This wanderlust woman is addicted to two things (well at least 2 that I will reveal in cyberspace) – travel and silver. When I can combine the two, I turn into a giddy girl at the thought of memorializing my travel with a bit of silver bling. Now, not all bling is created equal. Like the time I traveled to Canada with a man who wanted to buy me an engagement ring. I told him to get me a sterling pinky ring instead (we didn’t last long after that – look closely; you can see it in the first photo!). Then there is the unique silver bangle I bought for myself in Tunbridge Wells, England. It was off-season and not much was happening in the sleepy spa town of Tunbridge Wells, located smack dab in the middle of Kent. Yet, I managed to find a unique gift shop and this bangle was sitting amid the clutter of bling in her front window. Needless to say, it spoke to me and has been with me ever since.
As a child, I was pampered with gold bling. I think nearly every relative who ever bought me a gift contributed to a gold charm bracelet that I have. As an adult, I decided to start my own travel charm bracelet last year and it’s already full of silver. There are charms from Newport and Chicago, London and Rome,
and where my heart lies along the Amalfi coast. Back in the 1940s souvenir shield charms were quite popular with the ladies and can often be had for a steal on Ebay. I managed to find a reproduction of one of Capri’s famous blue grotto to add a bit of color to the silver bracelet . And in doing research for this article, I came across a great website for travel charms, ECharmony. Pay her a visit for the ultimate in souvenir bling.
I also bought myself a sterling Claddagh ring at the Blarney Castle on an old trip to Ireland with a dear friend. She laughed at me, saying “a best friend or lover is supposed to give that to you.” Well, I replied, “I love myself and you are one of my best friends, so there.” “Let love and friendship reign forever” is how the legend goes. And I ask you, is there anything that says Irish souvenir bling more than a Claddagh ring?
Speaking of asking for things – I recently asked some of my new tweeps in Twitterdom and the blogosphere if they had any special piece of souvenir bling to share, along with the legend behind their travel find.
Alice, at Bay Area Tendrils, found a treasure in Rome. She was roaming in Rome (sorry I couldn’t resist) and came across this lovely pendant. But Alice hated its day-glo cord and replaced it with a beautiful silver chain. If you look really carefully, it seems as though there’s a nugget of bronze trapped in a tide of Amalfi blue, doesn’t it?
Sue at Pownall Chronicles had the best of all souvenir bling stories and it involves not one, not two, but four young men. She received the necklace as a token of their appreciation after she conducted a training course for them in Oman. “They wanted me to always remember them and their beautiful country,” she says. “How could I forget wearing this beautiful necklace?” Indeed!
And one of my favorite contributions is from Ashley over at La Vie en China. She found this beautiful crystal and silver necklace on her first trip to Paris as a student. “I searched all the nooks and crannies in Paris before finally settling on this piece from Swarovski,” says Ashley. She was shocked to learn it wasn’t authentically French but Austrian and available at home in the United States; yet, she couldn’t resist the unique buckle design and now serves as a pleasant reminder of her first rendezvous in The City of Lights.
Bling doesn’t have to be pricey to be treasured. Souvenir bling captures a moment that lives in our hearts and takes us to a place that always makes us smile. Keep treasure-hunting; keep traveling; and more importantly – keep smiling!