Years ago when ryan + I had our first apartment we bought a very humble (and slightly sparse) christmas tree for our first holiday living together. We did not have a ton of money to spend so, we bought a big container of red + green glass ornaments. While it was very simple + a little barren, it did the job and brought a festive feel to our home.
Shortly after our first christmas, we made a trip to sydney, australia and decided to buy an ornament to commemorate our vacation. Since then, we’ve picked up an ornament to bring home with us during our travels. While some of our ornaments might not be super traditional, it has forced us to get creative + find a trinket along the way that relates to our trip. This traveling tradition has now filled our tree with some of my most favorite ornaments. They not only look beautiful adorning the branches but serve as a great memory to our travels. Here are a few of my favorites…
(our tree back in 2013)
syndey, australia – in 2011 my husband had to travel down-under for a business trip. I took my first international-flight-alone and meet him after his work wrapped up. We then spent a week exploring sydney + much of the area around it. The iconic sydney harbor bridge was in so many of our photos. It was fitting to find a very fragile, wooden replica of the bridge to take home with us.
san francisco, ca – my favorite city in all of the u.s.! ryan + I have traveled here a few times together, most recently in 2014. I don’t remember which trip it was but we found a tiny brass trolley after a ride on the cable car. Oh san fran… I fall more in love with you upon every visit.
banff, canada – while visiting the stunning rocky mountains in banff (just outside of calgary) in the summer of 2012, we spent an afternoon kayaking the bow river. It was our first attempt at kayaking + the highlight of our stay. We picked up a kayaking moose as a playful memento.
san diego, ca – this past september, we went to san diego for a weekend to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. Ryan + I went on a sunset sail around the city. It was beyond romantic + relaxing. I immediately knew I wanted to get a sailboat ornament but had some trouble finding exactly what I wanted. Instead I jumped onto etsy + of course found the perfect little white + blue sailboat.
mykonos, greece – our honeymoon in greece is still my favorite trip I have ever been on. Myknonos is known for its historic windmills that date back to the 16th century. We found a beautiful hand-painted glass ornament with the windmills to bring back stateside with us upon our return.
gothenburg, sweden – in 2015 we baby-mooned in sweden. Another personal vacation we tacked onto a business trip for ryan. I was 6 months pregnant but did not let that stop us. From endless sightseeing, visiting my cousin who was there playing professional soccer to a day spent sailing along the coastline, wee took in so much of the scandinavian culture. We brought home a little viking as a nod to the country’s historic past.
charleston, sc – in 2014 we visited hilton head for a friend’s wedding. Afterward, we rented a bright blue mustang and drove to charleston for a few days. I was most excited about the southern eats but quickly fell in love with the city’s quaint beach towns. After a day spent soaking in the sun + drinking beers on the isle of palms, we brought home a seashell ornament to remind us of our relaxing day in the sand.
riviera maya, mexico – we joined my family in 2013 for a week-long beach vacation in mexico at an incredible resort. One hot afternoon we escaped the sun to paint a sugar skull together to bring home. We found a ceramic ornament painted in a similar style to our little art project and it is the perfect keepsake to remember this amazing vacation.
(our painted ornament from mexico and a tiny glimpse of our kayaking moose from banff)
Do you have a favorite christmas tree decoration? How do you commemorate your travels?