Thursday, 21 August 2014

Foreign Travel Closet Finds

Very often when I travel, there is always something I want to buy that is associated with my destination.

My travel history started with accompanying my husband as a chaperone on high school tours to Europe. Since then we have organized tours from Canada for adults as well. Our roles are very different with each group and traveling with adults is a tad less stressful. In our tour groups with adults we have gone to Turkey and Italy and are planning more European excursions.

Eating is necessary but our Canadian tour leader made eating a pleasure with commentary about the local foods and the wine while we were in Italy.

Dining somewhere in Italy. Photo by JoyD.

Seems that I was always taking photos of us eating; however this one is more of the views we encountered while in Italy.

Afternoon coffee or was it wine somewhere in Italy. Photo by JoyD.
This time we're eating in Turkey. Forgive me for all the food photographs but we do it at least three times a day and it was always as interesting as the sightseeing and shopping.

Eating somewhere in Turkey. Photo by JoyD.
Finally a photo of one of the group taking in the cultural and more intellectual parts of our tours . . . somewhere in Turkey.

A museum somewhere in Turkey. Photo by JoyD.
In the spring of 2015 we are planning a 12-day Portugal, Spain, Morocco & Gibraltar tour, April 13th to April 25th with adults, leaving from Canada. The groups are usually small, including couples and singles, which allows for more freedom in planning, changing or supplementing itineraries. Our deadline date for this spring group tour is the end of August so if by some chance you want to spend some time exploring and shopping in Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Gibraltar, just send an email to and I can get the itinerary and pricing details to you. 

To determine what to buy in a country, it is a good idea to analyze what is important to the locals. As a result, you know there will be a great variety of that particular item and probably a good opportunity to buy. I'll use Spain as my first closet analysis. The "watch" as accessory and status symbol is important to both men and women in Spain. Gold jewellery that is of good quality and discrete is worn by most women and costume jewellery (bright coloured resins) is often only worn by the young. Shoes are impeccable and always in good condition and are used as fashion accessory as much as a necessity. Interestingly, many leather shoes have rubber soles and I would guess that is because of the cobblestone streets which can be tough on leather soles, let alone make walking a bit treacherous. Because shoes are coveted here, Spain manufactures fabulous shoes, leather and even rubber soled. When you analyze the local habits, essentially some of the things the locals have in their closets - in this case, watches, gold jewellery, and shoes - you have a good indication of what will be readily available and easy to buy when you visit that country.

Spanish shoppers. Photo by JoyD.
I will be "analyzing" other local closets and giving suggestions on what to pack for our trip to Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Gibraltar over the next few posts. Remember there's still time to join us.

Just click on the titles below to read some other posts I wrote about travel and packing:
Business and Tourist Travel Wardrobes
Packing for a Two Week Visit to Europe
In a Man's Suitcase: Vacation in Europe
Shoes for Traveling Europe
The Bag and Packing for the Weekend or Longer

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