The World in My Pocket

Haggling in foreign countries is probably one of my favorite activities to do when traveling. Bargaining for something I really want to take home often turns into a game. There are several strategies to this skill, but it depends on how badly you may want something or how much you are actually willing to spend on this particular keepsake. I 

could

 give you some tips, but I would rather just show you on my next adventure. Care to join? 

By no means am I a bartering expert, but I have seen vendors take advantage of foreign prey as well as buyers taking advantage of the tradesperson's livelihood, forgetting they depend on this exchange to make a living. A successful bargaining outcome, in my opinion, is one where I feel I have paid a fair price for a culturally relevant keepsake and 

both

 parties are happy. 

Over the years, I have come to collect various travel mementos from different parts of the world. I promise myself to never be a "tchotchke" person with tacky, dust collecting figurines. I see myself more as an individual with culturally diverse interests used to decorate my living space. With a piece of a trip returning home with me, I can have a concrete symbol to remind me of a past adventure.

I always remember my Oma (my German grandmother) going on extended world-wide adventures. She has been to over 120 countries (we actually sat down and counted recently) and has brought back something from almost every place she has visited. Her house is an incredible place to go if you want a great travel story. My favorite part of her trips would be her return; I would ecstatically (typically characterized by jumping up and down) receive a thoughtful trinket(s) from some crazy country I had never heard of. Since then, I have grown extremely fond of geography (dork alert!) simply because I wondered where on Earth my venturesome grandmother had voyaged.

Looks like I got her globe-trotter gene. Thanks, Oma!

I've collected money from every country I have traveled to. Shown here is a frame of all the money I saved while in Asia.

A blouse I bought in El Salvador. Perfect for yesterday's Cinco de Mayo festivities.

I have an extensive glass and shot glass collection (you'll see more of it in the future). This is possibly my favorite one.

I started collecting sand from every beach I went to around the time I saw the black sand of Krakatoa, one of Indonesia's most famous volcanoes.

Yup, that's a real moth. I was able to preserve it after visiting an insect garden in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. I still think it looks stunning.

Buddha is my ohm boy.

{from Thailand}

Boomerang from my high school travels down unda.

{Australia}

Nothing like a good deck of cards that makes you wish you were in paradise playing "Spit."

{from Bali, Indonesia}

I bought this travel box recently and have saved several keepsakes inside (postcards, business cards from friends met along the way, stickers, etc.). The necklace is made of dried clay from Lesotho, Southern Africa.

Giraffe and zebra prints on this bowl perfectly complement each other. My makeup is currently taking up this beautiful real estate. It's almost as if I get a morning safari every time I reach for mascara :)

{from South Africa}

The fan was a gift from my friend Alyssa from Japan when she returned from Semester at Sea. The mask is a little something I got for myself while passing through New Orleans, Louisiana on a road trip.

The best instrument ever invented: Vuvuzela. The most beautiful sound of the World Cup.

{From South Africa}

Lighter sold to me in Hanoi, Vietnam. Probably not from the actual war, but it looks like an antique piece. I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Don't worry, I don't smoke. For candle use only.

"See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."

{from Sapa, Vietnam}

My favorite piece of jewelry of all time. Hasn't left my finger in over six years.

{from New Zealand}

Love and laughter, Kelsey