Travel Theme: Merchandise

“I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest, to make money they don’t want, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.”
― Emile Gauvreau

Then. I. Jumped.

Life is simple now. I buy little recycled plastic bottle flowers made by local school kids to fund their school projects.


I shop in small Mom and Pop grocery stores and fruit stands. I buy fish on the beach from our local fishermen, who still use dugout canoes and cast into our sweet sea with large nets.

Like a fairy tale, this little piggy still goes to market.
some pig copyWhen traveling abroad, I support the local vendors. In Mexico, I shop at the colorful local markets. I can find everything I need…even kitchen sinks.

In Panama, while waiting for the bus, I can buy chicks. I’m intrigued at the handmade indigenous clothing.

Puerto Rico has a fine assortment of peppers and little doors.

In Ecuador shopping for a Panama hat, we found a mannequin dressed in hat brims.
IMG_4365Ecuador is the place to shop for rosaries, beans, and sugar cane candy.

I’m overwhelmed when I return to the United States. The excess…the marketing…the consumerism.. fills me with dread.

I used to spend my life doing things I detested…to make money I’d spend frivolously and thoughtlessly…to impress people I didn’t like anyway.

I. Jumped. And now, life is so much more gratifying.

Enjoy more photos and stories on the travel theme: Merchandise.

13 thoughts on “Travel Theme: Merchandise

  1. Your life is truly supporting the economics of happiness. The irony of all of this in the US is that, although the local markets and individual vendors in developing nations sell TO the people at AFFORDABLE prices, this is usually not possible in the US. The US local markets and vendors sell at prices that only the more elite classes can afford – organic farmer’s markets, for example. They must raise their prices to cover their overhead and they are competing with large corporations that can sell for less because of many questionable practices. The poor must shop at Walmart. Sigh…..the so called first world (ironic, also) has a lot to learn from the so called, third world (which is actually the first world). I can’t wait to get back to my economics of happiness project in Nicaragua. I can work on it from here, but I can live it there! Your photos are beautiful!

  2. Think global, buy local! and how much merchandise is truly “necessary?” After all, we enter and leave this world with zero possessions.

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