Indulging on delicious cuisine, meeting people, exploring new places, opening your eyes to other cultures and going on epic adventures are probably the top reasons why we love to travel. They’re certainly a few of mine. But there’s one other reason that keeps popping in my head whenever I’m planning a trip or choosing my next destination: SHOPPING!
Visiting a new country means a fantastic opportunity to buy indigenous, artisanal wares that you’ll be hard-pressed to find in your own country or city. You don’t know how many times I’ve started obsessing about a country all because of an Instagram photo (of a beautiful rug from Marrakech, a colorful bag from Cartagena or a darling hammock from Nicaragua.)
Often, when I’m not traveling, I keep myself sane by means of retail gratification (aka shopping!) Luckily, our flea markets here in Los Angeles are bubbling with products imported from Mexico all the way to Ghana, and it’s the perfect place for me to feed my wanderlust without having to leave home and spend a few thousand dollars.
Here are some of the imported, artisanal wares I found on Sunday at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena:
Colorful baskets from Ghana – These normally cost about $45 at the market.
Purses from Colombia
Simple yet elegant umbrella from Thailand – This one was massive and only cost $175.
Singing bowls from Nepal – The medium sized ones are $35 to $45 dollars. These are great for meditation.
Pastel pots from Mexico
Lanterns from Morocco – Some of these had bits of rust, but their designs are intricate!
Baskets from El Salvador – These are great for beach picnics or grocery shopping. The medium sized ones are about $55.
Moroccan-inspired rugs and poufs
Fabrics from South Asia
Fabrics from Ghana – These are from $35 to $45. There were a few different vendors selling the same stuff, so it wouldn’t hurt to haggle.
Rugs and tapestries from India
Rose Bowl Flea Market is a monthly market that takes place every 2nd Sunday of the month at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. General admission starts at 9am. Tickets cost $9 per person.
- Bring plenty of water, as water is not cheap inside the market.
- Wear a hat and cool clothing, and apply plenty of sunscreen. It gets pretty hot after 10am.
- Bring plenty of cash. Many vendors accept credit cards, but they might charge an extra fee. Most of them prefer cash.
- See something you like? Shop around first. There are many vendors in the market that sell similar stuff, and you’ll probably find a better price elsewhere.
- Bring a cart, if you plan on making several or large purchases.
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