My grandmother was born Anna Margurite Baker. She started school as "Anna Margurite" soon shortened to just Ann. I wish I knew how a little girl from Missouri got such an exotic name.
Maybe it was her middle name that gave her a passion for traveling. Everywhere she went, she brought a little piece of the world home with her. She collected horse brasses from the United Kingdom, purses from Greece, and exotic prints from Asia. I have a lantern in my backyard from her trip to Japan. She did not get it from Pier One. She was a true world shopper!
When my family would visit my grandparent's house my brother and I would stay in the room that my aunt grew up in. It was decorated with Mexican masks that would stare down at us as we slept. When we were really brave we would go from room to room and open up the cabinets (all built-ins from my grandfather) hoping to find some secret treasure. We only ever found one thing. Over and over. Dark, golden-yellow spines of a certain magazine that was never thrown away.
As for me, my passport is expired. But thanks to the internet and globetrotting bead vendors I get the thrill of world shopping, too. I love to design with beads from the other side of the world - the more exotic the better.