I don’t shop during holidays and very little when not on one (ok that isn’t entirely true…). You can say i have consciously stopped buying unnecessary stuff so i can travel more than i already do.
While i avoid picking up random ‘things’ from my trips, I usually like to bring a part of what I visited back home without burning a hole in my pocket, while at the same time supporting a local art and craft or an indigenous store. I believe that memorabilia make you relive moments and can transport you back to the place where you got them from. The feeling, even though momentary makes you experience the place once again, long after you have left it. My solo trip and my shopping experience from a place like Nepal is something i would ideally want to replicate for all my other trips. My possessions from Nepal were closely linked to the memories i would want to cherish from my travel there.
In Nepal though, I really had to keep an eye out for anything ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ and not fall for the ‘usual’ prayer flags, an buddhist wheels and magnets to bring back home.
The Mandala necklace: The first thing I picked in Nepal was a Mandala necklace for myself made by a couple of Nepali girls using Macrame. You can see how this is done in this video. I have a collection of necklaces and this was a valuable addition to the collection. Handmade and surrounding the jasper stone which had healing properties.
Presents from the ‘Woven store’: I had enough people to gift back home so instead of getting them cheap magnets i picked handmade soaps, a woven shawl for my mum and a couple of handmade purses for two friends.
Mountain paintings : I was surrounded by the mighty mountains all the time I was in Nepal. It was but natural for me to take a handmade painting of the Annapurna range so it can be come a permanent fixture on my home walls.
Nepali cookbook and spices: How can I not take these home. I had Newari and Nepali food through my stay and I had to take some flavours back to India. I picked the only cookbook present at Pokhra airport and that is my prized possession from the trip, not to mention some chicken curry spices I carried as well.
A Postcard from Nepal: I sent one possession back home. A postcard for Avanti – who likes to receive postcards and collects them from all the places people visit abroad. Even though it reached her a month after I got back from Nepal it made her happy! Now that I suppose is the best possession I sent back home.
Apart from all the above, i made some good friends from Nepal who still stay in touch and talk to me – one of them is a 11 year old Tisa whose family hosted me in their quaint Newari home. Read all about that in my next blog. I am now keen to hear about what you take home from your travels, what are your travel possessions like and what memories do they bring back?