Monday, September 19, 2011

Photo Essay: The Spoils of Travel or What Do You Bring Home from a Trip?

A month has passed since we returned from our road trip to the Southwest, and only today have I unpacked the last suitcase: mine. It always works like that: I take out what I need, such as toiletries and everyday clothes, and the rest lingers until I find a few hours to savor the trip one more time by sifting and sorting through the spoils from the trip. The things I hope to display, the items I hope to use in a scrapbook.
The pine cone and juniper branch from the Spring Mountains in Nevada where we saw the wild horses did not have to be unpacked. They had traveled on the dashboard (much to my husband's annoyance), and quickly found their spot on the living room window sill when we got home.

My assorted postcards - I always get some of views I couldn't possibly take myself. I love those with the WPA commissioned illustrations of National Parks (lower and upper right corners).

Osage Oranges from the Homestead National Monument in Nebraska - I was beyond thrilled when we found them on the trail there because I love their citrusy scent and like display a few of these green knobby orbs. My hands got all sticky from their sap carrying them back to the car, but that didn't discourage me.

Brochures, books, cool paper bags, magnets, ticket stubs, and one beer coaster, all arranged on a bandana that served as a napkin at the beer garden in Bluff, Utah.

What says "trip" more than a map? We lived by those (no GPS yet).

Green earth from Arches National Park and a salt crystal from Death Valley grace another window sill. I'm discovering a trend here: I have to bring nature home.


  1. From London, we recently brought back English Tea, a stuffed teddy bear in a Harrod's tote, a piece of Wedgewood, and a Harrod's magnet.

    From Isreal, OMG, lots of mazuza's (spelling?), three sterling silver necklaces, one sterling silver bracelet, hotel toiletries, a rock from Jerusalem, pens, and a few plates with the Holy Lands pic on them.

  2. What a lovely display of your treasures. I need to go back and do this for my own recent journey, even if just for my own sake. I can't bring nature home from France because of customs, of course. But like you I get postcards of things I can't get myself and maps, lots of maps (in France you need one for each area you drive, for example, even if you never leave your region). Train and other tickets, packages from the cookies they serve with tea, a box or two of the wonderful crackers we eat with our cheese, and multiple little metal tins of the aniseed pastilles made in Flavigny (violette is my favorite flavor). Of course, I have to pay a fortune to mail it all home because I only have a roll-on suitcase and carry-on for the laptop.

  3. I loved each picture of your spoils from the trip- you went- you conquered and now you continue to enjoy every memory you made!!! How absolutely wonderful. Loved the pic of the maps- I just LOVE maps and although I use a GPS- I still love looking at the maps before my trip.

  4. Wow! And I thought the pictures were great reminders of the trip. Do you have a system to keep the maps and other momentos? I'd love to hear what you do?

  5. Your ways to remember your trips are beautiful. I love the pinecone and juniper and the way you displayed everything else is amazing. What a great way to remember your travels!

  6. shelly - thanks for sharing what you brought back! BTW, plural of mezuza is mezuzot :-)

    Julie - you could bring rocks back from France. They're not alive :-) My suitcase is always heavy with stuff coming back because mailing would be, as you say, so expensive. Or we bring a half empty suitcase to have space for treasures.

    Anjuli - I still don't use GPS. It confuses me because without a map I have no sense of where I'm at.

    Nancy - I can't say I have a great way of keeping momentos. I typically have box for each trip, or a folder, where I keep stuff in the hopes of sometime creating a scrapbook. I have made a few scrapbooks and they always turned out great but they are also a lot of work.

    Jill - thanks. I just found the right glass jar to keep my salt crystal from Death Valley. My chemist sister was warning me that with the moisture in the air here it would deteriorate.