My traveling good luck charms

by Kim on May 16, 2012 · 29 comments

Have I ever mentioned that I have the good fortune of knowing some of the most kind and amazing people on the planet? It’s true. Wherever I roam, I somehow always sniff out great people and then (this is key) I keep them, dammit.  I think of this as my superpower, actually.

In the past month a few of these amazing people have bestowed their lucky charms upon me to protect Brian and I as we travel.  As a result, I’ll be carrying a menagerie of blessings around the world.

I thought it might be fun to give you a peek at them:

Lord Ganesha Good Luck Charm 

This medallion of the Hindu God Lord Ganesha was sent to me all the way from Chiang Mai, Thailand by my friend Sarah.  Ganesha represents the power of the supreme being that removes obstacles and insures success in human endeavors.  Ganesha has special significance to Sarah and I, and our friend Hannah,  as the three of us will be embarking on a great adventure through India in January (more details coming soon!) and Lord Ganesha has been selected as our mascot.

Traveling Buddha Good Luck Charm

This Buddha statue was given to me by one of the most important people in my life, my dear friend Wendy.  This little guy has quite the traveling history.  Wendy inherited him in South Africa from a fellow traveler and has since carried him all over the world, to every continent except Antarctica.  Buddha has always kept Wendy safe. Now, little Buddha will see the world with me, and hopefully keep me safe too.

Native American Pendant 

My boss gave this pendant to me in my final week of work.  She didn’t know the story behind it at the time but a few days later, while out to dinner, the girl taking my order told me that she had the same pendant. She explained that the pendant is a Native American symbol and traditionally given as gifts to guests in the Native American community.  I especially love the back:

St. Christopher Pendant 

This was given to me by an old friend, Tracy, who has done a bit of solo traveling and is currently plotting her next adventure. St. Christopher is known as the Patron Saint of travelers.  Pendants depicting the image of St. Christopher are worn or placed in a vehicle for protection on long journeys.

Colorful Cross

This beautiful necklace was given to me by Debi, a friend and former co-worker.  Debi is the kind of person who would give you the shirt off her back and, true to form, she was wearing this when she gave it to me.  It’s her favorite necklace, but she insisted that I take it and wear it for protection and as a reminder that her spirit is with me and wishing me well.  I love it and have decided it will be the necklace I wear when I walk the Camino de Santiago someday.

The Yellow Ribbon 

Remember this yellow ribbon?  It came tied around the best gift that I have ever received.  I am carrying it as a reminder to be good, kind and gracious to those that I meet and as a symbol of how I can use my life to make the world better.

Saint Joseph

Last but not least, I can’t forget St. Joseph who worked his magic and sold our house in one day for full price in a down market (yes he did!).  When we brought St. Joseph into our home I told him, before burying him in the yard, that once our house sold I would deliver him back to his home.  I know that might sound crazy, but I intend to do it.  I’ll be carrying him around the world and will leave him somewhere in this great wide world, when the time and place feels right.

What do you carry for good luck when you travel?


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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah May 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm

What a beautiful blessing, to be able to carry so much love and support with you wherever you go. You certainly do seem to have remarkable people in your life, and I feel blessed to be among them. I can’t wait to see what Ganesha has in store for us in India! X


Kim May 16, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Hannah, you are definitely among them. I found you all the way across the pond 🙂


Lindsey May 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I love the story behind the Buddha statue. It is wonderful that you are able to carry such meaningful gifts with you on your journey.


Kim May 16, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I feel very blessed (and protected!)


Carmel May 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm

My mom gave me a St. Christopher medal the morning I left for my study abroad in Spain…AND I CAN’T FREAKING FIND IT! It makes me very sad. However, I now have my Our Lady of Guadalupe medal that was my brother’s around one of his chains, as well as a beautiful medallion of a Phoenix and Dragon my sister gave me around my neck that I wear for reminders of my family’s love.

I feel a bit about losing that St. Christopher like Cheryl Strand said she felt when she lost her mother’s ring. I wish I was at a bit more peace with it.

You do have some amazing people in your life. Like attracts like. 🙂


Kim May 16, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Ohhhh…. I wish you could find it!

Carmel, you have such an amazing family. I’m so glad you carry their love with them.

Hey, you’re one of my amazing people!


Carmel May 18, 2012 at 6:53 am

Yeah. I’m gonna cry tomorrow.


Kim May 18, 2012 at 7:38 am

NOOOOOOO don’t cry!!


Kristin May 17, 2012 at 9:09 am

All wonderful totems! I traveled with a Ganesh too – did you know he is also the god of new beginnings? Let’s stay in touch on your travel plans to India…we may be there at the same time!



Kim May 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm

I did not know that, but I love that. Kristin, it would be wonderful if we were in India at the same time!


Sarah Somewhere May 17, 2012 at 9:13 am

Oh wow Kim, I’m so glad I got my shit together(finally)to send you that card, and I’m so glad Ganesha made it to you in time. Apparently he is good for overcoming obstacles, so he will definitely be a worthy symbol of our India trip! I love your other charms, I also have a St Christopher medallion given to me by a dear friend.
P.S “I’m Off Then” is a great book written by a German comedian about the Camino de Santiago trail…


Kim May 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I am going to download that book! You’re the second person who has suggested it to me. Can’t wait to read it!


Sarah Somewhere May 17, 2012 at 9:15 am

Ooops you already said the ‘obstacles’ bit:)


Deborah May 17, 2012 at 9:33 am

I don’t go anywhere without my sense of humor! Of all the things you’re carrying, I think what touches me most is that you’re going to return St. Joseph to the home of his choice!! See you soon, Beautiful Soul!!


Kim May 17, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Yes, see you in just a few weeks!


Rhonda May 17, 2012 at 11:26 am

LOVE them all! And I love that you are embracing a variety of beliefs from around the world. We, too, carry some good luck charms with us when we travel but I think a St Christopher statue is in our future:)


Kim May 17, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Yes, St. Christopher seems very appropriate for your upcoming adventure.


Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) May 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Love your collection! And after all your luck with St. Joseph, I am sure they will stand you in good stead. I’ve never traveled with any special tokens, but it could be fun to pick some up on the big trip!

P.S. Can’t wait to hear about the India plans! Have you already applied for your visa? Tony got his TEN YEAR visa in the mail yesterday!


Kim May 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Steph, thank you for the email about the India visa (I will email you back tomorrow!). Do you guys know yet when you will be in India?


Lauren May 17, 2012 at 11:52 pm

I’ve never traveled with a good luck charm or many in your case. What a great idea!
May be they fill you with lots of luck, incredible adventure and keep you safe on the road.


Kim May 18, 2012 at 7:37 am

Thank you 🙂 I do hope they keep us safe (and happy!)


Ayngelina May 22, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I don’t carry anything but I love all of your charms, especially the diverse background from one to another.


Ms. Riddle April 25, 2013 at 3:15 am

The symbol you said that was Native American is actually the Ægishjálmr, also known as the Viking compass or Helm of Awe. Search for Ægishjálmr, Helm of Awe, or Viking compass, they’re usually more ornate looking, but this is certainly the same symbol.

Source: I study Native American art history at IAIA and am fluent in Norse mythology and history.


Kim April 28, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Oh, thank you for letting me know. It was a gift and the woman who gave it to me said it was Native America.


Sam February 5, 2014 at 4:10 pm

I came across this today because three of my residents will be going to canterbury and I want to give them something for safe travel. They are all sooo nervous about spending 4 months abroad. This is GREAT!

I myself travel frequently and I have a native american stone with a turtle carved into it that my friend gave me before I left for college. She also gave me a coin to take with me to England and she got the coin from another traveler when she was in Tanzania. I also have worry dolls and herbs in a jar from another friend that she gave me before I went to Ecuador. While I was in Ecuador someone I meet there gave me her key chain rubik’s cube (she told me that to her the cube meant that ‘although she cannot solve all of the problems in the world, there was also one she could’).

It is great seeing another travelers good luck charms!


Kim February 6, 2014 at 10:00 am

Ah, I love your charms. It sounds like you carry as many as I do 🙂 Good luck to your residents!


๋ีJust pass by November 14, 2015 at 6:35 pm

A Chiang Mai local stumbled upon your blog.

Additional info: Ganesha is also the god of arts, all kind of arts from literature through painting, hence you might see a lot of artists in countries which has been influenced by Indian culture like Thailand give respect to him.


Explosion Luck February 22, 2016 at 7:48 pm

You’ve gotten some great good luck charms, Kim!

Your readers who looking for unique good luck gifts for travelers or for travelling are welcome to read:

Unique Good Luck Gifts for Art, Culture, Travel, History Lovers


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