BERLIN: Inspired By + Inspired Buy

I used to dread packing for a trip and planning what to wear. I typically defaulted to a white t-shirt-and-jeans ensemble such that if I lined up all my photos travelling Canada from 2005 through 2009, it would appear that I did a coast-to-coast trip in the same day as I wore the exact same thing in every photo.

But the chore of packing is a walk in the park compared to the my most dreaded activity: deciding what souvenir to buy. Should I get a magnet? A scarf?  A statue? A lamp? I would spend hours trying to decide and walk away either with too much, or nothing. Or figurine that weighs 3 kilos—a story for later.

But after travelling for several years, I’ve learned the trick:

Take inspiration from the city or country you’re travelling to

Following this rule, I now not only enjoy planning my travel wardrobe, but have also bought a number of nice souvenirs.  Starting with Berlin, I plan to start featuring them in a new section in the blog called:


In the beginning of this year, I posted about how I try to avoid looking like a hobo when I travel (cut to: tourists in sweats and running shoes at the Louvre) by following a few simple rules.  One of them is to take inspiration from your destination.  I followed this golden rule in our trip to Petra and avoided wearing khaki overalls to the desert and proved that sand doesn’t need to be bland.  For our trip to Berlin, I wore a yellow blazer which was INSPIRED BY the cadmium yellow colour in Germany’s flag.  I figured the yellow will be a nice pop of colour in our photos just like how it pops out of the German flag:

Yellow blazer from the yellow in the German flag

Left: Inspired by the yellow stripe in the German flag; Center: Yellow blazer from Ralph Lauren; Right: Me wearing the yellow blazer at the steps of Berliner Dom

Horse Ring from Berlin

Horse head ring inspired by the quadriga on top of the Brandenburg Gate

After a weekend touring the city, the Brandenburg Gate stood out as my absolute favourite—especially after seeing how beautiful it can be during the day and at night.  When I saw this ring with the head of a horse, it reminded me of the quadriga (a chariot drawn by four horses) at the top of the Brandenburg Gate, and I knew I had to have it.  This absolutely stunning ring was my INSPIRED BUY from Berlin:

What kind of souvenirs do you typically shop for when you’re travelling?

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