Travel & Living

These Are the Gifts You Need from Around the World

In need of retail therapy or need to satisfy your wanderlust? Say no more.
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The best part of traveling is getting to experience a myriad of new and interesting cultures. Be it food, art, music, or fashion, traveling is the best way to open one up to new experiences. More often than not, a great trip also ends up with one or more souvenirs to bring back for family and friends too. Stop picking up last minute items at the duty-free shop or refrigerator magnets from the small shops off the high streets. Here are some of the world’s best offerings from all around the globe. Next time you’re backing that suitcase before coming home, make sure you’ve got a couple gifts stashed away.

Paris, France – Bedding

French opulence is always in vogue. With some of the best fashion houses and patisseries lining the streets, the best part of a Parisian getaway is still tucking into the best sheet sets in the world each night. The city has a number of artisanal crafted home goods stores with bedding sets made from the finest linens. Bringing home something that will get used nearly every night is the best way to keep the memories alive.

Nashville, USA – White Barbeque Sauce

Music City is home to plenty of southern crafted culinary delicacies like hot chicken, great barbeque, and most notably, white barbeque sauce. The tangy concoction features just the right balance of heat from spices and creaminess from whisked mayonnaise. The sauce pairs perfectly with a wide array of dishes and is bottled and offered at Martin’s BBQ, among others in town. Improve every meal back home with something that’s not just southern, but uniquely from Nashville.

Kyoto, Japan – Whiskey

Japan is creating some of the best new blends of whiskey anywhere in the world. Suntory Toki, one of the finest distillations in Japan, calls Kyoto home for its factory. While Kyoto has lots of offerings from culture to food, not-yet-known-in-America whiskeys are bound to make you the best cocktail party in town.

Warsaw, Poland – Movie Posters

While the last time you hung movie posters in your home, you were likely in sophomore year of college, movie posters in Poland take on a far more intricate level of design. The posters use far more craft and artistry that those in America, and reflect the metaphor behind each film rather than a snapshot of the leading roles like in the US. These posters bring any blank wall to life both by showing off any movie buff’s favorites without sacrificing interior design.

Marrakech, Morocco – Tiles

The intricately placed tile work, also known as Zellige, is popular throughout Moroccan architecture. The colorful tiles are each individually cut and pieces together to make beautiful mosaics. The art form is also a great compliment to any backsplash or to surround a fireplace in your home after vacation. Finding the right tile to sample in Marrakech can make any home renovation project show off your international travels.

Andalucía, Spain – Olive Oil

While olive oil conjures thoughts of Greece or Italy, the world’s largest manufacturer of olive oil is Spain. The southern coast of the country, the Andalucía region, is responsible for 75% of the nation’s final product.  Spaniards find uses for olive oil in everything: from the morning toast to pork Iberico as an appetizer at dinner. Olive trees also grow all over the hills of Andalucía, making it a perfect way to remember the flavors of an area so rich in culinary history.

Cabarete, Dominican Republic – Mamajuana

Mamajuana is a bit of an inside joke among locals in the island nation. The liquor is a homemade blend of red wine, honey, and Dominican rum, all steeped in a bottle with locally grown roots and wood from the trees. Mamajuana is known for its aphrodisiacal properties and meant to enjoy as a great date winds down. Each batch made is customized to be stronger or weaker based on the balance of wine/rum ratios. The bottles are traditionally passed down in Dominican families, as the roots and wood are best when reused again and again. While the airport duty-free shops offer pre-bottled batches of the roots, local shops along the streets sell bottles with hand-picked roots.

Tokyo, Japan – High Fashion

Paris, New York, Milan can take a backseat. Tokyo is the new capital of fashion in the world. Labels like United Arrows, Kapital, and so many others are cropping up around the city and finding mass appeal stateside by fashionistas looking to get their moment with a street style photographer. The city has several great shopping districts, and is worth spending money on a garment that nobody will be able to get online.

London, UK – Vintage Fashion

While Tokyo may be what’s new, London will always represent what’s old. With vintage and retro fashion constantly bringing new waves or yesteryear to the forefront in textiles, London’s East End offers amazing shops filled with timeless, classic pieces. Walking along the high streets make it easy to find the hot new looks. Walking along Brick Lane into shops, like Rokit, adds the fun of happening upon the perfect piece, buried in relics of old fads.

Mendoza, Argentina – Malbec Wine

Argentina is one of the most diverse nations in South America — it only makes sense that their offerings reflect that of the world. The country is the fifth largest wine maker in the world, with Malbec being most famous to the region (originally brought to Argentina by the French). Mendoza also creates 60% of Argentine wine, and each bottle takes a great amount of work from vineyards to defend the crop of grapes against everything from harsh climates to infestation. A bottle of Malbec back home, like this one from Cheval Des Andes, is a great way to taste the spirit of that culture of hard work.  

Oaxaca, Mexico – Ceramics

Even though stores along the main boulevards may draw in tourists with colorful ceramic vases, a deeper search in the city yields beautiful pieces that are perfect to outfit an entire home with. From matching sets of plates and coffee mugs, to tabletop items and water carafes, Mexican ceramics have an organic essence perfect for any home— literally. The added benefit of pottery from the Oaxaca state is that the region has a history of using ceramics for both practical and decorative items that date back thousands of years.

Hawaii, USA – Kona Coffee

Pineapples and coconuts can be hard to fit in a suitcase. One of Hawaii’s biggest crops though is coffee. The good stuff is grown on Kona, the largest island. With a rich flavor and bold body, Kona coffee is only grown on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa in the northern and southern Kona Districts of the island. Like champagne in France, or bourbon in Kentucky, true Kona Coffee must come from this region specifically to officially earn that name. It may be expensive coffee to bring back home, but it's well worth it in the early morning hours.

Moscow, Russia – Outerwear

It only makes sense that in a climate that feels closer to the Arctic tundra than a bustling metropolis, travelers can find the best coats and jackets. While Russia may be great at lots of things, insulating winter coats has got to be the top of the list. Russian winter fashion is often associated with big furry hats or clunky earmuffs, but modern fashion labels have perfected designs on sleek, trendy looks that are can resist any stateside blizzard with ease.

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