Madi and Me

I’ve always wanted a travel companion. No, not the human kind (plus-ones can be dreadfully high-maintenance). I wanted an action figure or object I could take with me on trips and photograph in exotic places; the artistic equivalent of scrawling “Sarah was here” all over the world. And after years on the road I finally found the perfect one late last summer in Martinique. She’s a white rubber elephant, given to me local artist Laurent Valere. He created this striking and powerful memorial at Anse Cafard on the island’s coast, and after our interview he was kind enough to invite our group back to his beachfront home. One ti punch led to another and we fast became friends, our fledgling relationship sealed with his parting gift of an elephant plucked from the plasticized herd that formed quirky installation in his garden.


Since then Madi (short for Madinina, Martinique’s original name) has been with me to St. Kitts, the Dominican Republic, Nevis and Argentina.

She’s dipped her feet in the Caribbean   IMG_5358

had a curious encounter with a braided mannequin head,IMG_5701

snuggled with a Punta Cana pooch


kicked back on American Airlines,


and luxuriated at the Four Seasons Nevis



And no doubt there are more adventures in store for us both in 2013.

Tell me, Jetsetters: Do you have an object you always travel with? What is it and where you’ve been?