Yourlandmyland’s Carta para Los Reyes Magos

So I’ve decided to do something different this year. In Spain, most families do not exchange gifts on Christmas, preferring to wait until Dia de Los Reyes, or Three Kings Day. This Christian holiday falls on January 6 and is also referred to as “Epiphany“, or the day when a group of three Magi Kings arrived to worship and bring gifts to the baby Jesus after following a star in the sky. Instead of a Christmas list, children in Spain prepare a “Carta para Los Reyes Magos” (letter for the Magi kings) detailing the gifts they would like the kings to bring them.  On the eve of January 6, children leave out their shoes for the kings, and the next morning (if they’ve been good that year), presents appear under their shoes. Winning!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I like to keep it real, so I’ll be honest…the main reason why I didn’t make a travel-themed Christmas list is because I didn’t have time to get the blog post up before Christmas arrived. THANKS FOR THE EXTRA HOLIDAY, SPAIN! Now that that’s out-of-the-way, here’s what’s on my Carta para Los Reyes Magos.

USA necklace in 14k gold - $395

USA necklace in 14k gold – $395

Again, call me homesick, but I’m absolutely in love with this USA-shaped necklace by Maya Brenner. I usually don’t wear a ton of jewelry but this necklace is perfect for every day and allows me to show a bit of patriotism while I’m living in Spain without being completely obnoxious. Maybe whenever I move back to the US, I’ll invest in the Virginia necklace too but I don’t think it’s as good of a shape, unlike the California, New York and Texas necklaces.

Pilot & Capt. DCA T-shirt - $32.00 but on sale now for $25.60!

Pilot & Capt. DCA T-shirt – $32.00 but on sale now for $25.60!

FINALLY! An alternative to the obnoxious “I <3 NY” or “Virginia is for Lovers” t-shirts! Pilot & Capt. have tugged at my heartstrings with their line of airport-themed T-shirts. I literally squealed when I saw DCA as one of their shirts because it’s the airport I always flew in and out of while growing up, but in addition to picking out your hometown airport, travelers can choose the airports of their favorite cities like Rome, Las Vegas or Kingston, Jamaica. I also love the worn look and super soft material; the perfect t-shirt to wear on a flight! Go figure.

The Wanderlust collection from Paddywax - $5 - $28

The Wanderlust collection from Paddywax – $5 – $28

There are certain scents that instantly cause me to relax and the Wanderlust Collection of candles and diffusers by Paddywax has all of them. I first stumbled upon this collection when I lived in New York and found some of the candles in my local drug store. I bought the London candle and was immediately hooked. I carry candles with me when I travel because sometimes you just need a place to feel like home. The travel tin candles are perfect to toss in your carry on and light up as soon as you get to your destination, and at only $5 a pop, they won’t break the bank. I’m planning to buy one in each city – London, New York, Rome and Paris.

Travel journal by Wild & Wolf - $12.99

Travel journal by Wild & Wolf – $12.99

I wish I could be one of those people who can stay organized by using their google or iphone calendars, but that’s just not me. I’m constantly writing things down on miniscule scraps of paper and then of course always losing the paper. No matter how frustrating this gets, I will never stop writing things down like to do lists or taking handwritten notes during my travels because it’s the only way I remember things and stay organized. Clearly the answer to my problem would be to buy a journal and I adore this travel journal covered with international stamps and a world map by London-based company Wild & Wolf.

Mango parka - 99.99 euros

Mango parka – 99.99 euros

I’m effing obsessed with this coat. Apparently so is everyone else. I have been hunting for this mid-weight coat by Mango for almost 3 months after spotting it in the store but not purchasing it because they didn’t have my size. Since September I’ve stalked it online and in stores and still no luck. I’m signed up for the wishlist/alert me when the damn coat is available thing online, but I’d appreciate your well wishes 🙂 I love everything from the forest green color to the fur hood and I neeeeed it for my winter travels!

The North Face Jester backpack - $70

The North Face Jester backpack – $70

I’m fairly certain that I’m late to the party on this one since everyone I know has this North Face Jester backpack, but it really is the ideal travel companion for trips of the adventurous sort. As you all know, I love to hike and when I went hiking in Cercedilla, I realized I had no appropriate bag to carry important things like water, snacks, my cellphone, etc. At that point I decided that this North Face was for me. The laptop sleeve makes it great for air/train travel, and the water bottle pockets and hip belt make it great for hiking. The North Face sells this backpack for $70, but you could probably find an older version on Amazon for less.

Pair of Owen & Fred luggage tags - $81

Pair of Owen & Fred luggage tags – $81

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had near panic attacks waiting for my luggage at baggage claim because I’m so nervous that someone will mistakenly grab my bag instead of theirs. I always say I’ll tie ribbons or something on my basic black luggage, but then only remember that I said that when I’m anxiously waiting for my bag. These Owen & Fred leather luggage tags imprinted with my name and address might solve all my worries! I’m into the smoke gray color above, but there’s a variety to choose from. If you don’t want to put your address on the tag, the simple “This bag is Not Yours” tag should suffice!

Tumi Alpha International Expandable Carry On - $445

Tumi Alpha International Expandable Carry On – $445

Here’s where I begin to discuss the things I’d like to gift myself if I win the lottery. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews for Tumi suitcases but I’ve always been scared of the hefty price tags. Now that I’ve traveled a bit more and broken my fair share of carry on bags, I think it’s time for me to invest in something that’s durable and can hold a lot of shit without popping a zipper. This carry on is compact, turns on a dime, has tons of interior pockets and expands to hold everything from dresses to blazers. Must have!

Nikon D3200 - $496.95

Nikon D3200 – $499.95

I like to call the Nikon D3200 “baby’s first DSLR”. I’ve wanted to upgrade to a camera better than my iphone for some time now, and I’ve spent months talking with photographer friends about the perfect camera for me. I need something user-friendly, that has a quick shutter, and is fairly automatic since I know slim to nothing about photography. The general consensus has been that this Nikon is the perfect camera to get me started until I’m ready to take a few photography classes and invest the big bucks on an even better DSLR or fancier lenses. I can’t wait to get this baby in 2014!

Ona Union Street camera and laptop bag - $289

Ona Union Street camera and laptop bag – $289

ona 2

The Union Street, inside

Once I have my fancy new camera I’ll need something to carry it in that doesn’t scream “Hey thieves! My expensive camera is in this bag!”. Enter Ona bags, a collection of stylish camera bags that look like regular messenger bags or cute leather handbags disguised to ward off potential theft. I’m into the messenger style Union Street bag in gray because Madrid is well-known for pickpocketing and I only carry bags that I can wear across my body. This bag would also be able to hold my petite Asus laptop that I never travel without, in addition to my cell, wallet and new DSLR. What more could a girl need?

So will you be celebrating Dia de los Reyes this year? Do you want anything on my carta? What travel-themed gifts were on your Christmas list this year? Did you get them? Let me know below!

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