Icealnd photos

What to Buy in Iceland: Shopping for Sweaters, Outdoor Gear, Lava Jewelry, Mud

Standing in the middle of a corral filled with Icelanders herding sheep this way and that, I notice that the colors of the sheep are the same as the colors of the sweaters worn by men, women, and children. The journey from sheep's back to shepherd's Read More

ChristmasMarket

Navigating Prague’s Christmas Markets

It feels as though I am swimming upstream in a school of fish. I must look down to pay attention to the uneven cobblestone streets, which while romantic in looks, provide an ongoing challenge in balance. I immediately regretted giving in to the Read More

Traditional hat maker in Quito (©photocoen)

What to Buy in Ecuador: Shopping for Artisanal Souvenirs in Quito

"Do you know ortiga?" Doña Rosa asked? Fortunately, I did so I knew it would sting a bit. She rolled up my sleeve and held my hand in hers. She took a handful of fresh stinging nettle leaves and rubbed them over my lower arm and hand, which would Read More

Clyde Butcher's fine art nature photography makes a meaningful souvenir.

What to Buy in Florida: Shopping for True Souvenirs from the Sunshine State

Mickey Mouse ears and crates of oranges: That is so last century when it comes to shopping for souvenirs that truly say “Florida.” Harry Potter is the new Mickey Mouse, and key lime products are much trendier in the citrus department. In Your Bucket Read More

Souvenir Stand on 5th Avenida

The Shopping ’til You Drop Tour of Antigua, Guatemala

We all have our weaknesses, and one of mine is souvenirs. Admittedly, it’s not the most masculine of traits, not the one I like to write to the guys back home about, but I’ve spent many a traveling afternoon scouring markets and engaging in Read More

On Harmony Night, dancers in the parade wear elaborate costumes (photo by Laura Byrne Paquet c 2011)

Reveling at Harmony Night on the Caribbean Island of St. Martin

A tropical village that holds a street party called Harmony Night every Tuesday evening, all winter long, is my kind of place. Tiny Grand Case, on the French side of the island of St. Martin, is also home to a few of the best restaurants in the Read More

Montreal's Jean Talon Market

What to Buy in Montreal: Souvenir Shopping at Jean Talon Market

I didn't prepare for the sensory overload. Peruvian flute players perform in the street in front of me. The smells of flowers and freshly baked cannoli tickle my nose. The vibrant colors and textures of the world's produce dance around me. I had come Read More

Traditional Navajo blanket

Shopping the American Southwest: Indian Crafts and Jewelry in Arizona and New Mexico

I am backpacking in New Mexico, following a dusty dirt back road to the back of beyond, when a battered van pulls up and stops. A woman with a broad, brown face and a long black braid says hello, and wants to known what what I'm doing. I describe my Read More

Locally-made leather is a popular buy

Shopping in Majorca: Visiting a Traditional Market in Port de Pollença

I want to buy. I’m walking through the main square of Port de Pollença, on Majorca’s north-eastern coast, and my freshly-exchanged Euros are burning a hole in my pocket. It might be the sunshine (it does make you a little mad), or the smells of fresh Read More