My little Columbus

Several months ago now one of my absolute bests announced she was planning to desert us all for far off lands. That time is growing closer (sob), and I thought I would use the opportunity to a) make up for a missed birthday (I didn’t forget it – NOTHING is good enough for her she’s just that great) b) remind her how special she is as the pre-travel nerves begin to build and c) give you some inspiration for gifts for your globe trotting buddies.

Let me tell you a little about Beth’s trip. She’s heading out to California to be a best (wo)man in a wedding, then to Vanuatu where she’ll spend most of her time, before hopping across to Australia and New Zealand for a little look see after which it’s home to GB.

(Yes, Vanuatu is where this happened. Somehow can’t see Beth having a go.)

So here it is, a gift guide for a traveller, which you can adjust and adapt to suit your budget and your friend.

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Just building the suspense a little bit. Here’s the box…want to see what’s inside? Here you go:

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Oh everything’s wrapped up? That’s ok, I’ll open it all up just for you.

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Given that Vanuatu is a big chunk of the trip, I thought I would get a couple of travel diaries together to get her in the mood. Getting Stoned with the Savages actually includes Vanuatu, whilst Solomon Time is based around the Solomon Islands. I did my best, but Vanuatu is kind of niche. Trust Beth.

Next I figured I would find a phrase book for the official language of Vanuatu – Bislama. Again, pretty niche, but I found it, buried away in this little book of Pidgin languages. I expect fluency upon her return.

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On the theme of books, I thought it would be pretty neat if Beth wrote her own travel diary. Now…you’ve actually seen this before…hidden under that orange jacket is the book I bound! Yup. That was for Beth all along. To make a book jacket, just cut a long strip of paper or card and fold around the front and back cover.

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Something else you’ve seen before is the eye mask I made last week. Sneaky aren’t I?

I figured it’s quite a bit of flying to do. NZ to the UK is a long old journey home. So I thought she might want a bit of a nap, not always easy on a plane.

The chocolate? Some of her favourite. If it makes it as far as California, it should mean that she doesn’t have to endure Hershey’s, which is quite important (sorry America, you’re great otherwise).

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Speaking of the USA. That’s Beth’s first stop. She’s a pretty conscientious little person, and really doesn’t like to inconvenience or offend people. So I thought she’d better have some dolla at the ready. I got it all in ones (much to the lady in the post office’s confusion) this way she can tip as soon as the plane hits the tarmac. Not something we’re particularly used to in the UK.

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Now…I also wanted something a little more special to remind her how loved and special she is when she’s far away. I got her this little compass necklace from Etsy. I think it just about stays on theme without hitting cheesy.

A little word on the boxes – in case you are a bit OCD like me and want everything to match…I found these little gift boxes in one of those bits and bobs shops. They were black and silver striped (ew), so I pulled all the paper off and covered them to match the other paper items. You can’t just cover them straight over as they won’t close so you do have to endure the peeling etc. I also used accents of the paper to wrap the other gifts in to tie it all in.

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Sticking on the jewellery theme I couldn’t resist these little rings, also from Etsy. B is a huge fan of the ampersand. I am a huge fan of her.

I don’t want her to think she’s out of sight, out of mind while she’s away. I guess these are a nod towards the friendship bracelets you have as kids, but a bit classier I hope! A little something that says to Beth ‘hey, don’t forget, it’s you & me, that’s not going to change’.

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Now, as if it couldn’t get anymore romantic I also decided to write a little letter, one for each week she’s away. The envelopes open into hearts because this girl is just so so great and she needs to know just how much love there is for her.

I’ll be posting a tutorial for the envelopes soon, in case you want to write love letters to your friends too.

Well that’s everything. Except of course that now you’re probably wondering who this amazing person is?

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There you are. Chilling in the sunshine in her new necklace. What a stunner.

Have a great week chaps and chapettes.

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