In this blog post series, I interview world travelers about an object that came home in their bag and what it means to them. This week’s post features Kelly Moe-Rossetto, woman of the world and founder of Cardamom Collective.
Jen: Kelly, your travel resume spans multiple continents. Can you tell me about an object that came home with you on one of your many trips?
Kelly: What comes to mind is the Bedouin pendant I bought in a store in Jordan. My travel partners and I had been in the shop for over an hour already, and I had been digging for bigger pieces— heavily coined and embroidered head scarves, outlandish rings and bangles that could serve to both adorn and arm oneself. Finally, after reaching into the back beyond the dust and silver, I pulled out the piece that I knew I’d take home – a solid sterling piece with tiny ornate granulation and gold wash over an inset of red stone or glass. The shop owner and I talked, bargained and sipped sweet mint tea. He told me it was a special piece from the tribe just outside the town, and guessed its age to be around 175 years. He admitted to me that he loved the piece and had a difficult time letting it go, but that he thought of me like a daughter and was happy to see it find a place with someone who appreciated it.
Jen: This sounds like a veritable treasure hunt! Why did you choose that piece?
What is funny is that at the time, although I knew it was the right piece, I wasn’t particularly overwhelmed by it. I liked it enough but actually resisted wearing it for much of the trip for fear of losing it. For the remainder of my Jordan and Egypt trip, I think I wore the piece once. But, the moment I left Cairo, I couldn’t take it off. It was as if the electric energy of that city that I so missed once I returned to Florence (and eventually, Minnesota) stayed with me in the pendant. It was almost magnetic; I didn’t take it off for nearly a year. To this day, it is a sacred piece to me and by far the most commented on piece of jewelry I own. It’s as if others recognize its special and unique history— whomever it belonged to before me must have lived through some incredible adventures, because I feel them when I wear it.