Support Local, No Matter What Country You Find Yourself In

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.

John Holmes

I feel like everyone, myself included has a side hustle. Whether that helps you put food on the table, give your kids dance lessons, or if you use it as a travel fund, there is no question that they are fun and bring you joy.

No matter what I’ve got planned when I travel, I always search for handmade markets. I love seeing what each country’s creative minds have to offer and the levels of creativity never cease to amaze me.

When I started my handmade, travel-inspired string art store on Etsy I never thought it would be popular, but I am always excited when someone sees what I’ve worked on and then decided to buy it for themselves or a loved one. This inspired me so much that I opened a second Etsy store just for my travel photography. You can find them both here: String Art Store & Travel Photography Store.

What Souvenirs Do You Bring Home?

Me with about 1% of my postcard collection!

I’m usually on a budget and don’t splurge much unless I fall head over heels for something totally unique. Postcards are my favorite thing to buy when I travel. They show actual images of places I’ve seen and don’t have tourists blocking any shots. They also fit in luggage really well without weighing them down.

Is there something unique you look for in each country? I purposefully go off the beaten path to find something genuine. Magnets (sorry everyone) just don’t do it for me. Supporting local artists has become a huge passion of mine so 99% of the time I try to buy from a local who actually made what they are selling. These items usually come with an incredible story that I can share when people ask about it.

Do You Sell Anything?

That being said, I know a lot of my followers have their own blogs and (hopefully) some have their own stores. I do my best to follow everyone back and leave some genuine comments while I’m there! Feel free to comment below and I’ll keep you on my list when I’m shopping for the holidays! Give me the details on why you started your business or blog or whatever it is you do.

Display That Thing!

You bought it. You carried it across state or international borders. You cared enough to do these things. Now make sure you find a place in your home for these things. I used to buy the typical souvenirs but stopped when I realized they were just there and I didn’t have a specific memory for them.

Now, my postcards are (slowly) making their way to what I call my travel wall. In our guest bedroom, which is travel themed, I’ve gotten hanging wires (it looks cuter than it sounds) that allow me to clip each post card to it so they sort of cascade down my wall. The wires also have fairy lights on them so when you see it lit up it’s a gorgeous display of my past travels. I also put a quick blurb on the back of each to tell a short story about what I did and saw in that particular place.

But that’s just me. What do you do to proudly display your travel souvenirs??

Published by Emma Browning

Hey everyone, my name is Emma Browning. Thanks for stopping by. I like to think of myself as a modern day renaissance woman since I basically do a little bit of everything. Here's a few of my jobs/hobbies in case you're curious: Group Fitness Instructor (Zumba, BodyStep and BodyPump), small business owner (string art& travel photography), archaeologist/anthropologist, actress, SCUBA dive master, reading addict, dog mom, cellist, and of course travel enthusiast. I've traveled to over 21 countries and speak French fluently and am learning Spanish. Traveling is one of my all time favorite things to do whether it be a day trip with my dog or a massive international adventure. I created this blog to help others see the world vicariously through my wanderings and also to give useful tips and essential information that will hopefully inspire more people to travel. Hopefully you have as much fun reading these posts and get a lot of useful information from them!

6 thoughts on “Support Local, No Matter What Country You Find Yourself In

  1. Your photography is great, and I especially love your string art! Beautiful. I wonder how you know which direction to make the string go in so that it looks good.
    I don’t have an Etsy store, but I do some crafting that I sell at craft fairs. If you’re interested, you could take a look at my post where I compared selling things at a craft fair to blogging:
    https://thetravelarchitect.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/random-musing-how-blogging-is-like-selling-things-at-a-craft-fair/
    Is it difficult to start an Etsy store? I’ve thought of it from time to time, but with a fulltime job, it just seems too overwhelming.

    1. Thank you so much! It took years and a TON of trial and error with both the string art and photography. Craft fairs are always so much fun and more intimate. I try to do some around the holidays and make throughout the year so I’m not overwhelmed. I love your wine bottle candles! They look so good! Hopefully you sell a bunch! Etsy was super easy to set up but I’m constantly tweaking everything to make them better. It just depends on how much you sell at once. Working full time plus the stores gets a little overwhelming at certain times of the year but I also love spending time doing it so it’s not ever too bad.

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