I’m revisiting the idea of souvenirs. Friends, fellow bloggers, people I meet, everyone seems to want to know, “What is the perfect souvenir?” You know the one I mean. It doesn’t have to be bubble wrapped against breakage. It takes up little to no space in your already overpacked luggage. It triggers happy memories of the trip. What’s your favorite?
I think I’ve tried most of the classics. The shot glass. It’s the quintessential late teen/early 20-something souvenir. It’s small enough to tuck into any available space in your luggage. It is easy to protect from breaking by tucking it into a dirty sock, then a shoe. But, by the time you’re in your late 30s, setting up a real adult home, maybe even baby proofing, most of your collection is relegated to a box in the attic or garage. That one that survived and lives with your booze, though … ah the memories.
The t-shirt! Ah, yes, the souvenir t-shirt. It has saved many a traveler’s day when, at the end of a trip, you find yourself with no clean shirts left in your bag. Within a year its colors fade. In another five-ish years, it’s a sad addition to the ragbag in your laundry room. OK, maybe not perfect, but fun while it lasted.
Christmas ornaments and snow globes. I’m listing these two together because they both come with a challenge … getting them home safely. Despite that challenge, I admit to collecting ornaments. Once a year, Greg and I pull out our collection, decorate my twinkle-light-wrapped tree and share the memories. My trees keep getting taller … sooner or later I will run out of space to hang them during the holidays … maybe.
Pencils/Pens. I don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere that didn’t offer some sort or pen or pencil souvenir. They even come free at trade shows (if you want a work trip souvenir). I’ve got a healthy collection on my desk. Some of the pencils have never been sharpened. Most of the pens are inkless now. But they are easy to get home and affordable.
Magnets. Been there, collected that. At one point my refrigerator was basically wall-papered with souvenir magnets. I think they are still in a box somewhere. I streamlined the look of my kitchen and they had to go … but I couldn’t bear to part with some of them, and one or two still cling to memo boards.
The postcard. This is an all-time favorite. When my kids were little, we’d buy them a pencil and a postcard. They were in charge of getting the pencil home safely. As for the postcard, they sat down and wrote two or three sentences, licked the stamp and mailed it home to themselves! We did this with our granddaughter, Lizzie, on her recent trip with us. These photographic memories provide dates and details of travels throughout their lives. I did the same thing. I even swap mine out on a magnetic photo board in my hallway reminding myself of a lifetime of fun trips.
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. How do you remember your adventures?
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