Souvenirs, things you’ve changed because of travel etc

My many home projects are coming to an end after four months of lockdown, just one major one for me to start and this past five days I’ve been waiting for guys to come and cut down some trees and bushes Mr B refuses to let me tackle myself, so I can get out and garden, a passion of mine.
So I’ve been thinking about travel and how it has changed so much for us personally, how we decorate our home, some household items we use, some foods we eat.
I’m going to start with Art. Many of our paintings were bought during travel. Here are two. Here are the questionS

. What type of art is it? Where might I have bought it?



  • No, could be correct country!

  • I want to see your Velvet Zebras Playing Poker

  • Does not compare to a velvet Elvis!

  • I’m missing the velvet reference completely. Ok I’m going out to start yard work, Come on guys, figure this art out!

  • Looking closer, the second picture says Zanzibar and perhaps it is Tingatinga painting. See below for an example.

  • edited July 28

    Found a copy of a print very similar to yours - definitely tingatinga painting.

  • British - there's a tacky, well-known piece of artwork of dogs playing poker on velvet. Just a joke.


  • edited July 28

    Boy it’s too hot to work for long outside today.
    Yes, a tingatinga painting, bought in Zanzibar at the end of the Tanzania Zanzibar tour. They are cheap but originals, oil paint, colorful, just different. I just love the Giraffe one.
    Here is some info

  • edited July 28

    My mum would have loved that!
    Here’s a couple more African paintings

    The ‘red’ one was bought in 2007 at the Cultural Center in Arusha Tanzania. Original painting, acrylic I think. I’m sure the center was a much smaller place back then compared to when we visited last year. The prices had gone way up. I had hoped to find something similar. It took me ages to figure out the artist’s name on the painting but then when I got the spelling right, I found out he is a famous artist and he had other work at the center last year, his work is in some museums. Anyway, way too expensive last year.
    The second painting, I found at a local craft fair in November just before we left for Tanzania. The artist was from Tanzania, so we bought it from her. We love meeting the artist we buy our art pieces from. I was so glad we bought it after I realized we could not buy something in Arusha this time around

  • Gorgeous art, and the frames are equally stunning.

  • Wow thanks, I love to choose frames but my hubby hates how much framing costs. I try to wait until Michaels has a good sale.
    Will talk other things in our home influenced by travel tomorrow.

  • edited July 29

    In a household with two military retirees, pretty much every room is a reminder of all the places we've lived and traveled. Art, ceramics, furniture, cookbooks, etc. It's everywhere. I try to limit my souvenir buying mostly to keep the weight down in my luggage. Postcards though are my favorites. I try to find unique ones or shots of things I can't get with my camera - like an aerial shot of Passau that showed the three rivers that converge there and their different colors. To display some of my favorites I made a hanger out of a wood board, ribbon and clip on Christmas ornament hangers. At Christmas, cards take it over instead.

  • I’ve realized there are so many things we do and things we eat that have been influenced by our travel over the years. Here are a few ...... French Press, or, as I like to call it, a cafetière, I’ve been using one to make my coffee since I became familiar with them in France almost 40 years ago. I had to learn to say French press when I moved to the US. And what coffee do I drink? (Let me first say, I like weak coffee and when I am on a Tauck vacation, I give it one try at each hotel and if it’s too strong, I revert to tea) I drink coffee from Costa Rica, we get it shipped from Cafe Britt (free shipping) we have visited Costa Rica four times with Tauck, different places. Tauck ran maybe four different tours there way back. We took a brand new one first which was excellent, apparently logistically it did not pan out and was changed around a lot on the first few tours, we still think it was the best. We stayed for part of the time at a resort in a Cloud forest, originally owned by a former prime minister. The tour director was a last minute substitute and turned out to be the famous Don Dunkle who recently gave a Tauck Zoom presentation, he’s so knowledgeable and so much fun.The tour went to Cafe Britt Coffee plantation where they put on a ‘show’ about the coffee processes and invited us to a ‘wedding’ where we ate, lunch or dinner. There was a real coffee tasting which was very informative. We have been there twice. We’ve been to two other coffee plantations In Costa Rica too, the last was on the Panama Canal tour, very inferior in comparison. We have been to so many coffee tastings on Tauck tour, most recent in Rwanda.
    Rice cooker.....I visited Japan for the first time over thirty years ago, We stayed with a work colleague of my husband for part of the time with his family. I was intrigued by the electric rice cooker that was on from morning until night but it produced wonderful rice. As soon as I got home to England, I tried to find one. Our first one did not have a non stick interior but it produced great rice. In those days, my hubby never knew exactly when he would be home for dinner, but we always needed to eat as soon as possible, the family altogether, so when we were eating rice, the rice cooker was excellent for producing great rice, it keeps warm perfectly in there. I’ve had several over the years, My most recent one was obtained using some United Airlines miles that were due to expire. I looked in the gift catalogue and found a small Japanese one perfect for the two of us. Makes great sweet sticky rice too.
    My third example has just, a toilet bidet, yes one of those fancy toilet seats that gives you a wash and blow dry when you go to the loo. We first encountered those in Japan all those years ago and I often thought of buying one. Then we had the bathroom remodeled and the wall was tiled halfway up, so that worried me that if we needed an outlet by the toilet, drilling through tile may be a problem. Then last October we went to China With Tauck and how fancy the loos were there. I remembered our TD telling us the next hotel will not have those nice toilets and we all laughed.
    Then the Covid crisis and lockdown, and where are we, stuck in another country. Ah, toilet rolls, thank goodness I knew I had a large bag of them. Weeks go by, Consumer Reports does a feature and review on them. Ok, time to spend some money we are not spending on vacation so I organize an electrician, I organize to have an outlet by the Loo in the master bath, and hey what the heck, put one in the powder room just in case! All goes well, no cracked tiles, no mess. I choose a super fancy seat, it arrives. Wonderful, I’ve ordered one for the powder room!
    So have you bought or been influenced by anything you saw in another country.
    More from me, soon, more Art, maybe some food talk.

  • We try not to clog the house with souvenirs, just photos.

    We have acquired two kitchen appliances as a result of our travels. The first is a Nespresso machine. We used these in several hotels in Europe and fell in love. We've always loved espresso drinks and went through several espresso machines prior to getting a Nespresso. So much faster and easier.

    We also fell in love with raclette, which we had in Switzerland and also in Canada at the Chateau Lake Louise. Raclette at its most basic is melted cheese and potatoes. Traditionally, it's served with charcuterie, pickled onions and cornichons, but there are a million variations. It's become a family favorite that we often have when we get the three generations together. We ended up buying two raclette grills. Here's what they look like:

  • Here is our travel related 'ornament' for the house (in a passageway between bedroom and living area).

  • Speaking of maps, I smuggled this out of the Strahov Library:

    Globe circa 1645

  • The main thing we've added food wise from our travels is chocolate croissants. Thankfully Trader Joe's frozen ones are excellent.
    Contemplated a Nespresso machine though the price for pods is a bit high and there seems to be much more variability in types. We have a keurig (I know not as good) but easier in the long run. I have noticed recently that Costco is carrying Nespresso machines so maybe this will change.
    We did dig out my husband's vintage 1960s fondue pot and planning to fire it up in September as consolation for not being in Switzerland as planned.

  • Cathy, so far I haven't had any trouble finding postcards. On our Ireland tour the TD gave us our tour info in a clear plastic envelope with a snap closure (6.5" x 9"). It's the perfect size for postcards and protects them in my suitcase. I've been reusing on other trips.

    We had so many postcards that I finally took a photo album and bought clear page protectors that were the right size for most post cards and got them all organized by location. This wall display is just some of my favorites.

  • Vietnam had those lovely colorful pop up type 3 D postcards for sale on every corner at very cheap prices.

  • On man, now I feel bad. Just have the boring 2d ones.

  • Most of our trips we like to pick up some street art as souvenirs. These are by no means museum quality. We have an upper limit on spending to about €100, £75 to £80 or $100. Here are a few example of some stuff we have picked up.

    A Mandala from Nepal.

    From Warsaw Poland.

    From Avignon.

    The Mrs. purchasing the art in Avignon.


    Some old English prints purchased at the Portobello Road Market London.

  • edited July 29

    Smiling Sam: I have a similar map with the push pins. I love it.
    I love seeing all of the collectibles and art work that people collect from their travels. I don't often purchase souvenirs, however, I do like to try to find a "charm" for my bracelet which represents an area that I have traveled to. For instance, an Eiffel Tower charm for Paris. I have also taken all of the excess coins I collected over the years and pick out the more interesting ones. I purchased a bracelet from a thrift store and brought the coins to a jeweler to have holes punched thru the coins and then attached to the bracelet. It is a wonderful keepsake. You can also use the coins for a necklace. I also love to collect postcards, stamps and local currency (paper and coins) to place in my scrapbook. These are my souvenirs. I also, like others have mentioned, enlarge some of my better prints to hang on the walls.

    The one time I purchased art work was from a Tauck trip to Australia over 20 years ago. We had visited with some Aboriginal people in the Outback area and many Artists had original artwork for sale. I purchased a painting from one of the artists and had a photo taken of us with the painting. I then framed both the artwork and the photo and hung the painting and a boomerang on one of my walls and the picture sits below it on a table. The painting, by the way, is entitled "Men Going Hunting for Kangaroo".
    I edited the post as I selected files in error rather than images.

  • British: I somehow deleted the first line of my post when I re-attached my images. I wanted to add that I love this new discussion and thank you for starting the topic. With regards to food items that I discovered on my travels, I had Macaron cookies for the first time in Paris and absolutely fell in love with those. Whenever I stumble across them in a local bakery, I just have to buy them.

  • edited July 29

    I’m loving this!

    I bought these on Spotlight on India, we couldn’t do the longer India trip because my husband was still working and three weeks at once was too long.

    The tour director recommended a place to take us all and I found these paintings that are supposed to be done on old Government documents. The artist was there and we chatted to him, he gave us a paper with his history on it. This leads to one of those travel tales....He had some pieces of white plastic drainpipe and said he put the paintings rolled up in those for safe travel. When we got home, it was really dirty inside the pipe but we managed to clean them up before framing.

    And a further tale.....there was a woman traveling on her own on our tour, she left her husband at home, he didn’t want to go. She was not popular with the group or tour director. She kept referencing her decorators and her two homes and whether heR decorator would approve of her purchases. She bought a print from the same artist as us and when she found out he had given us a paper with information on it, she pestered us for a couple of days until we managed to make a copy for her.

    And it continued.....we stopped at a rest stop along the only divided highway we encountered in India. There were good toilets and huge amounts of souvenir trinkets. We went to the loo, drank our coffee, looked at the trinkets. We all got on the bus and drove for several miles until someone noticed our lady was not on the the driver drove into a field, turned round and drove back along the divided highway on the wrong way, not a mistake, he just did it with all other traffic driving directly at us, yes for several miles! When we got back to the rest stop, there was our lady, still shopping, unaware we had even left her behind. Oh we so miss our travel stories!

  • British: Oh gosh, there is always one in the crowd. I agree, sometimes the most aggravating encounters always turn out to be the best travel stories. It is part of the charm of traveling. I really love the first print of the tiger, that is very cool.

  • Smiling Sam -- My map is similar to yours -- but it's in Russian. I was a Russian major in college, and my sister gave me this map several years ago, before the breakup of the USSR. It hung in my office for many years, and now that I'm retired, it's in my family room where I enjoy it every day.

    Long after I had decided not to bring anything more into my house (except Christmas ornaments or costume jewelry), I fell in love with this needlework that I bought in Vietnam and had framed when I got home. It, too, is in my family room for me to enjoy daily.

  • edited July 30

    I certainly agree with British regarding how expensive framing of art can be. My husband answered a trivia question correctly and won a poster/print while visiting a carriage museum in Jerez De La Frontera, Spain (Tauck's 2015 Spain and Portugal tour). For his 90th birthday--yes, he still travels and is usually always at the front of the pack--I decided to have it framed. It cost me over $200 to do so and that was supposedly discounted. It is quite lovely, but since it doesn't go with the rest of our decor, it hangs in the the hallway between the garage and laundry room!

  • I'm with you Cathy, the only maybe in the group was the globe and the comment about smuggling it out which I assumed was a joke. I think all the art work and souvenirs are great. Keep posting people. Ignore the hater.

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