I’ve read that Christmas tree sales are to the roof this year, and people have never been buying them so early in the festive season. I have never published a curated list of gift ideas – so here you go: thoughtful, soulful gift ideas to satisfy a wanderlust. Because if we’re not going anywhere, we might as well make the most of our time at home.
Special travel memories engraved on a medal: Rio de Janeiro, Comporta, Capri, New York.. For each destination, Par Coeur creates an original design hand-drawn in colored enamel. There are more than 30 destinations on the site, or you can customise your own.
What trip have you had to cancel this year? I was meant to be in Pondicherry, India. Instead, I am now home with Zojora. You, too, can be in India with their beautiful tableware. The fabrics are sourced in Rajasthan (remember this interview back in 2012?) and most pieces are handmade ethically in Vietnam with the social enterprise Fair trade Fashion.
The pillows made in Gorée Island, Senegal by CSAO. They’re sold all over the world if you cannot make it to their beautiful store in Le Marais, Paris. Note to self: there are a number of beautiful lodges that have opened in Senegal recently and I must tell you about them.
Artful posters reminiscent of glamorous hotel rooms by Hotel Magique.
This very chic water bottle and holder by Lutz Morris handmade in Germany, with an insulated bottle by Lurch made of double-walled stainless steel. The logo engraving is hand-done in Berlin and can be customised. So chic.
An online workshop with Tabara from La Basketry who teaches how to weave the prettiest handwoven items such as the ones she sells in her online shop, with techniques learnt from her ancestors’ Senegal.
Or for a bigger splash, a sculptural basket weaved with natural elephant grass in Ghana by fair trade company Baba Tree.
Luxurious jewelry pieces from Pippa Small collaboration with the non-profit Turquoise Mountain in Afghanistan. The foundation provides employment for young artisans and creates a craft market for their work, as well as an extraordinary restoration project of historic old Kabul. Anything from the collection would be real treat.
If you have an artist in the family – with no commitment to be anywhere specific in the world – why not suggest to take an artist’s residency at Blue Apple Beach in Cartagena, Colombia.
Beautiful linens embroidered with love by Kisany. For more than fifteen years, Kisany has offered training and work in DR Congo and Rwanda to build an economy of skilled and financially independent artisans in these regions. The result is two partner ateliers and more than 1300 lives transformed.
Do you know anyone ready to tackle a 1,000 pieces jigsaw puzzle? I wish I could raise my hand but I do not have the required patience! Too bad because the Moon and the Earth puzzles by Four Point are so special.
A donation in the name of a loved one to African Parks, a leading non-profit that takes direct responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of protected areas in Africa,. They do so in partnership with governments and local communities. I find their collaborative approach very inspiring and witnessed it first hand when we traveled around Malawi.
How about commissioning a piece from artist Lisa Swerling, inspired by her Land of Giants collection. Her Glass Cathedral pieces are designed to immortalize amazing adventures by creating a memory box from a personal photograph or recollection. I have been following her work ever since we connected over her family road trip in Southern Africa. Very special.
And if you miss Paris as much as I do, this list of French movies is a keeper – you just need a nice glass of Burgundy and a few dark chocolates to go with it.
Ps: This soulful gift ideas to satisfy a wanderlust list is not an ad, nor sponsored in any way. Just some ideas that I have written down because they are all made with love and beautiful design in mind.
With a vaccine on the cards and the lifting of travel ban for a number of countries, there are beautiful places that you can travel to if you dream of a winter getaway. It’s about navigating the how + the where . Perhaps there has never been a more important time to use the knowledge, time and patience of a private travel designer.
Just sayin’ . Ps: this is a good read if you’re worried about flying.