Pieces of the World

It’s Move Me Monday!  Let’s talk world travel.

Now, I don’t actually like to travel.  I dislike suitcases and airports and hotel rooms and all the logistics that go with an extended vacation.  The furthest I’ve gone in the U.S. is Texas (from California).  The furthest and only country I’ve visited is Mexico.  Ah, but I’ve seen pictures of places around the world that would be gorgeous to see in person.  Maybe when they invent viable teleportation…

In the meantime, other people go and bring me back souvenirs.  I have quite a few travel gifts from all over the world that friends and family have brought back as gifts.  I’m honored they thought of me in the midst of their travels.

My shelf of souvenir trinkets


There’s the wooden cell phone chair from Nairobi, Kenya, along with the cup with painted giraffes and the tiny wicker basket (inside is a fire stone from Kenya as well).  The orange box is from India.  The glass perfume bottle is from Egypt, and so is the white and brown box.  (The shell with the little frog is the one thing I bought on Catalina Island.)  I also have a red shawl from Spain, a chunk of white, sparkly coral from the Philippines, and a compact mirror from France.

I’ve seen pictures of Scotland and Ireland, listened to tales of visiting castles with no barriers, and read inspired posts based on those adventures.  Yet for all that, I still do not wish to go there myself.  I’m a dreamer.  Some people like to see and touch and do.  I’m quite content to live vicariously.  Reality would ruin it for me: humidity, uncomfortable beds, freakishly large insects.  I love to read and watch adventure play out, pretending for a moment that could be me.  That’s where my travels end: in my mind.

I’m content with who I am.  In the meantime, people continue to bring me pieces from their real life adventures, mementos that remind me there’s a great big world out there outside my imaginings, and it further fuels my creativity.

So tell me, are you a dreamer or a doer?  Do you like to travel?  Where’s the furthest from home you’ve ever gone?  What’s been your favorite place to travel to?  Do you bring back souvenirs for people?  Have others brought back gifts from their adventures?  What’s your favorite souvenir?  I love hearing from you!

Also, the winners from the drawing for a free e-book copy of Elemental Magic are

1. Marcia Richards

2. Katy Hulme

3. Linda (Wistfully Linda)

4. Barbara McDowell

5. Raelyn Barclay

Congratulations!

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35 comments on “Pieces of the World

  1. Stacy Green says:

    Love your shelf of trinkets! I’m a dreamer and a doer, lol. I really love to travel, but I’m terrified to fly, so most of my travels are within a day or two drive. We’ve gone to some fun places, but I need to suck it up and get on a plane if I want to go on any of my dream vacations.

    • Hey Stacy, I agree, I hate airplanes! Actually, the flying isn’t so bad, I hate the airports more. Getting across those oceans though would definitely be harder without them.

  2. I LOVE to travel – uncomfortable beds and all 🙂 Trinidad and Tobago are the farthest I’ve been so far (and the scariest! I should have planned that trip better, oops) but I’ve also been from Costa Rica to Canada, from Key West to Newport, Oregon 🙂 Eventually I’m going to make it to Greece and see Apollo’s Temple at Delphi (and then die a very happy woman).

  3. Elena Aitken says:

    Oh, I love love love to travel! There are so many amazing places in the world! I think my parents instilled a love for travel in my early and I was very fortunate to tag along with them to quite a few places.
    The furthest I’ve been is probably Australia, backpacking with my bestie years ago.
    But Panama is likely my favorite! Sailing in the San Blas islands is amazing. And hands down the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen.
    I’d love to go back to Europe and see Scotland and Ireland. I think that will be a trip with hubby one day.
    note to self- better sell more books…
    🙂

    • Haha, yes, we must fund Elena’s travel dreams by telling everyone to buy her books! And see, I love hearing about you talk of these places, but don’t feel the urge to go myself. 🙂

  4. Hartford says:

    I love to travel but I often find the logistics tough to deal with – airports, schedules, delays, packing etc. But in the end, it’s all worth it for me! I think the furthest I’ve been is the Dominican Republic from Canada. My mother was born and raised there so I’ve been traveling there since I was a babe in arms.
    I’ve also done some long distrance driving trips in the US – through Virgina and Tennessee and I loved every minute of it.

  5. Well Angela, you know how much I love to travel and share my travel stories on my blog. You never know, you may change your mind and live your dreams one day. In the meantime I think it’s lovely that you have your treasures from around the world to fuel those dreams! The most important aspect of life is to be happy with yourself so you can spread that joy in your own way. You certainly do that!

  6. I love traveling…wish I had the funds to do it more. I’ve been coast to coast both in the US and Canada, to Mexico and Hawaii, and have been on cruises to the Caribbean. The farthest I’ve been is Europe and I SOOOO want to go back. I was able to do a whirlwind trip through England, France, Germany, and Netherlands. And yes, I see the irony of my love of Scotland and the fact I was so close yet didn’t get there!

    As for souvenirs, I used to collect spoons but moved on to shot glasses when I was of legal age 😉 Which again is kinda ironic as I don’t drink shots, LOL

    And thanks so much for Elemental Magic!

    • You missed Scotland?! That’s tragic. 😉 I don’t really understand the whirlwind trips in Europe; can you really take the time to enjoy things? The spoon collection sounds fun. (So do the shot glasses, lol.)

      • Well, I had two weeks and wanted to see as much as I possibly could. I was also traveling in the off season (Feb-Mar) so lots of snow otherwise I would have definitely made it to Scotland 🙂

        I made a big circle, had a couple days in London before taking the train to Paris, spent 4 days in Paris then rented a car to drive up along the Rhine River with lots of stops, spent a couple days in Amsterdam, a night in Brussels before taking the ferry back to England where again rented a car and did another circuit before spending the last couple days in London. (Still have all the left over money too, I never exchanged it back…wishfully thinking for a return trip?)

        It’s kind of like a cruise, you get a taste of locations.

        So want to go back because a taste wasn’t enough 😀

        • And the distances are deceptive. The train from London to Paris…3 hours. Driving from Paris to Amsterdam via the Rhine River would have been a long day without the stops, I think Google maps has it at about 10-11 hours. So whirlwind in Europe is more doable than in the US or Canada 🙂

        • Four days in each place sounds like a decent taste. I was thinking of those bus tours that whip right through places in like one or two days.

  7. T.F.Walsh says:

    I’m actually a bit of both – I dislike the planning and leading up to a trip but once I’m on it, I love it… I have to travel to China twice a year for work, and those trips I totally am over… I now try to find ways to get out of them:)

  8. Susan A. says:

    I love to travel, though I’m just as much a dreamer as a doer. Love your collection. I actually have the exact same box from Egypt as you and recognized it when I saw it. In my case, an Arabic instructor brought a bunch of them back for his class when he went there to visit family. As for places I’ve visited, they would include Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and Qatar. My hubby’s family moved to Australia so we hope to visit them next year if all goes well. I love traveling so it will be fun to add another continent to my list!

    As for your choosing to stick close to home. That isn’t all bad since you at least study other places and try to learn something about them. I have cousins who think leaving their tiny town to come to Oklahoma City is a major trip fraught with peril. It’s less than a two hour drive, but near impossible to get them to go there. They just like their home and never even bother to learn about anywhere else, much less dream of it. It boggles my mind, but then again, they think I’m a wild and crazy woman for going all the places I have, lol.

    • Hey Susan, I’m impressed when people list so many countries they’ve been to. (Btw, did your box from Egypt smell like…well, let’s just say I haven’t touched it since I opened it the first time. =P)

      Huh, small town mindset, I guess. I used to commute 30 minutes to work and school. Though I know people who commute 2 hours one-way–insane.

      • Susan A. says:

        Yes, the box smells nasty when you first get it. I asked why once, but can’t remember what the reason was. Something in the glue they use. Anyway, the smell wears off if you just leave it open a bit. It may have even wore off just by you having it awhile. Mine is fine now and I even use it to toss a few things in.

        My instructor actually made a joke out of one of those boxes. He was always complaining about the other Arabic instructors being nosy and getting in his stuff. So he put a bunch of paperclips in the box and then put tape so it was semi-sealed shut. He had a day where he would be away for some appointment and bet us that the substitute instructor would open the box, even with the tape on it. That Arabs could not resist a mystery and the sounds it made as the paperclips rattled would spark their curiosity. We didn’t believe him, but sure enough we got a female sub the next day who came in and grabbed that box within an hour of class starting. She asked what was inside and we claimed we didn’t know. Rather than respecting our instructors stuff, she broke the tape seal and opened it. We all laughed when she saw only paperclips inside. She was so disappointed, lol.

        When our regular instructor returned, he got a good laugh and gave us the “I told you so!” He pulled stuff on the other teachers all the time. Not only that, he would go back to Cairo, where he was from, for visits and start false rumors just to see how long it took to cross the city. Sometimes within a few hours he had people coming to tell him what they heard and it would be the rumor he started! That guy was too funny. He sure knew how to manipulate his fellow Egyptians without them even knowing it. I think it came from him being a Christian Arab and living among so many Muslims. Being a minority wasn’t easy, so he found ways to make his life more enjoyable over there until he came to the US to live.

  9. Lesann says:

    I do both. I dream about going certain places but I don’t want to go until I can see everything the way I want to…lengthy visit, special permissions to visit closed sites, etc.

    On the other hand there are times when I wake up, tuck the boy into his carseat, have my husband take the day off and drive 500 miles to see what’s over there. When the travel urge hits, I gotta go. I’d travel nonstop if I could. See everything. Go everywhere. Yep, even there….

    Now if they could just make that time machine to go along with the teleportation device – then things will get really interesting.

    • Hey Lesann, that actually sounds really good, wanting to travel on your terms and knowing what you want to see. And yet, you make up spontaneity with random car rides. Your kid might end up with a love for travel like Elena and Natalie did. 🙂

      Yes! A time machine too. Though I bet the travel insurance will be killer. 😉

  10. I dream of traveling, but I plan on doing it. Right now I make the characters in my books do the traveling for me.

  11. I’m a dreamer and a doer. Traveling is such a wonderful way learn about other cultures. I don’t like to be a tourist, I’m more of the do as the natives do kind of gal. On my list: Italy, France, England (again), Australia & New Zealand (I have GOT to see where they filmed Lord of the Rings!), and Canada. If there’s time, I’ll make up new itineraries. ; )

  12. I’ve traveled extensively in the past but now my trips don’t take me as far as they’ve used to. When my kids get older I want to travel again – with them. It’s such a joy to see all the amazing places that this planet has to offer. And the diversity of cultures is what I crave the most, despite living in the melting pot of the Pacific Northwest 🙂

  13. Katy says:

    Oh Angela, you already know I’m a doer! I love to travel. In saying that though, I do like my creature comforts, so as much as I like to think about going on safari and hiking mountains, I know I’d be hopeless at them so just dream instead.

    I pick up loads of things when I’m travelling but I’m also like Raelyn and collect shot glasses, even though I don’t actually drink! I just found that they’re small, easy to pack and are little reminders of the places I’ve been. I also collect postcards. I think it started with the intention to actually send them to people but I was HOPELESS at sending them so I just ended up keeping them and sticking them on my walls.

    My favourite souvenirs would have to be a ceramic tile painting from the small town of Minori, Italy where my grandma was from, a wooden jewellery box from Krakow that my brother bought me, and a Tekoteko from New Zealand, which is a small wooden carved warrior with paua shell eyes that is said to ward off intruders and sits above my bed!

    And SO looking forward to Elemental Magic! Still stoked about my prize 🙂

  14. Marcia says:

    OMG, Angela! I won a copy of your book! Sorry I’m just getting over here, but I’m so behind on my blog reading, trying to catch up a little. What a great surprise! thank you!
    I love your souveniers! The ones from Kenya especially. I’m not a world traveler, but i’ve been as far as California and Florida (I live in NY) , lived in Las Vegas, traveled throughout New England, and all down the east coast. I have to admit that, while I love the places I’ve been, but the travel itself – uncomfortable beds, lugging suitcases and sometimes the food – has not been fun. I can overlook that though to experience these places first-hand. My hubs and I still want to take an Alaskan Cruise, ride the Canadian rail as far as it goes, go to Disneyworld again and go back to Charleston, SC and up to Maine. Lots to do, hope the economy improves so we can get to it!

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