My Travel Shopping Calling

“Anybody can buy. It takes an artist to shop.” (Jennifer Finney Boylan)

I’ve never been particularly accomplished at shopping in our travels. On cruise vacations, for example, I often impulsively ignore bargaining with local merchants at street markets and thus often pay more than seems needed. In addition, during road trip journeys, our CR- V trunk space normally clutters up with sports memorabilia and souvenir trinkets I’ve purchased, making travel essentials we need to access more difficult to find. Furthermore, in the absence of more discretionary shopping habits, my luggage typically carries excessive shopping weight, ultimately burdening our arduous walking treks across Europe. How sad it seems that my well earned reputation of shopping unwisely manifests in my uncomfortable  decision to linger passively outside on a park bench in front of tourist souvenir store while my wife happily browses inside.

I thus strive these days to find effective ways to become a more savvy buyer in the travel shopping moment. It seems, first of all, that I must learn the art of patience in browsing for items and not necessarily feel compelled to purchase them. Furthermore, as I observe more closely how my money-wise wife acts in such travel shopping occasions, I should strive to attain more of a ”minimalist philosophy”of what to bring home. In facing the challenge to maintain my physical/ emotional wellness as a retiree, I can likewise learn more mindful consumerist behavior as a sightseer. How would you evaluate your own shopping habits with respect to some of the most memorable shopping settings from our recent travels?

Amidst the damp chill of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, we entered Boudin’s Market to the pleasing smell of fresh sour dough bread and other bakery delicacies.

At the Sunday Bastille Market in the Marais district of Paris, we purchased fresh fruit, baguette, wine and then headed to a neighborhood park for an inviting picnic lunch.

Pikes Place Market in Downtown Seattle provided us a tantalizing variety of fresh seafood displayed on icy racks from Pacific waters.

On a a torrid summer day on a cruise stop in Barcelona, Spain, we discovered this colorful gelato stand along the La Rambla corridor as an ideal dessert choice to cool off from the oppressive heat that day.

The festive carnival atmosphere along Bourbon Street in New Orleans provided an enticing invitation to reinvent ourselves with new masked/costumed identities.

At the Route 66 Museum in Kingman, Arizona , we rediscovered our fondness for living those “happy days” in small town America during the 1960s.

The addictive sights/sounds of delicious candy pervaded our senses as we toured the Chocolate Land Factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Homemade recipes of “Old South” cuisine captured our interest as we walked along the central corridor of the Charleston, South Carolina City Market.

At Old Town Santa Fe, New Mexico, we curiously browsed at local shops displaying a creative array of Native American/Mexican art pieces.

Walking around midtown Manhattan, my wife could not resist looking for hip shopping bargains at the “cosmopolitan department store, “Uniqlo”.

At Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris, I could easily find the right book for me to read in my travels.

At the Center for the New Age in Sedona, Arizona, I discovered the perfect rocks to enhance my spirituality interests.

This month, my wife and I will embark on a Princess Line cruise covering various ports in the Caribbean/Latin America. A major question thus arises about how I might open my spending wallet wisely to celebrate this holiday season?


11 thoughts on “My Travel Shopping Calling

Add yours

  1. Jim – send me your wallet before you leave. I will shop for you.


    On Tue, Dec 3, 2019 at 10:42 AM Snippets of a Traveling Mind wrote:

    > usfman posted: ““Anybody can buy. It takes an artist to shop.” (Jennifer > Finney Boylan) I’ve never been particularly accomplished at shopping in our > travels. On cruise vacations, for example, I often impulsively ignore > bargaining with local merchants at street markets” >


  2. I am a grab and run buyer. I used to buy two weeks groceries for my family in fifteen minutes. Then I met my (current) husband. He went through the checkout with me twice and decided he needed to take over the shopping duties. Twenty years later, he still does our shopping.


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