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 Interesting Facts About Flight AttendantsComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Jen Westmoreland Bouchard, last post 25 Sep 2014
  • When I was younger, I often fantasized about being a flight attendant when I grew up. It wasn’t until I started traveling as an adult that I realized how hard flight attendants work. So, as an homage to these hosts and hostesses of the sky, here are five interesting facts about flight more

  • 5 Ways To Save Money on Travels in GermanyComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Suzy Guese, last post 24 Sep 2014
  • After spending a month in Spain, I touched down to Germany where my wallet received a rude awakening. Not only could I not find places to stay in a reasonable budget, but I also found costs in the country added up quickly. If I could do it all over again, I would have initially embraced these five ways to save money on a trip in more

  • 7 Things I've Learned about Air TravelComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Chris Osburn, last post 23 Sep 2014
  • Four flights and three countries in under a week – that's how my calendar's shaping up for the last bit of this month. So, in addition to all the stuff I'm packing in my suitcase, I'm going to bring the following time tested observations along with more

  • Win a Trip to One of These Amazing Destinations in Asia!Comments: 1Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Suzy Guese, last post 23 Sep 2014
  • When plotting a trip to Asia, it can be difficult for travelers to know which points on the map they should include as part of their itineraries. Most nomads begin with those cities in Asia with stand out highlights and attractions. Here are six cities in Asia that pack in the grand more

  • Win a Trip with OneTravel and Etihad AirwaysComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0

  • By:Diana Denza, last post 22 Sep 2014
  • Oh, the places you’ll go! Whether you dream of strolling down Kochi’s historic Princess Street or gazing across Hong Kong’s glittering harbor, you could be a simple vote away from the trip of a more