First of all, can I get a round of applause for that New England fall foliage? I felt I needed to point that out since it sorta looks like I took that photo in front of a car fire. I can assure you it’s just a bush in front of my house and not the background of a Michael Bay film. No action heroes were harmed in the making of this post–this blog is not that badass.
UNIQUE GIFTS FOR TRAVELERS WHO CAN’T
We all love to travel–you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t. Unless you accidentally wound up here while searching for weird Asian poop fetishes or tips on how to survive hell (you wouldn’t be the first).
But while we all love to travel, not all of us can do it as much as we’d like. There are those little things called “jobs” that get in the way, possibly some kids or maybe even a really needy miniature pinscher. There are bills to be paid and supermoons to be photographed poorly. How will all these things get done if we’re all out sightseeing, sunbathing, or soaking in beer hot tubs for six months of the year? Those bastard work printers aren’t going to jam themselves!
So while we’re stuck at home between trips, it’s great to have reminders that there’s a whole wide world out there without telemarketers and student loan debt reminders. A big black hole where your Facebook friends’ political opinions fall on deaf ears. Don’t worry though–the Joe Biden memes survive.
Just because we’re stuck at home scooping litter boxes and cutting hair out of the vacuum head doesn’t mean we should be deprived of all the wonder our world has to offer. In fact, I feel a little pseudo-escape is more important during these times than ever.
This year, I’ve chosen a few holiday gift ideas for your friends and loved ones who love to travel but deserve more than a pair of compression socks or book of large-print word searches. I’ve included one-of-a-kind customizable gifts, gifts that span the world and last an entire year, and even gifts that require you to ship some spit. Because what says love more than a little saliva between friends?
LAT & LO
Everyone who travels the world undoubtedly has their favorite spots. Maybe it’s where they honeymooned or the city they’re homesick for. Maybe it’s the location of their favorite festival, the most beautiful place they’ve ever seen, or the town that named a sandwich after them. Personally, I have as many of these as I do pairs of sweatpants and let’s just say it’s more than any one person should have.
The ladies at Lat & Lo understand our innate sentimental (and sometimes just mental) attachments to certain locations and set out to create unique reminders of the places we love the most where we don’t concentrate of life’s stressors and also probably eat a lot of cheese.
Lat & Lo offers pieces of jewelry (+ more) featuring the geographical coordinates of your friends’ and family members’ favorite locales, all custom-made to order and as totally unique as those weirdos. You can create bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces (and even cuff links, tie bars, and money clips) to help them forget about the leaves that need raking and the head that be aching. Show them you love them with a subtle reminder of that time y’all stripped in an Italian parking garage or that time you didn’t die on a mountaintop.
Each piece is made to order with your chosen coordinates and a personalized inscription on the inside–perfect for inside jokes of questionable appropriateness. The ordering process is a breeze and each piece comes packaged in an adorable bag/box that is harder to photograph than you’d think.
All my pieces get so many compliments and I’m asked about them all the time to which I promptly reply, “Oh these? They’re all my prison IDs.” It really keeps your coworkers guessing and your bosses fearful of firing you.
TRY THE WORLD
I’ve always thought subscription boxes were a fabulous idea but something I’d never buy for myself–like a Snuggie or anything from Brookstone. In my mind, they’re best reserved for gifting–which is why I was so pumped to receive my first box subscription as a gift last Christmas (and again for my anniversary this year) and for something I couldn’t be more excited about. Not cosmetics I don’t know how to use, not clothing that would always be too big in the chest, not dog treats in flavors I don’t like, but THE WORLD.
Try the World is one of the best ideas someone somewhere ever had. It brings the world to the doors of those who maybe can’t leave the state (presumably for financial or professional obligations and not because of court-mandated house arrest). It helps you reminisce about past trips abroad and experience a little bit of some countries you maybe haven’t visited yet. And every month is a surprise! Like my income report!
Try the World boxes include 7 or 8 professionally curated delicacies from a different country every month (or whatever your subscription preference). You get ingredients for full meals, spices, treats, snacks and other things you wonder how you ever lived without. (And sometimes they mess up and send you two boxes instead of one, shh). So far we’ve received boxes from Italy, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Morocco, and some other mixed specialty boxes.
That handmade Italian pasta was ON FLEEK! ⇠ I just learned this phrase. Prepare to hear it a lot.
Try the World works exclusively with local, family-owned companies around the world to bring you an authentic way to experience their cultures through food (without the challenge of ordering off a foreign language menu). Each box comes with a culture guide explaining the history and use of the items and recipes in which to use them. I hand that riiiight off to my husband and just start pouring olive oil straight down my throat.
I drink Italian coffee in the morning, eat Moroccan kefta and couscous for lunch, Spanish mussels in escabeche with my dinner, and have a spot of Portuguese tea in the evening right before I throw an Irish tantrum for being out of those damn delicious Swedish gingersnaps.
When you aren’t able to travel physically, traveling orally is a great alternative. ⇠ Needlepoint THAT onto a pillow, Grandma.
BONUS: Sign up now for the Holiday box and you’ll (or your giftees will) also get a FREE Italy box! (Nonna not included.)
Check out @hambysmith #STAYGOURMET entry! – Tried some of the ingredients from my @trytheworld #SpainBox ! A poached egg cooked over Tumaca and served on toast 👌 (used the provided olive oil on the toast, too!) – Want to win a year of Pantry? Check out the info on our profile and our Instagram Story!
Spitting in a tube and mailing it to strangers is all the rage now–which makes sense as to why I haven’t tried it yet. I’m always so far behind on trends. You’re all getting Tamagotchis from me this year, just a heads up.
I’m DYING to try out the new DNA service from ancestry.com to maybe explain why I have such a great memory and cry when I see puppies. Why am I so terrible at horseshoes and why do I talk at a near-deafening decibel? These are all questions that can be answered from having your DNA analyzed at more than 700,000 genetic markers.*
If you haven’t heard of these new DNA tests, put the Beanie Babies down and pay attention:
- Get the kit shipped to you.
- Spit in a tube.
- Mail the tube back to those poor, unfortunate souls. Mike Rowe is probably among them.
- Get the results.
- Say things like, “I had no idea!” or “So that explains my perfectly shaped belly button!”
Ancestry DNA kits make great gifts because they’re something everyone is so curious about but maybe can’t justify purchasing for themselves. Like one of those pedicures where the fish eat your skin off or pot brownies. Everyone I’ve talked to who’s experienced this has LOVED getting their DNA results. I’ve gotten mixed results on pot brownies though.
I find especially that travelers are interested in this having spent time abroad and experienced (and felt connected to) many different cultures themselves. And for the traveler who can’t, this is a perfect way to escape to somewhere else. You may be stuck at the office running TPS reports all the live-long day but your DNA results will take you all over. If you can’t travel, see where all your genes have!
BONUS: Ancestry DNA is offering 30% off until November 28th. Significant savings since the kit is only $99 to begin with. WASSUUUUP! (⇠ Lemme guess, not cool anymore?)
⇡⇡⇡ This nerd is a natural blonde with a terrible fashion sense but who can do a damn good old-timey-prospector impression. BUT WHY!??? The answers are in the spit.
Want more to go along with these gifts? Check out my page of favorite travel gear!
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