Colleen Clark, Managing Editor
"I've always had a thing for Elvis. When I saw these nesting dolls at a market in Kiev, I was psyched to score such a fun bit of kitsch. Later in my trip, I ran into some scary visa issues that stranded me in Russia. Scared and feeling rather alone, these dolls provided an odd sense of comfort. When I look at them now, they're a reminder of how the familiar can appear in the most foreign of places and of the surprising ways that places and people open themselves up to you."
Tracy Fogel, Software Engineer
"I bought this pillow on a trip to Peru 2 years ago. I spent one morning kayaking to the Uros floating islands on Lake Titikaka. It was a beautiful, unique way to see the islands – much better than taking a large, touristy boat to get around. We stopped on one of the islands and visited with some of the people who actually live there, and this pillow was made by one of the local women. It depicts life on the floating islands."
Brad Thomas, Associate Market Manager
"I picked up this Linga Koba doll from the Ndebele people in Southern Africa. The doll really reminds me of an unforgettable and once in a lifetime trip to South Africa...shark cage diving, bungee jumping the worlds highest commercial bungee, safari game drives and fresh oysters directly from the traps!"
Leana Gonsalves, Marketing Specialist-CRM
"It was pretty clear after traveling around Australia that I needed to do 2 things: try vegemite and throw a boomerang. While in Melbourne and after much debate I finally found what I thought was an authentic boomerang. Let’s just say I am still trying to figure out the returning feature."
Chelsea Bengier, Editorial Assistant & Producer
"It was my first time in Paris, and as my mom and I were strolling the streets and popping in shops, she was telling me of her first trip to Paris in the 1980s and how the city has changed since then. So, when we stumbled upon this funky 1980s postcard, I bought it as a token of mom's memories and reliving them with her in Paris."
Devon Knight, Photo Editor
"I purchased this snow globe owl from a street vendor just outside of Sagrada Familia and it reminds me of the incredible meal I ate right after buying this. We found a tiny side road in Barcelona's Melon district, sat down and greeted the owner who promptly started bringing out plates of tapas: patatas bravas, bruschetta with iberico, etc. We drank 3 bottles of wine over the course of the meal and ended up with a €60 bill (not typical Barcelona prices.) It was one of the best meals of my life, from what I remember."
Jonathan Baek, Photo Intern
"The Nicaraguan chocolates were given to me as a souvenir from my girlfriend. While she was down in León, Nicaragua on a short-term mission trip with our church, she had the best chocolate croissant for breakfast and had to buy the same chocolates the bakery used to make their croissants. When I received them, I spent a good 15 minutes gnawing at them thinking they were regular bars of chocolate. Little did I know that these bars were meant for baking and not snacking. They were still delicious nonetheless.”
Andrew Skwarek, Senior Producer
"My co-worker in London, Rachel Beard, brings me something from the UK every time she comes to our NYC office, and in 2013, she surprised me with the Brit rubbery ducky. I keep it on my desk and my co-workers always ask where it came from; the rubber ducky always reminds me of Rachel - she's become such a good friend of mine and I'm excited to head to the UK this fall to celebrate her wedding!"
April Ellis, Associate Photo Editor
"I acquired this dia de los muertos painting in a recycled frame from a Mixik local folk art boutique in Tulum, Mexico. This was the first big trip we took with our boys (almost 2 and 4 at that time.) I'm reminded of the breathtaking beauty and great things we experienced together --diving in cenotes, trekking to mayan ruins, days spent at the pristine beach and indulging in local fare."