It’s a time honored truth that being on vacation is better than not being on vacation. Duh. However, vacations have an inherent expiry date. If they don’t, it’s is called “being rich”. For the rest of us, we end up leaving the land of endless food, booze, and sleep and return to our permanent residences- to annual performance reviews, stale smelling homes, and “We Missed You” notices. We call this real life, further cementing our post vacation malaise by promoting it to the realm of fantasy. It’s counterproductive to think of life like this, but what can I say – I think a lot of counterproductive thoughts. I’m nothing if not consistent. I’ve always returned home to New York to find myself lost in day dreams of Mexico. Knowing this about myself, I was determined bring a bit of Mexican style home with me.
Unfortunately a succulent filled courtyard would not fit in my carry-on.
My prescription was as such; by bringing a bit of Mexican style (including art, home decor, food, and accessories) home with me. I would better treat the post vacation slump and hopefully remind myself that I should enjoy more of what is around me (*cough* real life *cough*) rather than just jumping from one vacation lily pad to the next. So I’m back to binge watching true crime specials on Netflix when I should be hanging out with friends, but this time I have a glass of mezcal and Squirt within arms reach. It’s the little things.
One of the reasons I love traveling to Mexico so much is the overabundance of style, art, and design. It’s quite simply worlds away from anything I’ve ever been exposed to despite living right next door. Funny how that is. With it’s brightly colored facades, over-sized cacti, and interior courtyards, the environment could not be more different than what I am used to in the US.
The majority of my inspiration for Mexican style and home decor largely came from the Airbnb we stayed in, since I didn’t take the time to break into any stranger’s houses. We stayed in one apartment with 5 rooms that all faced a central courtyard. Meaning that a trip to the kitchen in the rain turned into exactly that. A trip to the kitchen in the rain.
It was impossible to divorce yourself from the environment, and it reminded me how little I know about the outside world until I head down four flights of stairs and go through 3 sets of doors. There’s no need for a weather app with indoor -outdoor living in Mexico. WYSIWYG.
Of course I could not bring this part of my trip home with me, but I could take some pointers. More cacti, piggy dishes, tiny pedestals, and not being afraid of a bit of color, #guilty. I know that I’ll inevitably buy something on vacation, so rather than end up with another airport key chain, I set out of hunt for little pieces that I could use in my home decor. Bonus points for buying things from local artisans and supporting the local economy. See? Two birds, one stone.
I picked up this little black clay pedestal for a much beleaguered cactus who’s seen some tough times and the tin votive holder from the state run Casa de las Artesanías. I think both together cost me something like $7 USD? It’s been a minute but I know it was peanuts – and hopefully the money got to someone who could use it.
The hand woven trivets (think mini rugs for pots) and blanket came from ARIPO. The blanket was initially supposed to be for humans but Bowser’s taken possession of it. Who knew that monster was such a textile fiend. The trivets were $5 USD each and the blanket (or “colcha”) was $35 USD. I bought the handcarved and clay spoons of the street. I believe $5 USD for the lot.
We stumbled into a little shop run by Colectivo 150 that sold pottery that had previously been featured at MOMA- because yes the world is just that small. I got the mezcal cup and the small hand that’s meant to hold a votive (above with the tin votive). I’ve repurposed the mezcal cup to hold my rings because it’s my mezcal cup and I’ll do what I want. I also found a piggy bowl from a local market. Thank god. For a second I thought I was only going to be able to find a turtle bowl and that was NOT what I signed up for. All together I’m going to estimate these pieces set me back $20-25 USD,
I also bought more pom-poms than I’d like to admit and strung dried flowers. I just couldn’t help myself. They make me so happy. And yes, carrying home fragile dried flowers in my carry on was my dumbest decision. They made it home in one piece but it was probably more stress than it was worth. All purchased from local markets- I’ll also estimate $15-20 USD for all the pom poms a girl can handle.
Finally, I decided that I deserved something a little special. Ugh. Deserved. Such an awful word. But yes, I splurged a bit on something myself, unlike all the other things I bought for myself and blamed on the apartment. Totally different. I purchased a necklace from Vianney Mendez and earrings from Silvia Suarez. Both are pieces that I fell in love with and spent a few days mulling over (always indecisive, nothing if not consistent). I love them and truly thing the craftsmanship and quality merits the price. The necklace was $70 USD and earrings were $40 USD.
All in all it was a fair chunk of change. It’ll be worth it if it keeps my wanderlust under control for a hot minute. We shall see. Not pictured because it’s already been consumed is the Oaxacan mezcal, chocolate, and coffee. There’s truly something for everyone whatever your vice.
Mine? Pom poms. Always pom poms.