I am excited to announce that this weeks blog was written by my mom! I hope you guys enjoy her blog as much as I did.
It all started innocently enough about 5 years ago. My son-in-law went to Seattle on a business trip and for my birthday brought back a bag of Pike’s Place coffee and a “you are here” mug from Starbucks. Little did we know then that this new obsession would take on a life of its own.
He had recently started dating my daughter and didn’t know at the time that I’m a big collector of travel momentos. I get this from my Mom, when we traveled as a family, we collected trinkets and then I passed the practice down to my kids. We always bought little (and sometimes big!) items to scatter around the house to remind us of happy memories spending time together in new places. I’ve been decorating our house like this long before Joanna Gaines made it cool to decorate your house with items that have meaning and show the personality of the owners. Making it feel safe and good to come home and be “homebodies”.
Even after I grew up, Mom continued bringing back something special for me from trips she and Dad took to far away places. Dad traveled the world with his job and she would stay behind holding down the fort. After my brother and I left the nest, Mom went along on these trips. Cool electronics from Hong Kong (the first hand held precursor to the GameBoy), Waterford crystal from Ireland, beautiful silks from Thailand, stuffed koala bears from Australia. More countries than I can remember but, the most cherished from each place was a the dolls dressed in the countries traditional, native costume. Dad started this tradition 50 years ago.
So as you see, there is a history of collecting and bringing back little momentos for the family. Kind of a I’m grown up and do my own thing now but also kind of wish you were here to experience this with me. The traveling is really about the sharing of the experience, not really just to say “I’ve been everywhere man, I’ve been everywhere” (thanks Johnny Cash). So, my kids are now traveling with their spouses and friends, but it’s nice to know they still think of me.
Back to the mugs. I’ve also got a Starbucks obsession. If you ask me, I’ll deny it, but I do stop there more than occasionally and have the app on my phone for call ahead ordering and a Starbucks gift card is considered a thoughtful gift for me. How does one get through the day without a venti Pike’s place and Sous Vide Egg White Bites?!?! Apparently, everyone else in my life is aware of this daily habit and has parlayed it into the coolest travel memento collection! First, there is no worry about “what to bring back” and second, it gives the traveler a challenge to find a Starbucks.
I’ve got mugs from US states, cities, and foreign countries. The collection has grown to include not only ”you are here mugs” but it also includes the “been there” series and collectors series and one tumbler from Hawaii that looks like a pineapple because I already had the mugs. This isn’t a collection that sits idly on a shelf collecting dust. Items are used daily. I choose a different one almost everyday and think of the person who brought it back and what they might be up to that day.
Currently I’m editing my possessions using the Konmari Method. If you are a fan of this method you know you must ask yourself “ do these Items bring me Joy?” I start to cry because the answer is “YES”! So as I get rid of clothing and clutter, these mugs are staying because the amount of joy I receive from them can not be put into words.
And to think, it all started with a Starbucks mug…….