Travel Loot

My Best Souvenir

by Team Fathom
Rocks and sand from all over the world.

Long after the jet lag has faded, the memories remain. And so do the souvenirs. We respect the travelers who leave only footsteps and take only memories, but we're more of the "nice to see you sitting on my bookshelf, Lebanon" types. We asked Fathom travelers about their best souvenirs and the stories behind them. After all, what's a good souvenir without an even better traveler's tale?

Jars of Rocks and Sand

Name: Maggie Morris.

What is your best souvenir? The jars of rocks and sand I've collected from all over the world. I keep one jar from every place. 

Where did you get them? I have black lava rocks from Iceland; small saffron-colored pebbles from Mozambique; flat rocks from the Amalfi Coast that change color when wet; powdered gypsum from White Sands, New Mexico; white beach pebbles from Mitunuk, Rhode Island; a giant orange rock from Marfa, Texas….my list goes on and on 

Is there a story about how you got them? I have been picking up rocks and pebbles and sand and shells since I was a kid. I used to paint patterns on the shells with my mom's nailpolish, and then display them for her to see. At some point, someone told me my shell collections were dumb, and I tried to stop. It must be in my blood or something. I keep picking things up off the ground and saving them. I love looking at jars full of the the places I've been.

How much did they cost? Nothing. Except whatever was in the jar before?

Why are they so special? They make me happy! I love having pieces of the places I've gone around me.

Where do you keep them? I have big heavy glass jars on top of my bookshelves in my NYC apartment. I missed them when I started spending more time in Los Angeles, so I shipped out the smaller collections and I have them scattered around my house.

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.