Sponsored Post: Rethinking the Travel Souvenir

It’s no secret that I don’t have a lot of souvenirs from my travels. When I travel by boat, there’s usually not a lot of storage space, but even when I’m on land, I pack light–and I mean LIGHT. “Is that it?” people would ask me on my last three-month trip, pointing to my school-sized backpack and tote bag. As if hauling around your entire house on your back (as friends of mine have done) is something to aspire to?

I like traveling this way for many reasons, and I don’t plan to change. Besides, the most important things to hold onto are the memories, right?

But this also means I don’t have a lot of room for extras or souvenirs, and when I do find something small that I can hold onto or give to someone else, I value it all the more.

For instance, the matching initial necklaces that my mother gave me right before I left on my last trip. Personalization says, “No matter where I go in the world, no matter who I meet, I am still me. This is where I come from.” That’s a powerful statement, especially for a traveler.

Uncommon Goods also “travels light.” Despite being a catalog company, they don’t clog my mailbox with paper, and they work with small artists and suppliers whose names and faces appear on every product page, so you know exactly where every item is coming from. Committed to keeping this planet green for future travelers, they carry only products made from natural, recyclable, non-animal components.

Plus, when it comes to the small things, Uncommon Goods has some of my favorites. Not only can you personalize these gifts based on where you’ve been (such as maps and GPS coordinates), but where you’re going. In a world that seems bigger and smaller all at once, these items both serve as a physical token of your memories and a talisman to protect you on your travels to come. And when you order online, they’ll be waiting when you get home! Here are some of my favorites:


Hand-Engraved Compass Necklace


I’ll tell you a secret about me: I have a terrible sense of direction. It’s gotten me in trouble while traveling too many times to count, up to and including missing flights! But these sterling-silver necklaces will always point me the right way.

Latitude Longitude Pendant


Personalize this pendant with any latitude and longitude for a memory that’s meaningful to you–even if it’s the middle of the ocean. For me, it’s Ascension Island–a place of sea turtles, lava rocks, and one magic night in the South Atlantic, onboard the tall ship Oosterschelde.

Custom Latitude Longitude Keychain



Not surprisingly, I’m a sucker for nautical-inspired jewelry. Shackles, lines, and rigging get my salty soul excited. That’s why I’m crazy about this customizable keychain. The whipped shock cord holding this keychain together makes me want to close my eyes and feel the spray on my face.

Custom Sand Bijoux Bracelet


I’ve fallen in love with a lot of beaches in my time, and I wish I could take them all home with me. Cayman, Port Antonio, Tulum, Ascension, Scheveningen. But what can you do with a bottle of sand? If you wear this bracelet, you can carry it with you wherever you go–even on the New York subway. Just send in your favorite sand using the custom mailer. Don’t have any? Designer Holly Daniels Christensen has a Sand Bank of hundreds of beaches from all over the world.

Custom Map Pillow

Travel feeds my soul–but so does arriving home after a long journey and laying my head down in my own bed. With these customizable map pillows, you can choose a nautical chart or land map from anywhere in the U.S. on which to curl up and dream of your next adventure.

Thanks to Uncommon Goods for sponsoring this post. As always, my opinions are my own!