs were a pair of boots I purchased while living abroad in Italy. They were too expensive for me to buy, so each day I would pass the store on my way home, hoping they would go on sale and one day they did! There were unlike any other boots I have ever seen. Love them!

  • I spent a summer working as an artist’s assistant in rural Czech Republic. On my last day, she gave me my most treasured souvenir: a tiny glass vessel that was locally hand-crafted. Inside, she put some dust from the moss that grew on the lake her studio was situated on, and a sage leaf, for wisdom.

  • My most treasured souvenir is from an excursion that I wasn’t on…

    When I was about 5 or 6 I got the Chicken Pox, and was destine to a week of scratching. One of the nights I was home watching movies with oven mitts taped to my hands, my Mom took my older brother (who already had Chicken Pox) out to dinner and a “children’s fun house” for kids. I was so sad that I had to miss a great time at Fun Plex because I was still contagious.

    When my mom and brother returned, they gave me a small pig figurine, dressed up in a clown outfit. It probably cost under $5 and was such a silly gift, but even at that age, it meant so much to me that they got me a souvenir, and were thinking about me even though I wasn’t with them. 25 years later, I still have the pig in the clown costume, and fondly remember when they gave it to me.

    To this day, I always send postcards or pick up a trincket for one (or both of them) when I go out of town. Sometimes it’s the smallest gifts, and smallest gestures that are the most meaningful.

  • sand from the beach where we were married and the muscle shell we found there and used to carry our rings down the aisle .

  • My favorite thing that I have collected from my travels is an old map of Ireland with the route from our road trip mapped out on it. I brought it home and framed it. Every time I look at it I am reminded of the places we went, memories made and the tiny roads we took to get there.

  • Since I was a kid, I’d wanted to travel to Sweden, and search out the hometown of my paternal great-grandparents. Plus – hello, great design! Finally, my husband I got to travel there for a glorious 10 days back in 2009 for our honeymoon, and it was everything I’d imagined it would be. I immediately felt home. One of my favorite parts was touring the Dalarna region, where artist Carl Larsson lived and where adorable old men still hand-carve and paint the colorful wooden Dala horses in a small shop. I brought home a royal blue one, and it makes me smile and feel connected to my roots every time I see it.

  • Fresh out of grad school, my husband and I spent three fabulous weeks in Italy back in 2011 and pooled all of our “souvenir money” to purchase and process the rolls of 8mm film we took with us. The footage is priceless to us and allowed us to bring back more than we ever could physically.

  • A sharks tooth necklace, it was given to the small wedding party at my brothers wedding in Hawaii from the best man and wife brought over from Cape town. My brother and his wife met shark diving in South Africa. They are both English, he lived in Amsterdam, her London at the time. They now live in portland. It reminds me of the fun and special time and you can meet that special person in the curious of places!

  • I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa. There are so many beautiful textiles and jewelry made by truly jubilant people from this part of the world, but my most treasured souvenir from my time spent there is a pull toy car made by a little boy from the village I lived in. He made it from salvaged materials from our village. The body is part of the skeleton key door lock mechanism commonly found on mud huts; the wheels are from the metal piece from the center of a bike wheel — the part that secures the spokes; he used old spokes to secure the wheels to the body of the car and then tied an old piece of elastic to the car so he could pull it along on the ground. I traded a Matchbox car for it. He thought he won the lottery, but I think I got the better end of the deal :).

  • My favorite souvenir was a glass beaded rosary I gave to my grandmother after a trip to Italy (and elsewhere). I was in high school and didn’t have a lot of money to spend on souvenirs, so I just focused on meaningful ones to give to others.

  • As a 22-year-old student studying abroad in Copenhagen, I brought back one thing – a set of Danish-design cutlery. And I LOVE it.

  • I brought back a half suitcase worth of fabrics bought in the Tokyo Nippori Fabrictown. I would have brought back more if I could! I love making things from these fabrics and remembered our wonderful time in Tokyo.

  • My most favorite souvenir is actually a collection of souvenirs. I love browsing through crummy antique stores and several years ago I started purchasing old hooks. I’ve taken my collection and assembled them into a long coat rack down my entryway. I do have to say that my favorite hook is an old fleur de lis that I found in Savannah, GA.

  • I have an antique brass samovar from Ukraine. It’s fully functional and so fun to serve proper tea!

  • My favorite souvenirs are the ones I share with loved ones because that’s the second best thing to actually taking the trip together! Last year I sent a Maryland friend a little yellow package from Leipzig, Germany, containing some goodies from my Scandinavian adventure, including flavored Icelandic sea salt, hand-dyed Swedish yarn samples, a thrifted Norwegian hand towel, and then scrumptious chocolate from Germany, of course! (Admittedly, by that point the travels were headed south.) While I always try to select goodies that the recipient will enjoy, the biggest pleasure is truly mine. :-)

  • My most loved souvenir is a beautiful bright pink scarf, wrap actually, I got in a market place in Spain in 1982 while traveling with several family members. My dear aunty grace also liked the scarf and almost bought it, so it’s always a quick trip back in my mind when it catches my eye……….the colors and smells, the exotic styles and landscalpes, and a woman I feel proud to have agreed upon stylewise!

  • My favorite is the photography from local artists that my husband and I picked up on our honeymoon in Seattle.

  • On a trip to New Zealand with my husband we purchased a beautiful hand made wool throw to go across the bottom of our bed for the cat to sleep on. It has the words Aroha (which means love in Maori) hand embroidered into it and every time we look at it we think of the wonderful times we had in NZ and of the talented and creative people that made this keepsake for us.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a painting my husband and I bought on our honeymoon – we went to Tulum for the day, and when we were headed back to the shuttle a beautiful old woman was working on them outside the little gift shops. We bought one of the ones she had done that day – it’s a busy painting of many people, and happens to feature a couple in wedding garb.

  • i bought a vintage (50’s/60’s?) orange solid metal dualit toaster at a camden market stall in london in the summer of ’96. it was heavy! but i was somehow able to bring it back to the states without too much trouble. unfortunately, i gave it to my toaster-collecting boyfriend (now ex,) but hope and expect it’s still making toast like a pro. dualit was a new brand in the u.s. back then, and their toasters were some of my favorite design pieces. i love the manual lever! while in london, i took multiple trains and busses, then walked who knows how far, to get to the dualit factory in an out-of-the-way warehouse district. though charmed that i had traveled so far, the receptionist wouldn’t grant me a tour for fear i may have been a spy for the competition. ;) toaster-less and tour-less… my most treasured souvenir? a good story.

  • In October I left my beloved Williamsburg NY to move to San Francisco for love. Once I quit my NY job, before moving to the West Coast, I decided to go visit my family in Italy and bring my mom with me on a 4 days trip to Marrakech.
    The purpose of the trip was to go back to one of the places that I love the most in the world, to show it to my mom and to buy a carpet for our new home in San Francisco as the first “big piece” for our new place together (after a long distance relationship) and new life on the other side of the country. I had been to Marrakech a few times before and knew some of the good carpet stores but after days of looking for what I had mind and not finding it I was ready to give up. The afternoon of my last day there my mom and I ventured to a new part of the Medina, where I’ve never been before, and got kind of lost…but we stumbled in the most amazing carper store ever! I found exactly what I wanted, right when I was ready to give up the search and sadly realizing that I was going to go home empty handed. After a two hours long discussion to define the price the owner of the store agreed to have the carpet that I wanted made in the size that I was looking for and ship it to San Francisco. My mom thought that I was crazy to give this man all this money and that I would have never seen the rug. But I was hopeful and I had a good feeling.
    Last week the carpet arrived and it’s beautiful and it makes me think of Marrakech every single day…Not to mention how much my French bulldog and my Great Dane love to sleep on it!

  • One of my most treasured souvenirs is a tiny vase carved out of yak bone that I bought from a little stand in Dharmsala, India. It’s probably only 1 inch by 2 1/2 inches tall, and it’s surface is carved with a scene depicting a man along a mountainside. The vase reminds me of my entire experience in India where we attended the Dalai Lama’s spring teaching at his monastery.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a photo of my family my grandma gave me the last time I visited home (Guyana) before she passed away.

  • My favorite souvenir comes from the year I lived in New Zealand as a child. We used to go to the nearby Kauri tree forest and wander around. These were huge trees, big as redwoods, and they amazed me. When we left New Zealand a family friend gave me a small chunk of kauri wood he’d had since he was young that I have kept with me ever since.

  • my favorite souvenir is my red dala horse from sweden. it’s so gorgeous and unique, and every time i look at it i’m reminded of my perfect summer abroad.

  • My most precious souvenir is a wild parakeet feather from the Ecuadorian Amazon. I got to spend a week at a research station hiking through the jungle, seeing the wild things I’ve only ever read about in books or imagined in my head. Our tour guide spoke only Spanish, which the others in my group could understand, but I was having a very difficult time and felt like I was missing out on a lot. My guide picked up on this by the second day, and would spend time walking next to me, pointing things out, and communicating as best he could without words. On my last day there, he bent over to pick something up, and handed me a shimmery blue and green parakeet feather, and I’ll never let go of it as it is a tiny, precious reminder of the kindness of humans near and far, and the wonders that I got to experience in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

  • My most treasured souvenir is an amber ring I bought in San Francisco 5 years ago when my friend died of a heroin overdose. I had been eyeing it while shopping around before heading back to Iowa, and the morning after I got the call about his death, I went in and bought it. I have worn it ever since.

  • I have a scroll from China that I love. A student’s father made it for me and I think his calligraphy is beautiful. The fabric surrounding the calligraphy is yellow and so yellow became one of the main colors in my living room. The scroll reminds me of 3 wonderful years spent in China and how thankful I am to have known such lovely people.

  • I tend to lug back large items from my travels. I’ve spent many a plane ride with a big table lamp on my lamp, or a big tiered tin food caddy like they use in India for lunches stuffed into my bag. My favorite, though, would have to be the shoes that I bought on my honeymoon in New York. Still love drunk from the wedding, my husband did not bat an eye when I bought a very expensive pair of flats from Barney’s New York. I wore them for all of a month before I got pregnant with our first child – my feet swelled up and have never shrunk back to that shoe size. I hung on to those shoes for about 5 years, trying them on a few times a year – hoping to squeeze back in to them and prove that it was not a foolish purchase! But to no avail. Finally I have admitted defeat and put them on long-term loan to a friend. I’m too selfish to actually give them to her, but who are we kidding? Those shoes are gone, but I got my Sarah Jessica Parker ‘Shoes and the City’ moment and I’ll never forget it.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a blown glass snowglobe from Switzerland with the Matterhorn inside. The entire thing is made from glass, even the mountain inside. It reminds me of my sister who lives in far away Zurich every time I look at it.

  • I treasure the hand and ball door knocker I found in a dark and dusty (albeit enchanting, magical) junk shop in Italy and paid nearly nothing for. It is now the first thing you see when visiting my own casa in Pittsburgh’s north side.

  • We took a trip this past summer through Salt Lake City and several of Utah’s stunning national parks. It was our first time there, and I was completely blown away by the majestic sandstone and changing scenery. Around every bend in the road was a different, breathtaking view. At a little shop there I found a silver cuff inlaid with a deep coral-colored spiny oyster and opal which reminds me of the sunsets, and sandstone formations. I love to wear it and remember the wonderful holiday we had.

  • My best friend was living in Antigua, Guatemala. I went to visit her and she took me to a neighboring town to a “Firehouse Sale”. It was a group of elderly Guatemalan ladies selling antique textiles in a firehouse parking lot, the colors of all the piles of fabrics were amazing. I bought a beautiful handwoven wool blanket that read “Hecho en Momostenango” in big faded pastel letters – it warms my feet every night in bed and I think it’s the best blanket a girl could have wished for!

  • it’s so wonderful to read through some of the other commenters’ posts. just a (not so small) reminder that while many of us scramble to purge our closets and cabinets, it’s still comforting and crucial to surround yourself with items that bring to mind loved ones and days gone by.

    i once drove out to the wilds of wisconsin with two of my best friends and we stopped at the new glarus brewery. as part of the brew tour, they give you a small tasting glass etched with the new glarus logo. the glass is the perfect size for beer, wine, juice, just about anything. everytime i use it, i remember the long, slow drive out of the city and a perfect day spent with good friends.

  • I love Alder & Co.! My favorite souvenirs are from a month long trip I took by myself to Capetown, South Africa and Paris, France. I had a gut feeling it would be my last chance to travel for a while (which turned out to be true for now), so before I moved to Austin, I headed off to see two of the most beautiful cities in the world. I picked up a piece from both places that I treasure and use nearly everyday. A small coffee cup in the most perfect shade of yellow from Capetown, and a scarf from Paris that reminds me of a Monet painting. I love them, and I love how they remind me of places and sounds and smells of places I’ve been.

  • My most treasured souvenir is my United Kingdom Driver’s License. It signifies a short period in my life where I truly went on an amazing adventure. When I look at it, it reminds me to never stop dreaming…..I then moved to the amazing city of Portland!!!! where my husband now works a few streets over from you!

  • I just returned from a trip to Kauai, and brought back with me a piece of knotted, grey, heavy driftwood and a piece of rock in the perfect egg shape. I always love gathering stones from places I visit! My rock collection is getting a little ridiculous, but I love holding them and thinking about where they have been.

  • Well… I met my husband on a Cycling for Libraries tour through Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. I’m from New York; he’s from London; after a year of waiting for his green card we’re finally living in NY together now. Definitely the best travel souvenir ever.

  • In the middle of a long around the world trip I was doing solo, my best friend met me for a week in Paris. I had a mini city guidebook that had a map in the back which I carried with us everywhere. It got rained on, food and wine was spilled and it was often stuffed into bags and pockets. It made it through the week intact though a bit worse for wear. It is one of the only souvenirs I have and I just can’t part with it. I’ve realized recently that it would be wonderful displayed somewhere in my house instead of tucked in a drawer so I’ve started shopping for the perfect frame!

  • An old camera I bought in China and had restored (even though the guy at the Shanghai photography market told me I should have bought the same model in one pieces from him). I loved digging it out and bargaining for it.

  • My childhood friend, who lives in Spain, and I rented a Smart car to drive around Portugal. We took an insane amount of pictures documenting the colors and tiles of Lisbon and Porto–so my favorite souvenir is the picture book we made on Blurb when we were able to meet up a few years later. That and the corresponding 18th century pale blue Moroccan style tile from Lisbon.

  • My friend and I traveled around Portugal taking pictures of the hundreds of different kids of tiles-a few years later we met up and made a blurb book with all the photos. That and the 18th century moroccan tile from Lisbon.

  • My boyfriend played guitar on a three month tour in Europe, and he mailed me little matchbooks from all the cities he stayed in. It’s actually hard to find matchbooks these days, which makes the collection extra special.

  • Souvenirs are my favorite, hard to pick just one. Anything that reminds me of traveling is the best. The rings I wear everyday are a collection from around the world and are definitely at the top of my favorites list.

  • My favorite souvenir are shells my grandfather picked up at the beach. I am 69 and were he still alive he would be over 100 years.

  • I’ve never been one to buy souvenirs. I take photos, I might pick up a stone from a beach. What I do keep are plane tickets. My husband and I can tell our story through our collection of plane tickets: The ticket that took me to California, where we had our first date. The one that took us to Minnesota, where we fell in love with the Twin Cities. The ticket that took him to an interview at Google, which uprooted us for a few years. The ticket he surprised me with when he flew me back to Minnesota to propose. And the most recent – the ticket back home for our wedding. They may not be pretty, but each one marks the start of a new journey in our lives.

  • From my very first trip to Europe I brought home a little terra cotta dish, painted yellow on the face of it, with a flamenco dancer etched into the clay. I bought it in Sevilla where I stayed for 3 weeks. I use it as a soap dish.

  • My favorite souvenir is a small box used to keep valuable things that Igot on a visit in Ethiopia. My family lived in a small village where there were many merchants selling their goods. We stopped at a small stand where a family was selling their items. I was 7 at the time and for some reason I really liked this box. I guess I threw a fit or something but the father, I assume, generously gave me the box to me for free. Since then, the box has been a symbol of kindness and generosity for me and I only keep my most valuable things is in.

  • A piece of dried sage brush from the John Day Fossil beds that’s been sitting on my dashboard for years. It’s from a road trip my now-husband took from Portland to Boise. I had never been to that part of Oregon before and even though it adds quite a bit of time to the drive, he knew how much I would love the place. When I look at it I remember that gorgeous dry desert smell and think about all the little things my guy does to make me happy.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a knitted Winnie the Pooh blanket I got on a family trip to Disney World back when I was 10 years old. Growing up in Japan, my family would travel to the US every few years for vacation and it was a precious chance for my parents to pick up whatever food items they couldn’t buy back home (Fruit Roll-ups, Rice Krispies cereal, etc.). On this particular trip to Orlando my parents stopped by a grocery store and stocked up on their favorite, Lion Coffee, and packed them all into the same suitcase as the Winnie the Pooh blanket they had bought me at a souvenir store a couple days prior. When we got back to Japan and I unpacked my new blanket, I discovered that it had soaked up the sweet, nutty smell of the coffee. I was too young to enjoy coffee at the time, but the lingering smell reminded me for weeks afterwards of the magical time spent at Disney World. I’m 25 years old now and have since moved to the US for college and then stuck around for work. A few months ago my mom sent me the blanket in one of her many care packages, much to my surprise. The memories of that trip are still fresh and vivid, and I swear if I hold the blanket to my face I can still smell the coffee.

  • Two strands of small silk stuffed and decorated birds I bought in Prague. In such a grey (but beautiful) city, I passed the strands every day on my way to class in Old Town. I finally purchased two as my souvenir and their colorful nature lights up my apartment every day.

  • My husband and I went on a Baltic Cruise with my parents and sister. We were in a small French town just after visiting Normandy. We had just 15 minutes before we had to return to the bus. We saw some tables lined up with people clustered down towards the end of the street. My sister and I walked briskly down to the street-side flea market. I immediately spotted a beautiful brown glazed pitcher. It clearly was handmade and as I picked it up and turned it over I saw the small tag marked 1 euro. I asked him if that indeed that was the price. He, in turn, huffed a unique French sound and slowly looked up and said, “oui”. I took that coin out so fast it would have made your head swim.
    I use that pitcher often and think of that wonderful trip with my family and of that significant and beautiful French countryside.

  • my most treasured souvenir is some beaded bracelets I got while in Peru a few years back. I’ve almost worn through them all, I think it’s time to go back!

  • My most treasured souvenir is an arrow I made with the Hadzabe tribe of Tanzania. It’s arranged in my studio with a collage of pictures from my trip but the arrow in particular is the epitome of all of my fond memories of Tanzania.

  • My most treasured souvenir is an arrow I made with the Hadzabe tribe of Tanzania. It’s arranged in my studio with a collage of pictures from my trip but the arrow in particular is the epitome of the people and culture.

  • My most treasured souvenir is actually not one I purchased myself. My husband travels a lot for work and I have the opportunity to join him on occasion. Last year he traveled to Florence and had to leave behind myself and our then one year old daughter. One afternoon while exploring the many local stands he saw an ancient Italian woman sewing beautiful wool baby jumpers. He handpicked the wool and lovely floral cotton lining and watched as the woman hand sewed the tiny garment together. It is the most thoughtful souvenir he could have ever purchased and was made with such care. She still wears it with little bloomers underneath as it’s getting a wee bit too short.

  • My favorite souvenir is a book that I got in Hay-on-Wye, Wales. It’s a beautiful book showing native plants and wildflowers, and they’re all hand-drawn and colored. I feel lucky to have found it!

  • In the middle of a round the world solo trip my best friend met me for a week in Paris. I had a very slim guidebook that came with a map which we used to make our way around the city. I got wet from rain, there are food and wine spills and it was folded up and shoved into bags and pockets over and over but it survived and I miraculously still have it. I recently decided it should be displayed somewhere in my house instead of being tucked in a drawer so I’m looking for the perfect frame!

  • A small Geode I purchased from a little boy in the Atlas Mountains just outside of Marrakesh. It sits on a bookshelf and everytime I look at it I think of that little boy and wonder what his life is like.

  • A vintage Soviet propaganda poster from a trip to Moscow. Due to a consulate error in my visa paperwork, I was detained at the airport and stranded in Russia for an entire week running between offices begging/bribing for all of the correct stamps that would allow me to finally exit the country and make it home in time for Thanksgiving. Though it was slightly terrifying, it was an incredible lesson in the kindness of strangers, one of whom directed me to the tiny market that sold this beautiful poster. The message on the poster translates to “Long live the strong Soviet woman,” and it seemed so fitting, both from the sense of confidence I gained in navigating that travel adventure and from the strong Russian women I met on the trip who helped me out of my bind.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a Japanese calligraphy painting. I had read a book about a Japanese pilot and then gone to Japan with a friend of mine. We met her grandfather, who was a pilot (and a calligrapher) and I (thorough her translation) told him about a quote I’d read in the book and asked about its significance. We discussed for a while, then the next day he brought me the quote on a beautiful written in black blue and purple background. I keep it in my house always!

  • My most treasured souvenir is a paua shell necklace set in gold that my grandmother brought home for me when they lived in New Zealand for several years. She gave it to me when I was about 13, and the necklace seemed too grown-up for me at the time. As I grew up I grew into this fine piece of jewelry, and when my grandmother passed away when I was 20, it became the only object I had that I could hold every day and think of her–and appreciate how I take after her world-traveling spirit!

  • A carved goat’s skull from my visit to Tibet. It is not only stunningly, intricately carved and thus beautiful in an objective way but it is also so evocative for me. Every time I glance at it hanging on my wall, I’m transported back to that life-altering experience.

  • In 2005, my family took a trip to Lebanon to attend the 100th anniversary of my father’s high school, the American Academy of Beirut. It was a moment of celebration for the whole country because despite the streets that were still cordoned off after the assassination of Rafic Harriri a few months earlier, there was a great sense of hope that the future looked brighter and that peace was returning to the region.
    We took a week-long tour of Syria after the reunion, and along the way I picked up a multicolored keffiyeh at the souk in Damascus. We sat in the shade, out of the blistering sun, and our guide Hussein showed me how to wrap it around my head in the traditional way. The fabric held the scent of the souk within it – the piles of saffron and spices, the leather, the mint tea people sat to drink in painted glass cups. I couldn’t take much with me when I left the country to go back to Lebanon, but I had the keffiyeh to remind me of all of the things I had seen that would forever change the way I thought of history, and time, and war.
    Since that trip I’ve worn that keffiyeh almost every day. I’ve used it as a scarf, a shawl, a throw on my couch – it has become the comfort blanket I never had as a child. In the last year, as Syria has been torn apart by the brutal war and the many beautiful places I visited – the Umayyad Mosque, the crusader castle Crac de Chevalier, Aleppo – have been ravaged and destroyed, I have felt powerless and full of grief for the people of Syria. I treasure this piece of that beautiful country even more now. When I leave it at a friend’s house they always say it smells like me – but I like to think it still smells of mint and saffron.

  • The last time I went to New York City I saved half my suitcase for books. My friends think I’m crazy but I remember where I got most of my books. The books remind me of both the store I bought them in (secondhand stores) and the time I spent in that city.

  • 9 years ago, my then-boyfriend (now husband) and I went on our first trip together to visit his grandmother in Southern Florida. I was quite the tomboy at the time and didn’t wear any jewelry or even have my ears pierced. On our second day there, Grandma Flo announced that if I wanted to be part of the family I was going to have to start wearing some jewels!

    We then picked out the most over-the-top “jeweled” clip-on earrings at the nearby thrift store for $3. The rhinestones have all since fallen out of their settings, but I still clip-on the earrings and dance around the house to Flo’s favorite show tunes when I’m feeling nostalgic.

  • My most treasured souvenir from traveling is always the memories of the books I read. The memories of those delicious carefree days spent reading always stick with me so when for example i think of our trip to costa rica in 2004, it is always associated in my mind with Rohinton Mistry’s “A fine balance”. Whenever i am about to leave on a trip, i select 3-5 books very carefully and typically leave them behind for other travellers to enjoy.

  • I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa. There are so many beautiful textiles, jewelry and wood work from this part of the world, but my most treasured souvenir from my time there is a hand made pull toy “car” made by a boy in my village. He fashioned the body out of hardware from a skeleton key lock, the wheels were bike wheel hubs which he attached to the body of the car using bike spokes and the “string” to pull the toy was an old elastic waist band. I traded him a matchbox car for his hand made salvaged car. He thought he won the lottery, but I’m pretty sure I got the better end of the deal :). I display it proudly and love telling people the story behind where it came from.

  • Every time my husband and I go to Japan, we hit up all the flea markets. We have so many little knick knacks that i love — a little leather coin purse, a silver tie clip, pocket squares, wooden trinket boxes…the list is endless!

  • I have a glazed tile in emerald green that I got from a small antique store in the Cotswalds. I visited there with my mom and 2 daughters. Girls’ trip!

  • While I traveling as long as possible in Asia, I decided not to buy any jewelry-my weakness- to conserve money. In Nepal, I befriended an antique dealer and he gave me a little stone pendant made from part of an old Nepali belt. The only piece of jewelry I have from those 9 months of travel.

  • My favorite thing that I have collected from my travels is an old map of Ireland with the route from our road trip mapped out on it. I brought it home and framed it. Every time I look at it, I am reminded of the places we went, memories made and the tiny roads we took to get there.

  • I went to Panama and bought a tiny (8’x8′) painting on a street corner. It’s an overhead view of four women making masa. This tiny little painting has been in my kitchen, and has moved with me from Washington DC, to Santa Monica and now Pasadena. I treasure this little memory — and the best part was, I bought it from the artist.

  • A necklace that I bought my first time in Paris. It was more than I would normally spend on jewelry but my bestfriend convinced me to buy it and I wear it all the time years later.

    Alder and Co. is one of my favorite places to stop when I am having a bad day. Between it and Canoe I always feel better. And a drink at Gruner.

  • My most treasured souvenir is from an excursion that I wasn’t on…

    When I was about 5 or 6 I got the Chicken Pox, and was destine to a week of scratching. One of the nights I was home watching movies with oven mitts taped to my hands, my Mom took my older brother (who already had Chicken Pox) out to dinner and a “children’s fun house” for kids. I was so sad that I had to miss a great time at Fun Plex because I was still contagious.

    When my mom and brother returned, they gave me a small pig figurine, dressed up in a clown outfit. It probably cost under $5 and was such a silly gift, but even at that age, it meant so much to me that they got me a souvenir, and were thinking about me even though I wasn’t with them. 25 years later, I still have the pig in the clown costume, and fondly remember when they gave it to me.

    To this day, I always send postcards or pick up a trinket for one (or both of them) when I go out of town. Sometimes it’s the smallest gifts, and smallest gestures that are the most meaningful.

  • When my husband and I went on our honeymoon to the Caribbean, every night the turn down service left a local shell on our pillows with an inspiring quote for the day typed out on a decorative card. We still have all 7 shells and cards, been trying to think of a cool way to display them.

  • I’ve been mentally touring through all my travels to recall my most treasured souvenirs and would have to say they are 1. My memories 2. My photos pre and post digital era which are now the foundation of endless hours of artistic meandering and prompt recall of the unexpected joys of travel found in the small moments of friendship with strangers and new friends 3. Would be vintage linen sheets from France. I’m a linen convert now. Thanks for the chance in your giveaway.

  • The tiny sand dollars I found on Ilsa do Mel, an island off the coast of Brasil. Even after 7 years, I still have them sitting on my windowsill as a memory of that amazing trip!

  • My most treasured souvenir is actually from Portland! I stopped by Mary Kate McDevitt’s studio for a moving sale and got an awesome “Made in Oregon” print. It’s hanging on my wall now and reminds me of my time spent in PDX every time I look at it.

  • When I was in college, I went to China and bought an colorful art print of village fishermen making a catch. The print has hung on the wall of every apartment I have rented as I have moved from all over LA to Portland, and this April, it will hang on our nursery wall of our newly adopted son from China!

  • I have a tiny glass turtle my sister brought me back from a trip she took to mexico. I love it!

  • my first and favorite souvenir is a set of anthropologie mugs my husband and i got on our first trip together (visited Boston, MA).

  • All of my film photographs that I took in Paris, circa summer of 2013. It was not an easy feat! The TSA almost confiscated my unused film rolls AND almost made me miss my flight to the City of Lights, but upon deep investigation (and countless pleading), I got them all back and barely made my flight (boy, those track & field days really paid off). I was only able to stay for a few days, but what I came back with will stay with me forever. This was the first time I had ever travelled alone AND been to a foreign country, so I knew I had to document every single moment. I hit all of the tourist stops, recommendations given by friends and colleagues, and places that I miraculously archived in a tiny little black notebooks since my wee days in high school. My favorite photographs are those with light leaks. Some may call it damaged, imperfect, or merely a photographic miss, but all those leaks are just a reminder of that exact time and place, something that I will never be able to re-create. Just mere memories that I will cherish for as long as I live.

  • I treasure the beautiful smooth rocks collected from the beaches in the San Juan Islands. I’ll never tire of their varying colors and lined features.

  • I haven’t travelled much but I do have great little gifts that my husband has given me from his travels in the military. My faves are my stainless steel chopsticks from Korea and a little box from Guam (this is always on our desk). Also, another big favorite is the post card we sent ourselves during our vacation in Vancouver, Canada. It was so fun to come home and read our own thoughts! It’s still on our fridge now!

  • My most treasured souvenir is a silver ring with a little green stone. My family took a trip to Mexico when I was a little girl and my dad convinced the seller to give me the ring at no charge “because she’s beautiful.” Thanks Papa :)

  • Several years ago my Spanish class from high school decided to have a reunion…in Spain. We traveled all over the countryside, beginning in Barcelona and ending in Madrid. One of my favorite stops, though, was in Granada. One day while visiting the Alhambra we stopped in a tiny store built into the wall outside the palace and I picked up a lovely little wooden inlaid jewelry box. Every night I take off my earrings, put them in the box, and am reminded of that mysterious Moorish city.

  • I have to say, first of all, that I really have loved Alder + Co. from afar. I was so excited to read the interview and see this dream of a giveaway.
    I have to say that some of my dearest souvenirs are small rocks and sticks that i collect while walking. I spent a summer in Iceland and some of these porous lava rocks transport me to the views, laying in the soft grass and the endless days of summer. Certainly things that remind me of the land. well, and of course my icelandic wool slippers.

  • My most treasured souvenir was a beautiful little art print I picked up at a random shop along the road on my trip to Maui

  • Let’s try this comment again…

    Travel gifts from my husband while he was in the military are so special to me. My faves are stainless steel chopsticks from Korea and a lil box from Guam that I keep on our desk. Also, I love the postcard we sent ourselves while on vacation in Vancouver, Canada. It was so great to read our thoughts when we got home!

  • When I was in Turkey on the Mediterranean Sea while waiting for friends to get a borrowed boat ready before we took it out on the sea. I used the round white and colored rocks to create mosaics. I took three of the round rocks home and I have them displayed in a niche in my bedroom.

  • My favorite souvenir comes from Tate Liverpool and is a print from “Double Portrait,” one of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ “stack” pieces. As the name suggests, a stack piece is literally a stack of prints. Visitors to the gallery or museum are invited to take a print home for free and the stack is replenished ad infinitum. I love the sense of generosity embodied in these works. My husband and I were on an anniversary trip and the piece “Double Portrait” represents a pairing of two like people in togetherness, solidarity and love, which made it even more special for us. We have the print hanging in our bedroom and it is a wonderful reminder to cherish our relationship.

  • I love Alder & Co.! My most treasured souvenir isn’t technically mine, but as a child I visited Sweden with my family- and we located some long-lost relatives who owned a farm near Gothenburg. My dad took a chunk of wood that used to be a part of our great-great-great grandfather’s cabin home with him in his suitcase. I used to bring it to show-and-tell at school :)

  • A very brightly painted papier mache picture frame from a brief excursion to Cuba with my mom.

  • My 1960’s French keyring.

    It’s not fancy- a worn metal disc stamped with a sword and shield, emblazoned with “La Protectrice”. But when I hold it in my hands, I imagine all of the places that keyring traveled before I bought it for a euro at a small flea market in Cannes. And I remember going to France on my own, on far too little money… and getting sunburnt while drinking Coca-Cola and Pastis, kissing a sweet man at the Cannes Film festival, and hiking the rugged île Sainte-Marguerite, where the Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned. And I remember that adventure and romance are possible if I make the effort.

    It’s funny how something so small and seemingly insignificant can mean so much.

  • My most memorable souvenir is a three yak bells that I found at a night market in Tibet. They are hanging on the coat hook just inside my back door. Every time I hang up my jacket, the bells clank together and remind me of the adventures I took when I was younger.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a heart-shaped rock that my boyfriend and I found along the coast in Cambria, CA. We’re in a long-distance relationship: he lives in Baltimore and I live in Southern California, and we’ve taken “our” rock on many trips. He even took it to Minnesota for a pharmacy school interview. The little rock is definitely our most treasured souvenir.

  • Traveling Europe one spring, I was staying at the home of a friend’s friend. They had just recently bought a new home that used to be an inn and had sat vacant for many, many years; this house had such an assortment of odds and ends laying around from the previous owners. In the back of a closet in the seldom used formal entryway, i found this lovely red and blue floral umbrella, that has since traveled with me on all of my extended trips.

  • My charm bracelet! My parents helped me collect a silver charm from each of the places we visited–I still continue the tradition today. It’s getting a bit crowded!

  • My favorite souvenir is a small toy goat made from a willow branch by our Ute rafting guide in SE Utah.

  • So far, my most treasured travel piece is my street sign from Venice. It’s a replica of the street signs from the city and every time I see it, it takes me right back.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a wooden apple core that I purchased in Sweden. It sits front and center on the shelf!

  • Spices from the Souks of Marrakech. Though I know they won’t last forever, every time I add these flavors to a recipe it takes me back to my Spring trip to Morocco.

  • Each place we visit, my husband and I go out of our way to select a beautiful Christmas ornament representative of the country or city. It’s something we look forward to during the best time of the year and reminisce on some great experiences.

  • While in South Africa I picked up an oil painting from a vendor on the side of the road. It is a treasured piece of art work.

  • My most treasured souvenirs are usually the pictures I take (that I have big plans for re: printing and hanging). I don’t tend to buy much when I’m traveling and usually only pick up small items when I do: Some rocks from the desert in China, an old seltzer bottle from a vintage shop in Buenos Aires, a skirt from Costa Rica. Pictures mean the most to me, though.

  • There seems to be a tie between my two most cherished souvenirs. The first is a quartz rock that my husband picked up and gave me at a beach in Port Townsend, WA when we were visiting the Seattle area together for the first time. We had only been dating for two months and he came on a roadtrip with me, my mom, and my younger sisters to meet my entire extended family. It was the first “gift” he ever gave me. I think about the irony of it now, because I was head over heels in love with him and knew I would marry him. I thought he might propose on that trip, and while he didn’t I did get a “rock” out of it. I carried it around in my purse for a year, and now it is in a keepsake box next to my bed. The second is a photo strip from the photo booth in the ACE Hotel lobby from our 2 year wedding anniversary visit. It was one of the few instances we’ve taken pictures together and it was our first excursion without our daughter, who was 2 at the time. Someday I’ll have a curio cabinet to display the many things like that I’m sure to accumulate over the years.

  • What an exquisite store! My most treasured memory: a hand-weaved bag from a women’s cooperative I worked with in Guatemala. They weaved the spelling of my name in the bag incorrectly, and even still, it’s my most humbling and favorite treasure. (And the misspelling feels so charming!)

  • my mother’s engagement ring that she got on a trip to Big Sur with my father 40 years ago.

  • My friend Lauren Souther once gave me the best advice. She said that whenever she traveled, she would buy a scent, a perfume, a body oil. So, whenever she wore that particular aroma, she would be magically whisked back to the time and place from whence the perfume came.

    Now when I travel, I follow this motto ALWAYS. I bought Dans Tes Bras by Frederic Malle at Barney’s in Seattle on a particularly romantic getaway. Then there is the GRAND TOUR, from Assembly New York I bought on a whirlwind 12 hours there where my sweetheart and I ate oysters and smoked fish from Russ and Daughters in Tompkins park.

    In LA last month, we stopped into Moon Juice for a final treat before driving north, and I found a beautiful body oil that eases inflammation. The scent was woody and fresh at the same time. Now, when I rub it into my hard worked hands and neck, I remember the bougainvillea, the tall cacti everywhere, the margaritas with friends, the beautiful place we stayed, and all the warm sunny smiles.

  • When I was a child my family spent a few weeks traveling in France and Italy. At the time I was really fascinated by marionettes. I bought one in Paris and one in Venice. After that I began collecting a few more. And i have a few from Mexico as well where I lived when I was in elementary school.

  • I have a ceramic figurine of Altai shaman holding an agate stone in his hands to protect my family and home from anything bad that could possibly happen. I wish it would always work.

  • My husband and I went on a road trip across the states for our honeymoon. Sure, we waited a year so we could save up money (and time off), but it was just as special as the day we said our vows. We drove up from Texas to the point of Michigan and back. And of all the chotchkies we saw and the natural wonders we encountered… It was a handblown glass pumpkin in a gift shop at Cedar Point that caught our eye at the same time. He liked it because it had been handmade by a person… With FIRE. I liked it because it was pretty but not overly complicated. I can remember looking at him and knowing that we were going to be an excellent team as husband and wife. Our fifth anniversary is later this year. If anything, thanks for giving me a chance to remember this. It’s a happy memory.

  • While traveling solo through Tanzania, I ended up meeting and joining two young British travelers to Malawi which was not a planned route. When they discovered it was my birthday, they surprised me with a gift of a locally hand-carved wooden warthog with bone tusks. Though we ended up traveling together for almost 10 days and sharing detailed moments from our lives, we soon lost touch after our journeys ended. I still think of them every time I pass that little carving, and marvel at the good fortune of ships that pass in the night.

  • My most treasured souvenir is an ashtray from Harry’s Bar in Venice because I was there on my honeymoon. Don’t ask how I got it…..

  • Over the past two decades, I’ve collected sand and pebbles from places I’ve traveled and lived. Grey pebbles from a lake bed in Patagonia, volcanic black sand from Iceland, jade and blue stones from beach in Marin, white sand from Dove Lake in Tasmania, and the rough copper colored sand from my favorite beach on Martha’s Vineyard. I keep them in little labeled bottles on our mantle. Every time I look at them I’m transported back to that place and time. It’s wonderful!

  • My favorite souvenir is watercolor paintings from St. John. It brings back great memories of our stay at an eco-tent there – just the two of us, the beach and snorkeling. Other great souvenirs: framed photos from our travels, ornaments, and food items!

  • My most treasured souvenir is a beautiful piece of mexican folk art, a sacred heart shaped out of tin. I purchased it while vacationing in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  • My favorite souvenir is an omamori (a protective amulet) from Japan. While I’m not a superstitious person, I’ve kept it in every car I’ve driven. My grandmother, who unbeknownst to us was dying from cancer, made a special trip to a Buddhist temple to purchase this lovely amulet with orange brocade fabric. She wanted to ensure that I was protected from harm in my adulthood. This trip to a Japan was the last time I saw my grandmother, but I remember her love and kindness every time I get into my car.

  • A colorful handmade quilt from Egypt in a traditional water lily pattern. Also, the memory of the haggling my friend Sarah did on my behalf. She’s a pro at that kind of thing.

  • My favorite thing would be a pale pink paper mâché bowl with white flowers painted on it from Mexico. I went to visit my friend there as a child and brought it back to my mom, who still uses it today to put keys in on the kitchen counter :)

  • traditional handmade, elaborately embroidered shoes from the Miao minority in the Yunnan province of China

  • A piece of Carrera marble from the quarry in Italy–where Michelangelo got his marble to make his masterpieces.

  • My favorite souvenir is a heart shaped leaf my husband found, on the ground, picked up and gave me.

  • My boyfriend and I were road tripping down to Florida, when storms rolled in rural Georgia. Soon, the rain was so heavy we couldn’t see the road and small town’s tornado sirens started sounding. We followed the only car still on the road with us and hoped they were nice people. Luckily for us, it was a sweet elderly couple who kindly let us sit in their living room until the storm passed. The Christmas cards I receive from them every year are the best recurring souvenir.

  • A coaster from Dangerous Man Brewing Co. It has a quote by T. E. Lawrence on it.
    It resides on my fridge and reminds me of a trip my husband and I took to see our son compete at the National track meet for his college. It was a surprise that he qualified so all our money was spent on the trip. A lovely cold beer and inspiring quote really reminded me it is the small pleasures to treasure ; )

  • My most treasured souvenir is not from a trip I took. It belonged to my great-grandmother, and was brought to her by my great-uncle from Japan where he was stationed after WWII. It is a wooden-cover photo album decorated with inlaid shell and a painted scene.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a mini Eiffel tower from a trip to France. I was 16 and touring the country with my brother and my then sister-in-law, who was originally from France. She showed us all the sites and gave us her insider’s scoop. It was a great trip with plenty of happy moments. Even though I was 16 I had a notion of how lucky I was, so I bought the tower to remember the trip.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a poster of a drawing by Alphonse Mucha. I bought it at the Mucha Museum in Prague, in a trip I went with my mum. The poster is of a champagne ad campaign. I have it up at home and whenever I look at it, it reminds me of everything that is nice and happy about my life.

  • My most treasured find is a set of matching vintage teacups I got while visiting my mom in Kentucky. We each kept one of them. I live in Texas and we only see each other a few times a year now, but every morning I use this cup (with my favorite pink teapot from Alder & Co.!) and it reminds me of our late night conversations sitting at the kitchen table at home.

  • My favorite souvenir is always my most recent one, which, in this case, is a Catrina figurine that I bought in Tlaquepaque, Mexico.

  • My favorite souvenir is a pair of vintage lithographs from India that depict the Hindu god Vishnu. I purchased them from a shop in Jaipur and after doing some research discovered that they were printed in Mumbai in the late 19th century from the printing press of Raja Ravi Varma–one of India’s greatest portrait artists. I love gazing upon them every night before sleeping–they now hang on the wall behind my bed :)

  • Sea glass my husband and I picked up on the beaches of puerto rico last year for our three girls (while celebrating our 10-year anniversary) – each piece is unique, beautiful, sentimental and free (!)…and we share stories with the girls that were told to us by locals about how they (perhaps) came from pirate ships and mermaids!

  • My most treasured souvenir is a poster of a drawing by Alphonse Mucha. I bought in Prague at the Mucha Museum during a trip with my mum. The poster was for a champaign ad campaign. I love it – I have it up at home and it’s a daily reminder of everything that is wonderful in my life.

  • We got a beautiful lantern on our honeymoon in Turkey that we love! It’s hanging in our kitchen and we decorated the entire space around it.

  • My most treasured souvenir is my daughter Lucy. I got pregnant with her while living in Turkey. I hope we can go back to visit again someday!

  • My favorite souvenir is a bit of blue lapis that my dad gave me when I was home visiting my family in Taos, New Mexico. It reminds me of home when I hold it in my hand and is supposed to have healing properties. When I am stressed it gives me a sense of comfort and calmness.

  • My favorite souvenirs aren’t even really “mine.” My great-aunt was an avid traveler, even into (especially into) her late 70s who, by the time she died, had visited every continent, including Antarctica. Since she never married and didn’t have any children of her own, when she traveled, she would always bring things home for my cousins, brother, and me. Sometimes that meant postcards or fancy Swiss chocolate, but my favorite was when she would give me bits of foreign currency; I loved the colors of the bills, the odd shapes of the coins, and imagining the strange people to whom they belonged. 15 years after her death, I still have my collection in a giant plastic bag in my dresser drawer. I also inherited her vintage Nikon camera, which comes in the kind of boxy leather camera bag a hipster might mug me for. And while the camera isn’t technically a souvenir in that it’s not from one specific place, I think it does a better job of remembering than just about anything else; even if I never leave the midwest again, it’s “seen” all of the places she’s been to, even the South Pole.

  • Love reading some of the comments! My most treasured souvenir is typically our photos. As a Portland resident I frequent Alder and can attest to their lovely curated store.

  • My favorite souvenir is a purple shirt I got from Discovery Cove. I spent the whole day there with my twin sister. We loved the aviary the most.

  • My Frye Campus Boots went all over the world with me when I traveled a lot in my 20s. I don’t wear them anymore (they’re cracked and looking pretty shabby) but I’ll never get rid of them. They’re technically not a souvenir (I bought them in Minnesota) but they make me remember all the places I’ve been.

  • My most treasured souvenir is my son. After years of trying & hoping for children we said screw it… let’s take a trip & put the family planning on the backburner. We hopped in the car and drove down to North Carolina. We started at the coast and drove clear across to Tennessee, camping & enjoying craft beers and tasty food along the way. We fell in love with Asheville. Whelp, after the trip I was expecting & our wee man came to be in Asheville. We named our little souvenir Ash & can’t wait to take him out on the road for more family adventures

  • My most treasured souviner is a little wooden eagle pendant which was hand carved by a man in Cuba. I bought it to go on a necklace but when the cord snapped I have kept it to remind me of how great my travels were :)

  • Several years ago, I was in NYC when my friend/tour guide was called in to work. She felt bad, so she left me with her subway pass and a map for the day. I spent the day visiting museums, and I bought a small ceramic pig from the American Folk Art Museum. Pigs are my favorite animal, and it reminds me of one of my favorite vacation days when I look at it.

  • my favorite souvenir is a vintage wine regions of france map the owner of a vineyard gave my friends and i when we took a road trip through the south of france during our year abroad. it reminds me of the adventures i’ve been lucky to have, and inspires me to continue making my own adventures!

  • My husband has travelled more than I have, and he has brought me jewelry from several countries that I love to mix together and wear….Panama, Mexico, Ethiopia, Thailand, Hungary, India…different yet beautiful

  • My first trip to paris was years ago when I was in college. I only purchased one souvenir my entire trip but it was a good one. I bought a designer handbag, my first, and my most cherished. I still have the handbag today and I love it just as much as the first day I bought it. It will always be extra special – it’s from Paris after all! So thankful I decided to splurge!

  • My favorite souvenir is a bracelet that has been passed down by two extraordinarily empowering women – my mother and my sister. My mother bought the sterling silver bracelet from a metal-worker in Toronto. She gave it to my sister as a gift who then gave to me as a momento when I went to college. I haven’t taken it off since! I look down at it and think of them always.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a vintage silk scarf I got at a flea market in Bologna, Italy when I was studying there. I was so broke by the end of my semester that I was eating basically nothing but buttered pasta…yet I still couldn’t pass up that scarf as I walked by. No regrets – I wear it all the time!

  • When I was in the train station in Barcelona, a group of young spaniards handed me a deck of cards… they traveled with me through Europe, and I still have them. They’re sort of worn and odd, but I’ve played all kinds of games with all kinds of people all over the place and they have become very precious. I keep thinking that one day I will just hand them to some one else, randomly, the way they were given to me… but the day has yet to come and for now I’m holding on to them! So excited about this give away, by the way- I love Alder & Co. I bought some linen pillow cases for my bed from them and they are just beautiful.

  • This is a beautiful idea! Love seeing everyone’s stories and moments. My most treasured souvenirs are photo booth film strips that I’ve taken with my sister. We’ve lived states apart for too many years now and every year, when I visit her, we find a photo booth. Our expressions and styles have changed over the years, but the fact that she is my sister and my best friend never have. I keep them over my desk and look at them daily. Even though we’re far apart, she’s always close by.

  • My boyfriend and I went to Tulum, Mexico, and it was my very first trip to somewhere where the water was warm and a clear turquoise blue. We spent a large portion of the trip snorkelling and hunting for shells and sea treasures. Now my most treasured souvenirs rest in a glass shadow box holding our abandoned hermit crab shells, a set of barracuda teeth and a mysterious glass bottle that’s permanently sealed.

  • How fun! My most treasured souvenir is my collection of sand and shells from each beach I visit. It reminds me of warm, sunny days on the coldest of months! After I started my collection, my mom told me that my grandmother used to do the same thing. It makes my quirky collection even more special now.

  • My absolute favorite souvenir is a striped wool sweater purchased at a thrift store in spain. My best friend and I were traveling around europe with our small duffle bags containing 3 outfits each; As we would wear out clothes or shoes, we would buy new items to replace the ones we had worn through from local shops and thrift stores. Since we were on a tight budget, our finds could never cost too much. The sweater was an item we found early in our travels. One of us ended up wearing that sweater nearly every other day over the next 2 months. I LOVE that sweater and still wear it often. It is a perfect reminder of one of the best times of my life.

  • I love to collect functional souvenirs from my travels. A tote bag from Japan, the perfect tank top from Italy, a zippered pouch from Istanbul, coasters from Beirut, an antique linen sheet from the coast of Maine. I can use these things in daily life and remember all the places I have been.

  • I was lucky enough to study abroad sophomore year of under-grad, to a French speaking North African country. Years later I still can’t toss the French-Arabic bottle of water…though not my most treasured souvenir. This may be cliche, however, the friendships I made are my most treasured from that experience. Friends that were from my program and some local Tunisians. I love seeing their Facebook pictures of the Kuwait Zoo and other awesome things from the Middle East that I’d otherwise never see.

  • Beach glass. My mom moved to the east coast of Canada several years ago, and combing the beach for glass is something that we would do together. I now try to look for a piece or two whenever I’m on a beach– especially foggy beaches that remind me of the Maritimes. My most prized possession is a bracelet that my mom made me out of a few gorgeous pieces of beach glass.

  • I visited my sister and her family in Germany 8 years ago. In one town square was a small, but two-story home goods and decor shop where I spotted a stainless steel butter dish shaped for European butter sticks. Of course, the shape didn’t stop me from buying it and I’ve used it solely ever since. The best thing about it is it can’t break even with my clumsy butter-fingers!

  • My favorite souvenirs are a luckenbooth charm necklace I got from a charming little shop in Edinburgh and my passport with all its stamps.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a volcanic rock from the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. I’m an avid rock collector and wannabee Geo-nerd, so for me The Giant’s Causeway is a place of legend, magic, and mystery. Volcanic basalt erupted some 50 million years ago creating huge, hexagonal columns soaring from the crashing surf. It’s like walking through a forest of geometric, stone spires. This place is an epic wonder and has a magical, enduring spirit to it, much like the whole of Ireland. Being the insatiable rock-hound I am, I ferreted away a small piece of this natural treasure to live in my home. It reminds me of all the amazing things in this world. It was also the first time I had ever been out of the country. It was so incredible to see a small part of what the rest of the world has to offer. It is important to explore and learn and find joy in the world around you and a perfect place to start is the natural world. See what the Earth has created and know that we can emulate that same beauty in the things we create. I will treasure this little rock for all of the things it represents in my life. And it also looks stellar on my side table!

  • A used bookshop around the corner from where I studied abroad in the UK used to wrap each book in special, simple paper and tie it with twine. I have a TS Eliot play that I purchased and never unwrapped, just so I could remember the space and the moment.)

  • My favorite souvenirs are different pieces of fabric that I buy on vacation and then sew them into quilts to snuggle under and remember all the places i’ve been.

  • i carried a dismantled wooden child’s chair in my pack for months while backpacking the carribean coast of central america. the armrests and legs are skeleton bones and the headrest is a skull. it is so cool.

  • my favorite and most treasured souvenir is an old seiko watch with a gold face and very worn out striped fabric band that belonged to my dad at some point in his life. i discovered it looking through his things and it was so special and different than anything i had ever seen him wear. it doesn’t quite hold time, but i love the style…until someone asks me what time it is…

  • My favorite souvenir is a small painting I brought home from a vacation to Croatia last summer. Every time I walk past it hanging on the wall it brings back good memories!

  • I love a ugly gargoyle I got from Mont Saint Michel in France. Its not attractive or classy but its moved with me a million times.

  • My husband grew up in idyllwild, ca and we took our 4 year old son there to see where his daddy grew up last year. While we were there we happened upon the most amazing (seriously) record store, it was like a beautiful log cabin FULL of every record that you could ever imagine… think I cried… was so unexpected, well we ended up buying some rare records that we had been looking for forever and then went out back to the $1 room, where I found a 1940’s 78 of the Meet Me in St Louis soundtrack, mine and my great grandmother’s favorite movie! It was the find of a lifetime.

  • A crumpled map of Kyoto I shoved into a coat pocket while there a few years ago. I’ve kept it in that pocket ever since.

  • Definitely photography from all of my trips. There’s a picture of me sitting next to a waterfall on the Appalachian Trail of which I’m particularly fond.

  • I travel a bit for work and I always make a point to take lots of pictures- the walls of my house are filled with great black and white street scenes, which help me remember the unique characteristics of the places I visit-

  • I love all my rocks I collect in all my travels. I’m a huge agate hound; I used to be able to remember where I found all the various agates, but I have too many now.

  • A collection of prints from vintage Soviet magazines for teachers that I bought for a few cents at Moscow’s Izmailovskii antiques market–they show examples of art projects for kids, in beautiful colors–a little chicken, a little bus, all made out of geometric forms.

  • When I traveled to St. Croix a few years back, I bought a couple yards of fabric that I later made a dress out of…. now whenever I wear the dress, I feel like I’m back on the island!

  • My husband and I honeymooned in Playa del Carmen and one of the days, we took the ferry to Cozumel. We road mopeds around the whole island exploring. While headed down this small dirt road we found a horse shoe lying there. We stopped to pick it up and kept it for good luck. It is so simple and yet one of my most special and treasured pieces!

  • My most treasured souvenir is a hand carved sloth bookend that my husband and I bought from an artist in Costa Rica. It was our first big trip together and we wanted to find a unique souvenir for our home. Honestly, it is not fine art and a pretty abstract interpretation of a sloth, but that’s ok. It s all part of its handmade charm.

  • My most trusty (and loved) souvenir has to be a chunky ring featuring the face and headdress of a Native American. The face’s features, particularly his nose, have been flattened from years of wear. I went halvies on it with my sister on a trip to Lake Michigan years ago. We found it in a tray in one of our favorite antique stores. Somehow, fortunately, I ended up keeping it when we moved into our own places. It reminds me of warm days and time spent with family and it is just plain cool. I wear it every day.

  • A postcard with an image of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera from Guanajuato Mexico which happens to be Diego Rivera’s and my great grandmothers birthplace.

  • For a few rupees, in an antique shop in Rishikesh, India, I found a small wooden horse missing an ear.

  • Unfortunately I don’t get to travel a lot, and have only gone out of the country once. But when I was 19, my friends and I rented a beach house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I’m never one to buy sweatshirts as a souvenir, but I wanted to remember that vacation every time I wore it. The sights of the sun going down on the ocean and enjoying my first feeling of relaxing freedom is something I will treasure for years to come.

  • trinkets i found for close to nothing at a flea market in Paris. a tiny ceramic cat, a fabric upholstered jewelry box, and a container that says “café” on it in a kind of askew manner.

  • My husband is military and while we have not had the opportunity to travel to many exotic places together by way of the military we have been fortunate to travel on our own accord to some incredible places in North America; Ottawa, Chichen Itza, Savannah, Boston, Providence, Asheville, and charming little towns like Hartsville, SC and much of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. I am always in pursuit of unique art or a piece of furniture if we have a vehicle to transport such a find. In Atlanta we discovered a vintage Stanely Furniture low bench style three drawer campaign dresser being sold for next to nothing. It was missing most of its hardware and was covered in water stains and scratches. I saw the potential in it and my husband was wise enough to agree with me. Today, it exists fully restored and has become one of the most functional and beautiful pieces of furniture I’ve ever owned.

  • I lived in Paris for 3 years, and I collected books from every country I traveled to. If my house were on fire; I’d grab my boyfriend, 2 cats, and these books (in that order). I have Robbie Byrne’s book of poetry from Scotland, Sherlock Holmes from my adventure in London, Don Quixote from Spain, Dante’s Inferno from Italy… the list goes on and on. Buying a book from the country/place that I travel and then writing a little note at the end about the trip makes rereading the book like revisiting the country.

  • My favorite remembrance is a necklace with my initial “c” in diamonds, I bought around the corner from our hotel in Paris. I never take it off. My daughter loved it so much, I surprised her with her own for her birthday. The French packaging was almost better than the gift, when it arrived in the mail months later.

  • A three-way tie: a metal pocket watercolor set from France, a replica Greek coin pendant from the Met. Museum of Art, and a toy hammer I found while getting lost somewhere in Seattle with my sister.

  • i love to collect different candies from countries i’ve been to. japan is at the top of the list!

  • I have saved a few coins from each country I have visited (15 so far). I keep them in a bowl on the coffee table where they serve as reminders of the unique places I have seen. Papua New Guinea’s coins are my favorite, especially the 1 kina piece with it’s hole in the center and two crocodiles.

  • I went to Iowa with my boyfriend for his family reunion. I loved going into the river, sticking my hand in and finding a magical volcanic bubble (i.e. a geode). Then crushing them with hammers to make smaller pieces to reveal the shimmering insides. Using them now to make jewelry and air plant vessels!

  • Whilst visiting a small antique store in Warwickshire, England, I came across two old vintage, sepia coloured black and white photos: one of an old house, the other of an old church. I purchased the two photographs and presented them to my husband (originally from England). After reviewing them, he realized that the old church is where his father is buried and the old house had been his grandmother’s, where his mother grew up! The odds were astounding and it does make one wonder about random luck! The photos are mounted in our dining room and bring joy to us both daily!

  • I lost a wonderful wool rug from Germany to a moth infestation last year. Just heart wrenching. But, the healing process has begun thanks to two beautiful knives from Tokyo.

  • I collect something every time I’m able to travel. The Murano chandelier in my dining room nearly cost me my friendship with best my BTBE (Best Travel Buddy Ever) who surely felt the day was wasted looking through every factory on the island of Murano. I was on a mission. Ultimately, I found the perfect chandelier in a tiny shop next door to where we had dinner that night in Venice! It took months to get here (days to assemble!!!) and it reminds me of places I’ve been and many more I have yet to visit.

  • I got this dorky sumo wrestler in Japan, but i could only convince myself to get one even though I wanted two and then for christmas my brother got me the other sumo to complete my set. :)

  • I collected a heart shaped ventifact (a rock smoothed and shaped by the wind) in Antarctica from a valley where very few people have been. I was out hiking by myself, listening to Madonna on my head phones and looked down to see the heart. I’ll never forget that moment.

  • Though it was not bought, my most treasured souvenir is a painting of a Citroën 2CV (my favorite French car) on a piece of wood that my host brothers made for me when I studied abroad in France. They knew it was my favorite and wanted to make me a special memento to take home (they were 10 and 13 at the time). The car is red, the roof has my last name on it, and underneath it says “La 2CV!!” I’ll display it on my shelf always.

  • My favorite souvenir (from France) is a vintage Pendleton sweater I found in a thrift shop in Lyon…I still wear it despite all its holes….

  • I love to bring a piece of where we travel
    mostly beach finds, rocks, shells
    love the story on the store

  • I am a sucker for textiles, so my favorite souvenir is a beautiful bright red scarf from Spain with simple red and pink embroidery on the ends.

  • A beautiful silk scarf from a wonderful month in Paris with my daughter many years ago.

  • My favorite souvenirs are the pictures I’ve taken. As a present to my husband, I just got a bunch of our pictures blown up and framed.

  • Defenitly the double vintage school desk we found on a flea market in France last spring. It is in our living room now with diffrent plants on it. And I enjoy it every day. :-)

  • A basket that I carried through Eastern Europe in 1992, right after the wall came down. I filled it with fabric, bread and cheese as we traveled. The fabric is covering my dining room chairs and the basket holds a variety of objects as the seasons change. Both are daily reminders of that lovely adventure.

  • Before I left for college, my mom gave me a pair of leather boots she bought when she traveled to England in college. So when I studied abroad in Italy, I made sure to buy a nice leather purse. It’s stylish, but simple, and I plan to keep it until I can give it to my future daughter.

  • hi there…..my precious souvenire–emmmmmm!!!! for me has been always
    photos i go back to to remember the feelings i had then, but more importantly, it is memories of meeting new people, getting involved with their lives sometimes, and even fall in love with someone! ( which has happened in Spain two years ago!).
    I cherish forever the connections I make when I go out traveling!

  • I went to china a few years back, and it was truly a life changing experience. I was there studying art, so the catalogs from the exhibitions are truly prized possessions, especially since I can’t exactly remember what the names of the shows were in chinese! Every time I flip through them I am transported back to the smog filled galleries of bejing and shanghai.

  • My wedding band. My husband (then boyfriend) had planned to propose to me while we were vacationing with family in England and Sicily in 2000 but the gorgeous 1920’s ring he had chosen was still being fitted with an heirloom diamond back home in San Francisco. He sneakily (seriously right under my nose) purchased a simple faceted white gold band from a distant cousin’s shop in Lercara Friddi, Sicily- the small village his father emigrated from at age 5 in the 1920’s. Every time I twist that ring on my finger I remember his sweet proposal in the moonlit field with the sounds of goat bells and the distant Meditteranean Sea.

  • My beautiful red striped Shúkà (sheet that the Maasai people wear as layered wraps) I got from a Maasai village in Tanzania on my honeymoon is by far my most treasured souvenir. I use this sheet mostly as a picnic or beach blanket. I even use it as my Christmas tree skirt. It’s kept my kids warm many times. I LOVE it!

  • i stumbled upon a textile shop in la paz, mexico and found the most beautiful hand embroidered clothing. i bought a skirt and a blouse … more works of art than clothing.

  • I spent a summer in Greece many years ago when I was 15. It was my first time out of the US, first time on an airplane, first time seeing and swimming in an ocean and longest time spent away from home until that point. I purchased a small painted pot while I was there that still sits on my bookshelf and reminds me of that wonderful adventure and the love of travel that it instilled.

  • My favorite souvenir was handed down to me from my grandmother. Years ago, the pastor of her church brought back a necklace with a heart-shaped charm, carved from whale’s bone, with a tiny nautical scene etched onto it. He gifted the necklace to her, and she recently passed it down to me. It’s the most unique piece of jewelry I own.

  • A painting of an Arabian boat made on leather. The boat is drawn on by using a knife. It looks like the leather was engraved upon. The shading and the beauty of it is amazing, That is my favorite piece I collected when traveling to the middle east.

  • Probably the woodblock prints my husband and I purchased in Japan on our trip nearly ten years ago. It was out last big adventure abroad before we started our family adventure and we have them up on the walls to remind us of that time.

  • My most treasured souvenirs are the fossils, and treasures I find while exploring different parts of the country with my father. I found my first criinoid fossil at the age of 2, while walking the beach with my parents. I am now 40, and still enjoy camping and exploring new places with my dad. We have had some of the most amazing adventures, and experiences together. Everytime I look at one of my found treasures I am reminded of our travels.

  • My most treasured souvenire is a pillow I brought back from a recent trip to South America. It is the same pattern stitched on Ancient Mayan clothing meant to represent the universe. It reminds me that I am a small part in the universe but also everything I do matters.

  • Most treasured souvenir is part fond memory and part object: While vacationing in Maui with my family, my two grown children and I took an outdoor class in weaving traditional, Hawaiian palm leaf bracelets. Natural in color, the ‘bangles’ we each made were of ordinary design and very plain in an oh so beautiful way. I’m not so sure my children saw the beauty in them that I did; maybe because half the beauty for me came from sharing this quaint experience with them. Working with our hands, with humble materials, with a little laughter and help from each other, my bracelet has come to symbolize a moment in time I will forever treasure.

  • I adore a hand made pitcher I picked up while vacationing in the Amalfi Coast. I purchased it several years ago and it has gotten plenty of use!

  • My favorite souvenir is a birch bark canoe from Camp Wendy in Wallkill, NY. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Being lucky enough to travel in Europe growing up I also had the privilege of being a spoiled brat at times “but mom, we’ve been walking ALL WEEK! Why do we have to go to the Louvre! Ugh!”. My favorite souvenir (of sorts) is a photo of my sister, after a long day of trudging around Venice (Venice!). She’s about nine years old, frizzy hair, on a beautiful cobblestoned street with the amazing Venetian light all around her – and a look of utter contempt on her face. The juxtaposition is great, and it serves as a reminder to never take the opportunities in front of you for granted!

  • Last summer, I traveled to New Mexico with my brother and sister. North of Taos, in Arroyo Seco, we stopped at a small gallery. I was drawn to a tiny bowl, rustic and simple. It was thrown from local clay gathered from the desert, and finished with a simple white glaze. I’m thankful for both the memory of finding it with my siblings, and the connection it feels to that land.

  • My favorite little trinket from my travel are little rocks and pieces of beach glass and china that I have found at beaches. They always remind me of the beautiful times spent there.

  • I backpacked in SE Asia for a couple of months, and limited space made me choose my souvenirs carefully. The only thing I brought back for myself was a pillowcover made by the Hmong tribes in Laos. It is absolutely gorgeous and a daily reminder of my travels in the warms and sunshine (which I appreciate during Oregonian winters).

  • My most treasured souvenir is a hippo finger puppet that I bought at a concert in London during a whirlwind Europe trip with my childhood pal. She bought a bear finger puppet. Together, we incorporated the finger puppet pals in all of our Europe pictures… and subsequently they have met up again in later travels throughout the world!

  • My most beloved souvenir is a Peruvian knit finger puppet, a hippo named Hyde that I bought at a concert in London during a whirlwind Europe trip. My childhood pal, my travel buddy then, also bought herself a bear finger puppet. Our finger puppet buddies took numerous pictures during this Europe trip, and since then have reunited many times for later travels throughout the world (most recently Taiwan!).

  • I love traveling but I have not done it quite enough! I went to Germany when I was little and treasure the photos and postcards that I have. They spark my memories of castles and monuments, Oktoberfest and traveling around the country. It was such an amazing experience that I had a such a definitive age and I hope that I can travel so much with my daughter in the years to come!

  • I have many special treasures that I have collected from living abroad and on travels, however, perhaps the most treasured one I have was a gift from my parents. When I was much younger, about 8 years old, my parents took a trip to India for what felt like months (I think it was really about a 4 weeks?) My siblings and I stayed home with a nanny and a range of family members chipping in to look after us. IDuring this period I discovered and learnt so much about myself … I really recognised the importance of being the eldest child and how I must look after my younger siblings – it shaped me dramatically. When my parents returned they had many gifts. The best one – that I still love now – was a small hand carved box made from sandalwood. Inside is a little wooden painted bug inside, whose legs are weighted so they jiggle about. The wood has such a strong smell, even 20 years later, the smell and object remind me of the many emotions and feelings I discovered at that time.

  • I bought a small water color painting from a street artist when I was in Salzburg, I wish I would have bought more!

  • My most treasured souvenir is a little magnet from Stax Records in Memphis. It’s a little thing, but it reminds me of a great trip every time I see it.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a handknit Irish sweater from Galway. I lived in Ireland for two years and have visited every year for the last five. The sweater reminds me of hot tea and banter when I wear it on cold California mornings.

  • A patchwork quilt from Guatemala. It is in many shades of red. Some of the squares are velvet and others are hand embroidered with flowers. What I like best about it is that it mirrors the landscape of the surrounding farm fields. Every time I snuggle under it, I have memories of my trip.

  • A pressed four-leaf clover my mother gave me to remember a family trip we took when I was seventeen. She spent hours combing a patch of grass for three of them to give me and my siblings, pressed and laminated them.

  • A little dirt cheap ring I got at a lighthouse gift shop when I was 4! I still have it.

  • I have several pieces of functional pottery from different artists from different locations. I love using a bowl that is different from every other bowl I own. They are imperfect, in a color that I love, have texture, and bring back memories of a place we visited.

  • My favourite souvenir is always the photobooth strips I take…whether they be the kawaii heart themed ones in japan, the moody ones at Ace Hotel in PDX or the color ones in Coney Island, the photobooth is always something I search for and it anchors my trip in a celluloid moment

  • My most treasured souvenir has to be a pair of pearl earrings from Kona, Hawaii. I found the pearls in an oyster, luckily enough there were two. Once I got back, I made studs of them. Every time I wear them I think back to the amazing holiday I had on the Hawaiian islands, and hope to be able to go back at some point.

  • Most treasured souvenir is part fond memory and part object. A family vacation to Maui, and my two grown children and I participated in an outdoor workshop making woven, Hawaiian, traditional palm leaf bracelets. Nothing fancy … yet the simplicity and natural colors were beautiful. The true joy of this woven bracelet comes from sharing this slice of life with my children — a sweet experience we celebrated together, filled with laughter and busy hands in a day I know they remember as well. I will forever cherish this imperfect little bracelet — it is quite perfect to me.

  • One of my favorite souvenirs is a poster of an art exhibit that I saw during a visit to Amsterdam. The museum had run out of the posters and on my last day I unintentionally got lost and ended up in front of a small storefront with the poster tacked to their walls. I bought it from them, tack holes and all.

  • An enormous sidewalk tile from the streets of Barcelona – the Gaudi hexagonal design. I was so lucky they were tearing up the street at that moment!

  • When I was 6-7 my whole family, grandmother (and her boyfriend), cousins, aunts, uncles, all went to Italy. We flew into Munich and then drove down through the alps. In Munich I stopped by a glass engraver and was so fascinated by what he was doing that he made me a glass with y name on it for free. It is one of the hand full of memories that I really really remember from that trip and the glass sits on the shelf, perfectly intact.

  • I have four small watercolor paintings from St. Thomas with the yummiest pale sand and sea colors that remind me of sunshine and balmy temps in the coldest of winter days.

  • I picked my dog up while visiting Savannah, GA. . . so technically my Emmett is my most treasured souvenir.

  • My favorite thing from travelling is the enormous amount of saffron I brought back from working in Barcelona years ago. I cook with it of course, but just looking at it makes me happy.

  • My most treasured souvenir is my husband who I brought back with me to the US after studying in Canada for my undergraduate degree.

  • I was born and raised in Santa Cruz CA. On our last night, before moving across state, my husband and I ate at our favorite bistro. We then walked over to a local boutique where he bought me the loveliest pair of dainty gold earrings. After ten years I’m still wearing my little bit of home.

  • My favorite souvenir is a large ceramic Mayan calendar – super touristy – that my college boyfriend and I struggled with on the plane home. It’s big. It reminds me of a fun time had over a decade ago and I still hang it on my wall. I’ve been back to Mexico several times since and brought back much finer art, but none yet with a back story like this one.

  • Forty years ago I went on a photography safari in Kenya with my family. Sitting in a van, people would thrust jewelry and baskets into the windows, hoping for a sale. A young girl had made a tiny, lidded basket decorated with beads. It was primitive, simple and imperfect in the most wonderful way. I thought I had lost in the process of moving years ago and when I found it tucked away in a box, tears of joy were shed.

  • My favorite souvenir are my jade chops (chinese brush painting–the red mood chops along the edges) that were carved while I watched up on Mt Huang (Yellow Mountain). They sit like little sculptures (one as a napkin paperweight), giving intimate detail from the energy of a skilled master carver.

  • I have 2, both memories of special people in my life. The first is a beautiful hand made magnifying glass (in the shape of a butterfly)that I got for my Mom at a butterfly habitat in Florida. When she passed, I brought it home with me. It sits on a table in my family room, on top of a book from my Dad’s childhood and a prayer book given to my mom after childbirth. That way, my late parents are always with me.
    The second is a hand carved paddle (for canoeing or kayaking). It is a treasure my late husband and I brought home from Bora Bora, Tahiti, on our honeymoon. When we were kayaking in Bora Bora, he smacked himself in the face with his paddle, and his eye blew up like a balloon! He came home with quite a shiner, and I got razzed for beating him up on our honeymoon!
    Objects from our travels evoke memories and emotion. These things fill my heart with gratitude for the special people I have had in my life.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a Suzani from Istanbul. Every time I see it, I remember the taste of apple tea and the fun of selecting it from the beguiling gentleman whose shop I spent an hour in . . . it was very hard to choose. But I know I got the perfect one for me.

  • My favorite souvenir is a glass object made from Mt. St. Helen’s ash. I was living in Boise, Idaho at the time and remember the event. The souvenir was purchased in California years later while visiting a friend who lived in Portland, OR during the time of Mt. St. Helen’s eruption. Sadly, that friend passed away a few years ago.

  • I also love to travel, it’s my biggest passion by far. My most treasured item from travels is actually my engagement ring because my husband proposed on our first overseas trip together in Ireland (we met and eventually married too on St. Patricks Day). Every time I look at my ring I remember that trip and how it changed my life.

  • My favorite souvenir is a big salt ball I brought back from the Dead Sea in Israel.

  • Geez, so many favorites. I’m a trinket hound. My most recent, a Navajo folk art piece that takes the classic medicinal Navajo sand painting motives and turns then into two dimensional wall hangings, made from cottonwood and natural pigments. The softness of the wood and the way the matte pastels seep into it! Thomas Begay’s pieces in Bluff, Utah are dreamy!

  • My most treasured souvenir: A vintage small chartreuse flower pot from an antique store in York, England… perfect for a succulent!

  • i have a lot, but my little black devil from my exchange trip to Russia when I was in high school

  • My favorite souvenir is a small Bjorn Wiinblad decorative plate I found in a flea market in Aarhus Denmark, it was on my second trip there, when I went back to visit friends I’d met during my studies there.

  • I have a nativity set that I bought in South Africa while living there, complete with the big 5 (lion, giraffe, etc) instead of typical sheep and cows. It’s very much a tourist item, but I don’t care. It’s inspired a collection of “different” nativity sets in my home.

  • It has to be the paper mache bride and groom skeleton figures I picked up in Tijuana, Mexico. They are so romantic and still sit atop my curio cabinet 13 years later.

  • I visited Salerno, Italy when I was a student in college in Rome many years ago. I purchased a small wooden box that looked like books on a bookshelf. There was a beautiful piece of wood laying across the top of the books. The man in the store showed me the box and you could hear that there was somthing inside, but it looked like a solid piece of wood that had no openings. He started to slide the fronts of the book in all different directions. You could not slide one of the fronts until you found how to slide another correctly. The last opening was the part of the box that had the key in it and it dropped to reveal the key hole. You finally were able to open the box which revealed a beautiful velvet jewelry box. My chidren still love to play with the box to reveal the key.

  • A blue polka dot dress from a little shop in Arles. I found it on a lovely summer afternoon, and whenever I wear it – even in winter with tights – it reminds me of that wonderful trip, that perfect day.

  • My Babar print from Paris! It’s really just a page thats been cut out of one of the books — but I love it.

  • My husband bought me a coffee mug–years ago–which I use daily. The colors on it eventually inspired our kitchen re-do we finished just 6 months ago.

  • My most treasured souvenir is a Talavera mug that I brought back from my time studying Spanish in Puebla, Mexico. It is both beautiful and utilitarian.

  • My most treasured souvenirs are my photos from my travels. I just love looking back on them and remembering my adventures!

  • It’s so hard to choose! But I’ll say the Buddha head painted on a piece of wood from an old boat, found in a shop in Melaka, Malaysia a few years ago.

  • It is hard to pick one, but I think it has to be a hand thrown sheep from Ireland. It has the most wonderful curly cue coat and black face. There are a lot of sheep pieces out there, but none quite as unique as this one,

  • I would have to say that my favorite souvenir is a wood-carved armadillo that I bought from an artisan in a small village in Nicaragua.

  • I piece of red roof tile from Oslo, Norway! As we wandered the city there were many buildings having roof repair. Just had to scoop up one of those fabulous old tiles and bring it back home.

  • Fridge magnets from almost all the places that we have been to, each one reminds me of the trip and its unique experiences!

  • My most treasured souvenir would be a woven backpack/satchel that I got in a quirky shop in New Hampshire.

  • My most treasured souvenir is one that I didn’t collect firsthand but rather inherited from my Grandmother: a piece of the Berlin Wall. It looks like concrete poured around a bunch of pebbles and its small enough to fit in my palm, but it carries a lot of weight.

  • My most treasured travel souvenir is my full-grain leather satchel I bought in Athens while browsing at Monastiraki! It’s gorgeous, durable, and makes me think of Greece everyday.

  • I have traveled a lot of places, from Venice to Buenos Aires, but my favorite keepsake is a ticket to the Philadelphia Zoo from my first birthday with my husband. It lives happily in my wallet.

  • I think my most precious is a silver cuff bracelet from Madagascar, where I served for 2 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I left Madagascar about 8 years ago, and I still wear it nearly every day. Jewelry is my favorite kind of souvenir because it takes up so little space in your luggage and when you wear it you get reminded of a past adventure.

  • Hand painted ceramic bowl from a huge bazaar in Istanbul. One of the best trips to date.

  • During a recent trip to London, I was walking in Shoreditch and found an old vintage skeleton key on the sidewalk. Who knows how it ended up there but I love it. I now have it hanging on a necklace that I wear everyday.

  • My favorite souvenir is a beautiful hand-carved wooden conch shell I bought when I studied in Tahiti one summer. Just looking at it reminds me of Tahiti and how the world must have looked when it was brand-new. Jagged mountains jutting up from the sea; waves crashing on coral beaches; thick, mysterious jungles (oh, and French pastries thanks to the French colonization).

  • I got a phone charm while studying in Japan from an old man who saw me sitting in a temple with my friends, waiting for our professor. He told me I was beautiful, left, and came back a few minutes later with a phone charm shaped like a series of tiny old Japanese men. It was the cutest thing! I still have it on my phone.

  • a pressed penny from the new orleans aquarium from when me and my partner were first dating and living long distance and i went to new orleans on a visit.

  • I love to cook so when I was in China on a work trip, I thought little tasting spoons would be perfect for my souvenir gift to myself. I use them all the time and each and every time I u