Sometimes the hunt for unique found items is an important part of the experience. So, while on your next trip consider these alternative items/collections!
Natural found items could include:
- Rocks or shells found on walks.
- Sand to be saved in small containers from each beach around the state, country or world.
- Driftwood for a mantel display.
- Leaves for each annual fall trip-pressed and assembled in an album.
Made items assembled with a common theme could include:
- A photograph using the same location: city limit signs, franchise, pose, etc.
- A journal or doodle pad with drawings, quotes from people met along the way or funny stories of mishaps.
- Travel boxes, scrapbook, photo album, etc.
- Homemade passport (made before or after a trip). Have business owners, clerks or tour guides to sign off inside.
- Insert HERE any unique or creative way to display, reuse or re-purpose something found along the way;)
Tip: Think of connecting these collectibles to your bucket list, i.e. travel to the top 10 surfing beaches in the world and bring home sand from the beach. Or collect leaves during a fall foliage tour in New England. Hike/rock climb in national parks across the country or in your home state-search for unique rocks that signify to geomorphology of the area.
Stores are often brimming with ideas on travel collectibles such as key chains, snow globes, bells, spoons, city catalogs, letter openers, postcards, etc. I remember traveling to the Czech Republic a few years ago and when I entered a tourist shop on the corner of a cobblestone street in Old Prague. I ended up selecting 2 or 3 of the more common gift items. The clerk at the counter rolled his eyes. Apparently he thought I missed out on the more unique one-of-a- kind treasures tucked away in a corner. Although I was very happy with my letter opener, 3D postcard and chocolate gift-box; It got me thinking about collectibles. Is there something more I should or could collect when I travel?
I am not sure there is a simple and quick answer to this question. But, I know that you should buy or save what you love! Find it, make it, create with it…your options are limitless.
Tips for Travel Collectibles:
- Try to make it reflective of who you are?
- You will have to store your treasures-think of how and where?
- How you will be able to transport the item from point A (your vacation spot) to point B (home).
- A collection can be similar items at each location displayed as a group or a singular unique piece(s) that are scattered throughout your home.
- Try to think of creative ways to assembled a collection using bought and/or found items.
Image by DarkRose42 some rights reserved
As a sophomore in college; I wanted to study abroad in Toulouse which is located in southern France. I had a passion for the french culture and language after studying five years both in high school and post secondary. For many reasons, some outside of my control, I never studied abroad. And as a result, I stopped my studies and refocused on a very different career path.
Years later I took a trip to Paris in July. Alongside the Sacre Coeur, I wandered through what I refer to as an artist’s quarter. It was a street exhibit area filled with stands brimming with art. I searched for an original drawing or painting to commemorate finally arriving in France. But, the time passed too quickly and I was late returning to the tour group. I never found my treasure that day.
The following Christmas my brother and his wife came to visit for the holidays. They handed me a small rolled canvas brought back from their recent trip to France and the same artist’s quarter. To my surprise, it was a one of a kind, impressionist style painting. The image was of couples around the early 1900’s (based on attire) walking along a lamp lit street. The Eiffel Tower was projected in the background-washed in a warm sunset.
Whether you are an avid or a novice traveler there is something enduring about acquiring tangible items to reflect our intangible experiences. RTreasures can be bought by and for ourselves. Or for others with the intent as simple as a thinking of you gift or something with extreme intrinsic value. Today, this small Parisian painting is still one of my most prized possessions! And it reminds me of my trip, that one choice can change the future, and how blessed I am to have family.
I invite you to share your stories in the comment section.
Image by Smabs Sputzer some rights reserved
GAMeS Lab at RU has launched a free app for young explorers called European Exploration: The Art of Discovery made available through iTunes. This application allows little travelers (ages 4+) to role play as 15th Century captains responsible for everything from hiring a crew to building their ships. While sailing around the world the game introduces historical content intended to increase awareness and knowledge about various locations around the world. I love that although these are fictional voyages, the process instills pragmatic skills helpful even in modern day explorations; the art of cartography, the importance of money management, the ability to navigate problems that arise during a trip, etc. When you are ready-click here to launch your (or your child’s) first voyage!
*Rate this app in the comment section below!
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In March 2010, the first beta (prototype) site for Pinterest was launched with limited access to a small group of professional colleagues, along with close friends and family, of it’s co-founders. The purpose of the site was to allow users to bookmark or “pin” images, videos, etc. in which they found of “interest” to virtual bulletin boards, categorized by themes. By February 2013, Pinterest boasted more than 48 million users and was valued at $2.5 billion dollars (Reuters).
As a novice photographer, I am completely enthralled by this site. The images “pinned” on the travel board are nothing short of breathtaking. They epitomize ” idealistic” settings beneath secret waterfalls, resorts nestled on top of mountains, castles that seem to have grown from the earth, exotically staged gardens in hidden corners all over of the world. Although I am sure that some are computer enhanced, they are of an amazing quality that would be difficult to emulate. Although perfection is in the eye of the beholder, these images are almost an adult traveler’s version of a fairy-tale that is often a stark contrast to what most people see when they gaze out their kitchen windows. First, I would like to thank Pinterest travel contributors who have given anyone with internet, access to an incredible trip to utopia.
Utopia = an ideal place or state a (dictionary.com.)
One reason why people travel is to seek inspiration. The scenes that lay before us in our travels do not always generate a feeling of safety nor are they always idealistic. But they can be! The word utopia was first mentioned in 1516 by author Sir Thomas More, “Utopia” as a fictional place. I believe that some people travel in search of a modern-day (non-fiction) utopia of sorts! I am not sure what it would be like to actually live in or next to these places? But for this week, whether it is raining, snowing or the sun is shining in your corner of the world, take a moment and travel virtually with Pinterest. Be awe-inspired!
Al Leftridge, Ph.D, is hosting an interpretive writing workshop in Minnesota this weekend. In the tourism field the word “interpretation” goes beyond conventional languages. It is the concept of conveying something to an audience through words, sounds, images, etc. Mr. Leftridge and myself are members of the National Association for Interpretation (NAI). This organization is the offspring of the Association of Interpretive Naturalists (founded in 1954) and the Western Interpreters Association (founded in 1965). NAI views interpretation as a mission-based communication process that forges emotional and intellectual connections between the interests of the audience and the meanings inherent in the resource. Individual members (5,00o+) include those who work at parks, museums, nature centers, zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums, historical and cultural sites, commercial tour companies, and theme parks. Commercial and institutional members include those who provide services to the heritage interpretation industry. Additional information about NAI can be found on their website. I encourage you to think about the role it plays in the tourism industry and ways it might connect to your travels.
Interpretive Writing Workshop
Write compelling interpretive messages!
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
3815 American Blvd East, Bloomington, Minnesota
May 4, 2013 from 9 am to 4:30 pm
Alan Leftridge, Ph.D., is the author of Interpretive Writing, and specializes in interpretive training seminars across North America is offering a workshop to discuss the basics of interpretive writing that apply to signage, exhibit labels, brochures, websites, public service announcements, books, and magazines. After this workshop you will understand how to create clear, dynamic, and concise interpretive texts, reveal meanings, and ways to excite visitors about your site, whether it is a museum, park, zoo, nature center, or aquarium.
Topics include: The Interpretive Writing Process · Concept Mapping · Universal Concepts · The Five Elements of Interpretive Writing · Meeting Your Audience’s Needs · Concise Wording · Keeping Your Reader’s Attention · The Importance of Fluency · Redundant Wording · Understanding Readability Indexes · Using a Human Interest Scale ·Capturing Your Reader’s Attention · What to Avoid · Connecting with a Narrative · The Editing Process · Evaluation.
The fee is $295 and includes instruction, refreshments, handouts, and a copy of the Interpretive Writing textbook.
To register contact Dr. Leftridge, firstname.lastname@example.org, 406.754.2940. Access leftridge.com for additional information.