Dear folks, I’ve snuck away for some much-needed family time. While I’m hanging in the South, here’s a virtual adventure on the high seas with JoAnn of Sidewalk Chic. Once you’ve raised the sails and swabbed the decks, head over to her blog to see the other fanciful, romantic pieces she so beautifully puts together. -E
The Travels of a Seafaring Lass
by JoAnn of Sidewalk Chic
Hey there, friends of sartoriography, I’m JoAnn of Sidewalk Chic! When Emily asked me to expound on my thoughts on travel, my mind didn’t daydream of any planes, trains or automobiles abroad. Rather, I thought about the ocean, which isn’t hard to wish for in the languishing summer air in landlocked north Georgia.
I’ve always been a seafaring lass at heart. I grew up with a father in the Navy during my childhood, who would bring home curios from his adventures abroad. To him, purchasing those items abroad would be a reminder of home as he held onto those pieces for us, and once safely tucked on a house shelf, the same mementos would provide memories of special adventures in his career. As a young child, each of his trips would spark a curiosity about the world that would never be sated as I played with dolls from Japan or read books made in India. Since then, I’ve had an obsession with nautical pieces — anything from sailboats to compasses to literature of long-ago pirates. And whether these mementos are heirlooms or baubles I find on my own, they churn up feelings of long ago: inquisitiveness and a promise to learn, see and do more in the world.
Below are some of my favorites:
I’ve had this “genie bottle” since I was child, and it was purchased by my grandmother at a yard sale. It’s got a leather exterior, and it’s festooned with painted illustrations of ships and maps. Inside is a mirror at the base, and when you look into it, you see your own eye (which gives new meaning to “being careful what you wish for,” especially from a genie!) Despite its humble real-life beginnings in my life, I’ve always imagined that it had grander origins: as a holder for the Fountain of Youth for Ponce de Leon, or wine for Magellan.
I bought “She Captains” years ago for the cover illustration, but have enjoyed the tales of female pirates and heroines many times over. It’s proto-feminist and full of badassery, as women commandeered and held sway in early maritime trade. No mermaids or fainting damsels included.
My husband Jeremiah and I plan on collecting maps from places we visit and lining our walls with them. Below are two that are meaningful to us: Ireland, where his family is from, and Hawaii, where we went on our honeymoon. (In my spare time, I like pretending I’m hitchhiking to the third-largest island in Europe.)
What kinds of mementos do you like to collect on your travels? Thanks so much, Em, for having me!