On the Wish List

Things We're Loving: Gift Giving Edition

by Team Fathom
Photo by Nina Mercado / Unsplash.

Somehow, the holiday shopping window seems to be narrower than usual — so let's get to it. This year's guide is heavy on armchair travel, with transportive books, accessories, and games. Because 2022 will be a big year for big travel plans, get a jump with special experiences you can wrap with a bow.


Travel North America (and Avoid Being a Tourist)

Travel North America (and Avoid Being a Tourist)

Add sticky notes to pages with your favorite recommendations before gifting our book to your travel companion. The big coffee table book focuses on the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, with chapters exploring the post-pandemic travel mindset, holidays that follow nature’s lead, road trip itineraries, and recommendations for traveling more responsibly, sustainably, and gently. ($28)

New York: An Illustrated History

A smart, sharp, engaging history of our favorite city — from the 1600s through last week — co-authored by Ric Burns and James Sanders, the team who created the glorious PBS series New York: A Documentary Film. ($45)

How to Be Italian

Gift this charming book to the Italophiles in your life who long to "Eat, Drink, Dress, Travel and Love La Dolce Vita." Soccer, the briefest history of Italian food, the sacred aperitivo, the even more sacred bella figura, north vs. south, talking with their hands — Maria Pasquale, an observant Australian-Italian living in Rome, has documented the foibles and fabulousness of her adopted country beautifully. ($20)

Subpar Parks

Subpar Parks

Hilarious WPA-inspired posters, cards, prints, and planners based on one-star Yelp reviews of national parks. Too bad the Subpar Parks: America's Most Extraordinary National Parks and Their Least Impressed Visitors book is sold out; luckily you can still snag the delightful Subpar Parks 2022 calendar. ($3.50-$120)

Sacred Nile

Sacred Nile

A culmination of photojournalist Chester Higgins's 50 years of photographic evidence and investigations "showing the thread of faith" developed along the Nile. ($40)

All Abroad: A Memoir of Travel and Obsession

Travel industry veteran Geoffrey Weill recounts his lifelong obsession with travel in all its forms. He brings a keen eye for detail, vivid childhood memories, and a deep respect for the fine art of hospitality to every anecdote. See what we mean in this excerpt on Fathom. ($21)

Kalamata's Kitchen

Kalamata's Kitchen

Encourage kids to keep their minds (and mouths) open as they follow Kalamata and her alligator sidekick Al Dente on the first of many exciting food adventures to tasty lands. Book bundles come with Spicewalla ingredients (turmeric, cumin seeds, mustard) so that readers can extend the journey beyond the book and to the plate. ($30)

Sweet People Are Everywhere

Sweet People Are Everywhere

Alice Walker’s new children’s book features a young boy with a passport who meets wonderful people on a journey around the globe. ($18)


Andraab Cashmere Scarves

Super-fine Kashmiri wraps spun, dyed, woven, and embroidered by skilled artisans using traditions that date back to 15th century Persia. Every original piece takes months to craft; some take years, and the care, craft, and tradition shine in the resulting handiwork. These are pieces you could frame as well as wear. (From $380)

Beklina Layered Pleat Hat

Beklina Layered Pleat Hat

A functional and fun oversized bucket hat made from 100 percent organic cotton canvas that throws shade and packs well. ($165)

Lojel Suitcase

A system of modular, standardized parts allows travelers to repair their own luggage easily and quickly (and on the go!), minimizing waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill. There's more: All products are manufactured in an ethical, Global Recycling Standards (GRS)-certified facility in Indonesia, using only non-toxic, fossil-fuel free, and durable materials. The cherry on top is a ten-year warranty on each suitcase. Read more on Fathom. ($170-$350)

Monopoly x ISSSIMO

It's the classic board game with a dolce vita twist — the theme is The Italian Road Trip. (Much more fun than mindless acquisition of real estate). You cruise in a Maserati, refuel at our favorite restaurants (Ristorante Lo Scoglio on the Amalfi Coast and Osteria le Logge in Siena), and discover artisans along the way. It's the brainchild of Issimo founder Marie-Louise Sciò, whose Pellicano Hotels are also featured stops. (126€)

Photo courtesy of Shinola.

Clue! Shinola Detroit Edition

The beloved board game reimagined by Detroit's design-driven hotel with its own painted-wood movers, gold-finished weapons, and the storied suites and corners of the Shinola. Hand-illustrated character cards give players an idea of who — and where — they would mingle at the hotel including the Living Room, Evening Bar, and Bixby Hall. ($395)

Anker 3-Port Charger

Lighted your tech load with multi-purpose, high-speed charger that comes with switchable plugs for US, UK, and Europe; three ports (yes, charge three devices at once), and universal compatibility with USB-A and USB-C. Currently sold out in the US, you can get it from the UK in time for the holidays. (£47.99)

Diaspora Co. Masala Dabba

Build Your Own Masala Dabba

The traditional Indian stainless steel spice tin has seven smaller tins inside (and adorable little spice spoons). Fill with Diaspora Co.’s incredible single-origin, equitably sourced chilies, pepper, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, or other aromatics. All purchases include free access to Club Masala, an interactive quarterly Zoom cooking club with the founder and the recipe editor. ($200)


Photo courtesy of Welcome to Country.

Aboriginal Art Workshop

While visits to Australia have been restricted during the pandemic, virtual travel has expanded, bringing the land Down Under closer than ever. Welcome to Country, a not-for-profit site from New South Wales filled with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander products, has a collection of online experiences, like a dot painting workshop led by an Anangu artist, who explores traditional art and symbols in the interactive one-hour session. Organize a group for an excellent and memorable cold-weather project. ($39 AUD)

Photo by Dominique Mercado.

Ardesia Wine Club

When the pandemic forced Mandy Oser to shift her regular wine classes from her Ardesia wine bar in Hells Kitchen NYC to Instagram, she launched a wine club. And it's still going strong, continuing her mission of making wine accessible, interesting, and fun. Themed monthly deliveries come with three wines you've probably never heard of, tasting notes, producer info, and food pairing suggestions. Because you will still be drinking at home for, well, forever. ($90/month)

Les Ombres Restaurant. Photo by Pierre Monetta / courtesy of Les Ombres.

ADMO Restaurant Pop-Up

Here's one for global foodies who collect Michelin stars as much as passport stamps: Culinary superstars Albert Adrìa and Alain Ducasse, along with collaborators Romain Meder (cuisine), Vincent Chaperon (Dom Pérignon champagne), and Jessica Préalpato (desserts), are doing a a 100-day pop-up at Les Ombres, the Quai Branly restaurant with outstanding Eiffel Tower views. The meat-free experimental experience is available in five or seven courses, lunch and dinner, through March 3. (200€ for lunch, not including wine)

Photo courtesy of Summit One Vanderbilt.

Summit One Vanderbilt

Gift the experience of New York City's newest observatory at the top of the One Vanderbilt building next to Grand Central. Designed by native New Yorker and designer, Kenzo, the immersive mirrored experience — titled Air on the 91st and 92nd floor — offers ever-changing illusions of the iconic skyline, the Art Deco details of the Chrysler and Empire State Building and on a clear day, the peaks of Bear Mountain in the Hudson Valley. For the daredevil in your family, add on the Ascent experience, where a glass elevator travels outside of the building at 1,210 feet above the city. It's true what they say: The news of NYC never get old. (Adult tickets start at $39)

Vacation With an Artist

Vacation With An Artist (VAWAA) Gift Card

Spend time inside a master artist’s studio making something with your hands. Or help a friend learn a new creative skill or tap into a burgeoning passion. VAWAA facilitates connections with over 100 artists in 27 countries — from hand building canoes to making desert pottery to sculpting with stone. (Prices vary)

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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.