My family will tell you that when travelling I’m a sucker for silk scarves, handbags, and fridge magnets. These days I do exercise restraint. I’ve learned the hard way that a swipe of the credit card can result in weeks of extra heavy bags.
Nevertheless, I like to bring one thing home from each trip – a special treasure. Something I’ll cherish for years. Maybe, when the time comes for the move to the Rest Home, when I’m dependent on my family to smuggle me chocolate and red wine, some of these treasures will go with me to silently tell my adventure stories – to those who notice.
This is my favourite, so far. A silk throw. Craft is one of my things and I fell in love with this.
I bought it from Village Weavers at Nong Khai, during our first family trip to Thailand in January 2013. Nong Khai is in North-Eastern Thailand, the Isaan region. It’s a bit off the beaten track for most tourists.
It was here I first got acquainted with the mighty Mekong. It’s no wonder really that this river has continued to be such an attraction.
I took the photo with my iPhone 4s. Believe it or not, at the time, I was disappointed with the shot. I thought it did’t do justice to the sunset. The only editing I’ve done is to crop it, slightly. In the distance is the Laos/Thai Friendship bridge.
My phone camera got a major work-out on that trip. I used it so much it overheated regularly, shutting down on me.
I was often in the same state. The heat (it was supposedly winter, hah!) and trying to keep up with the kids nearly got the better of me.
But I was back in love with travel and adventure.
Yep, that’s a deep fried cricket that’s about to crawl, not slide, down my throat. Believe me, it’s a once only experience. A large glass of Chang Beer might have improved the experience.
When I got back to New Zealand, I got busy. After decades of declaring it would never happen, I did it, I joined a gym. I knew I’d be going back to Thailand and I was determined that the next time I’d be fitter and stronger – and I was.
None of that would have happened without the encouragement of these amazing people. My people.
The silk throw is more than a souvenir, it’s memories, the best sort. And yet, it’s still more. It represents hope. You see, Village Weavers Handicrafts is a self help project supported by the Good Shepherd Sisters. They aim to alleviate poverty and assist women in the Isaan region to avoid prostitution. And those are concerns close to my heart.
Footnote: This weekend Paul Ruddock, Peter Nena, Sharukh Bamboat, Damyanti Ghosh and Dan are hosting the Cherished Blogfest when bloggers all over the world are telling stories in 500 words or less about the objects they cherish. Check them out.
And, tell me what do you cherish?