Bling, Bling, Ding Ding!

I’ve done some dumb things in my lifetime.  Usually out of ignorance.  I’ve also been very lucky that none of them turned out bad, though they clearly could have.  But I’ve learned and am here to share some of my “errors in judgement” so you won’t take the same unnecessary risks.

The first time I went to Africa I was in Zaire.  Yes, it was Zaire when I arrived – it was the Congo when I left.  There was a revolution while I was in country and I was only there a couple of weeks!

In an effort to “travel light” I just wore 1 pair of earrings the entire trip.  That would have made sense if they were the plain gold studs my ears were originally pierced with.  NOT!    I wore my 1 carat per ear diamond studs.  I also wore my actual wedding ring which is obvious in this picture even if it wasn’t the focus of the shot.

It didn’t occur to me that this might not have been a good idea until I was in the jungle with a Pygmy tribe.  In an entirely pantomimed conversations (we shared no other common language) one of the women admired my earrings then showed me the earrings they wove from vines.  I’m pretty sure she had no idea of the value of what she admired and am grateful I left the jungle with both the earrings and my earlobes!

I learned my lesson and invested in a plain gold band for future travel to third world destinations as you can see in this photo from the Amazon.

On my most recent international trip, we were on a luxury cruise line so of course, I didn’t want to go to dinner every night in a plain gold band but I also wasn’t comfortable going ashore in my “real” wedding ring set which certainly qualifies as “bling”.

Fortunately, impressive costume jewelry is widely available at low cost and is a fashion statement.  At the Nordstrom Rack I purchased several costume pieces including the Princess cut ring in the upper left of the photo which I wore as my “wedding ring”.  The other cocktail rings were for my right hand and coordinated with my evening outfits.

Total cost for ALL 5 PIECES…$75.00!!!!

When leaving the ship, I only wore my fake wedding ring.   At a couple of the stops, I didn’t even wear that – why look like a “target” even if what they would get was glass?

If you are traveling, particularly to poor or crime-ridden areas, consider investing in inexpensive jewelry to wear in place of your actual wedding ring or  the family piece you typically wear.  Even if your usual “bling” isn’t part of the Crown Jewels, it probably has sentimental value and it would put a damper on your vacation if it were lost or stolen.  Plus there is a safety issue to consider as well.

Sure, you could just leave all your good jewelry at home but if you are accustomed to wearing something as I am, you feel “naked” and cause yourself a few starts when you periodically notice it’s missing before you remember you intentionally left it behind.   Even my husband trades his ruby and diamond wedding band for a plain gold one when situations warrant.

We all love our bling, but no need to be a “ding ding”!


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