SOL 2015 March 15 Writers and Travelers Are Collectors It Seems

I am fond of saying, writers are collectors, It is in fact, true. My notebooks bulge with harvested words, ephemera, photographs, artefacts, and the like. But as an avowed traveller, I am also a collector. I pondered this point as I walked through the house today. Scattered in and around our house are mementoes from our travels.

 In each place we visit, Vicki and me try to bring home one item we both admire. An item to serve as reminder of our shared time in that special place. Let me share some examples:

The Wedding Couple. We saw these distinctively sculpted figures in a shop window in Seminyak, Bali 2013. They proved irresistible.

In 2006, we visited Istanbul. The pattern on this bowl is a traditional ceramic pattern. We looked at numerous bowls before settling on this one.

 While living in New York, we visited Mexico on several occasions. This marble dominoes set caught the eye while visiting Veracruz. The pieces are heavy, but feel so wonderful in the hand.

Last year we returned to Sicily, after an absence of eight years. This time we stayed in the small village of Sant Ambrogio, about 7 kms from Cefalu. One day we drove to Cefalu situated on the coast and saw these distinctively pattern ceramic tiles. Given that we live on the coast in Australia we felt a compulsion to purchase a school of fish…

 Last April we spent a week with friends on the Amalfi Coast  in celebration of a friend’s significant birthday. We stayed in Praiano and found a treasure trove of ceramic pieces and seaglass washed up on the beach at Marina di Praia. Vicki and I eagerly gathered these sea treasures and brought them home to add to the other priceless pieces from beaches the world over.

We have been fortunate enough to visit Ireland on two occasions. It has significance to our respective family histories. Ireland is a happy- sad place for us. On the first visit we bought this celtic cross of journeys and meetings.  The carving, of a man and a woman on either side of the Tree of Life, comes from a 500 year old stone in County Donegal, Ireland, symbolising the journey of life, with its many opportunities and encounters. Now, what could be more appropriate than that as a collectable? 

As writers and travelers we are collectors. It's  bound up in memories and places. The artifacts are memory markers of those times and places and their unique significance to each of us.


  1. Alan,
    Thank you for showing these artifacts to us! They are beautiful and Theyvare great memory makers indeed-it's good that you've captured their special meanings by writing about them!

  2. Beautiful places, beautiful souvenirs. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I haven't traveled as much, but know that one artifact can take you back to that place, the sights and smells, the shear love of being there. Thanks for all the beautiful things shared, Alan. Love the pieces washed up especially.

  4. I so relate to this! I, too, am a traveler and collector. I collect something, usually art, every place I go. I love reliving the moments whenever I see these artifacts around my apartment. I'll have to remember this as a post idea! Thanks for sharing! Love all your pieces, but I have to say the bowl is my favorite! :)

  5. What gorgeous artifacts Alan, I too am a lover of travel. I try to do just the same. It is nice to be reminded of the amazing places we have visited throughout the years.

  6. I'm a tad jealous of your travels. Such a great collection of pictures and memories. I loved the Amalfi Coast picture the best. So much color!

  7. My husband and I also like to travel. We usually bring one item back that has meaning to both of us...sounds a lot like you. We take tons of pictures, so those are our other memories of the places we visit. I loved the Wedding Couple you have...and the Journey of Life. What wonderful items to share and bring memories of travel times. Jackie

  8. Gorgeous the treasures you and your wife have stored up--on shelves and in your hearts. Those sea treasures make me want to travel to the Amalfi Coast. My family is from County Donegal. I wondered why it is a happy-sad place for you. When we visited in the 1980s the town still relied on switch board at the general store. I'd love to go back and see how it's grown modern.

  9. I do not travel as much as you, but I do try to take a piece of the place I am visiting with me. You captured each place beautifully. I especially love the sea glass and ceramic pieces from the Amalfi coast. Pieces so simple capturing the essence of the place.


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