True Finds

The World…

Is Your Marketplace

by Caitlin

Without stating the obvious (buy olive oil in Italy), following are a few of my favorite souvenirs acquired on our travels:

Argan Oil from Morocco:  Just outside of Marrakech, in Essaouira, there is a cooperative run by local women that produces 100% pure, organic, non-roasted, cold-pressed argan oil.  At the cooperative, you can see all stages of these women at work making the different oils.  They have specialized the oils to treat different issues (both face and body) and even offer argan nut butter (a tasty spread distinct from both peanut and almond butter).  Argan oil is known for its powerful hydrating, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Profumi di Positano from Positano, Italy:  Profumi di Positano has a line of fragrances that are perfectly subtle yet fragrant.  My favorite is the Mediterranean Essentia and wearing it is the only time people have come up to me and asked for the name of my perfume.  I love buying perfumes on my travels because scents deliver such a strong sense of place….they bring you back.

Spices from Turkey:  The markets in Istanbul have a plethora of spice offerings.  Studies continue to come out showing that spices play a key role in reducing inflammation and may diminish the risk of many ailments including alzheimers disease.  The market itself is an experience – I do not recommend going without a local guide.

Mystique sandals from St. Barths:  Mystiques are unique and beautifully adorned with colorful faux jewels.  You can find them elsewhere (including online), but I like to try on in person and the best selection I have found is at L Joy Boutique on St. Barth’s. I prefer the sandals with a slight wedge – my last purchase at L Joy was the Fairview.

Ceramic tiles from Lisbon:  Portugal is know for its ceramics, all fantastic shades of blue.  My favorite way to take back these ceramics is to purchase individual tiles that speak to me the most and then bring them home and put them together in a gold frame.  The contrast of the blue ceramic and gold frame is stunning.

Glass Elephants from South Africa: South Africa offers many souvenirs such as painted ostrich eggs and carved giraffes, but my favorite is glass elephant figurines.  If you place your elephant with its trunk facing the doorway in the room of your choosing, the elephant is supposed to bring good luck.

Sapphires from Madagascar:  Madagascar is known for its sapphires, which happens to be my engagement ring and favorite gem!  I recommend buying loose stones and taking them home to have them set to your liking.  Of course, remember that many cultures outside of the U.S. are bargaining cultures!

Caudalie products from Bordeaux: Caudalie products are grape-based and aim to give your skin the same benefits that resveratrol gives your body.  My favorite is the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum.  You can purchase Caudalie products easily in the U.S. but it is much more fun to bring them home from Les Sources de Caudalie in Bordeaux.

No matter what the souvenir, I find that filling my home with memories of travels makes every day richer.  A souvenir may simply be seashells in a pretty container – we collect shells from all of our beach destinations and put them in mason jars with chalkboard labels.

Keep the perspective gained on your travels in your every day!