In My Bag: Ann’s Timeless Treasure

In My Bag: Ann’s Timeless Treasure

























In this blog post series, I interview world travelers about objects that came home in their bags and what those objects mean to them. This week’s post features Ann Lonstein, a woman of the world and travel writer. You can read more of Ann’s work at or in her recent chapbook entitled Everything is a Journey.

Jen: Ann, you are very experienced traveler and writer. Can you talk a bit more about how the idea of “the journey” has informed your life?

Ann: I love the word journey. To me it has many meanings. A journey can be a car trip, a train ride or sailing on a boat. It can be moving from one place to another. It can be choosing a career path. Journey can mean many things. The most common meaning is to travel. Growing up in a small town in South Africa, I never went on many journeys. Yes, I rode my bike to school and all around town, but I was just living my life. I did take many trips by train going to and coming home from boarding school. They could be called journeys; I remember standing in the corridor, gazing out of the window and singing “Sentimental Journey.” Apparently, the word meant something to me when I was a fourteen years old. The journey I took that set up my life for the next 45 years was flying from Johannesburg to Boston at the age of 23 with my husband and our 8-month-old son. This was the beginning of my love of travel and my love of writing about my journeys.

Jen: Do you return to South Africa often?

Ann: In the 45 years we have lived in the United States, we have made a few trips back to South Africa to visit family. The most recent was in the summer of 2012 when we took our entire family with us. We visited a game park and saw a large variety of wild animals. We visited family in Johannesburg. We explored the Museum of Humankind, which displays ancient skeletons from the beginning of time. We flew to Cape Town where I had spent many summer holidays at the beach. Our children and grandchildren loved this city that grows around the flat-topped mountain and where the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet. However, we did not visit the small town I grew up in, whose one claim to fame is that it is the home of the rare Baobab tree. These are giant, prehistoric trees that look like they have been upended and the roots are branches. We used to play around them, have picnics under their shade and sit on the trunks that split and then lay on the ground. Our children have seen them on our earlier trips back.


In My Bag: Ann’s Timeless Treasure





























Jen: It sounds like a magnificent trip. Did you take home any special souvenirs?

Ann: While visiting the African outdoor markets filled with art, our sons found a keepsake of the trip they knew we would love. It is a drawing on canvas of a baobab tree. Three things are unusual about it. One is the texture the canvas gives it. The second is the size; the canvas is 45” by 33”, but the picture is placed in the bottom two thirds of it and there is a large patch of white above the drawing. The third is that there is a small deer and other ethereal shapes sketched in at the bottom. When they gave it to me, it took my breath away. I have many keepsakes of journeys taken. Still Life of a Baobab is my favorite because it connects my past to my present.

Post your Comments

Book with OneTravel

  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Cars
Click here for calendar
Click here for calendar
Seniors: (65+)
Infants on lap:
Infants on seat:
Save on Bookings with 3+ pax
or hotel stays of 3+ nights
this month withSM25


  • 5 Essential Tips To Make Languages Easier To LearnComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Suzy Guese, last post 22 Oct 2014
  • If you are struggling with learning a language or just thinking about picking up a new language, be sure you practice these five tips to make learning a little more

  • Heathrow Airport: Some Facts and FiguresComments: 1Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Chris Osburn, last post 21 Oct 2014
  • Heathrow – it’s the airport I’m most apt to fly in and out of. Considering how much time I spend there, I thought it might be worthwhile to learn a bit more about the place. So, I took a moment to dig around online for some Heathrow facts and figures. Here’s a list of some of the more interesting bits of trivia I more

  • European Politeness! How To Say ‘Please’ All Over EuropeComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Suzy Guese, last post 21 Oct 2014
  • Just as your mother probably taught you, being polite can go a long way, especially if you are traveling a long way around Europe. Before you take off, be sure you know how to say please all around the more

  • An Unusual Cup of Joe: 4 Unique Coffee Shops To Get Your Caffeine FixComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Suzy Guese, last post 20 Oct 2014
  • From coffee houses that are part bicycle shop to those that infuse their coffee with Coca-Cola or shut off the Wi-Fi, here are four unique coffee shops across the country to get your caffeine more

  • Follow Scotland's Historic Malt Whisky TrailComments: 1Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Chris Osburn, last post 17 Oct 2014
  • The world famous and one of a kind Malt Whisky Trail in Scotland passes through seven Speyside working distilleries, as well as a historic distillery and Britain's only cooperage. Though hardly inclusive of the numerous distilleries in the Speyside area, the trailserves as an excellent spine through the region. Indeed, any visit to all of the venues along this stretch of green Scottish countryside would result in plenty of knowledge about a Scottish and a wealth of more