Souvenirs are such a personal matter. Some travelers don’t buy anything at all, others are drawn to build their collection of a certain item and others are just looking out for things that catch their eye or perhaps personalised items.
Frida Kahlo magnet from the Frida Kahlo Museum. One of the Top 8 places to see in Mexico City.
What makes the perfect souvenir is hard to answer.
Is it bought to symbolise a collection of countries that have been ticked off the bucket list? Or is it something tied to a particular town, street, store or person?
Do you associate a travel souvenir with 1 or 2 memories or do you associate it with all the memories from the country as a whole? Maybe it is all the above.
Does it remind you of a specific place that you really liked or that really left an impression on you? Or is it tied to a time of overcoming a personal struggle or a trip mishap? Does it evoke a certain emotion or emotions?
Souvenirs come in many forms. Items that you used or hung on the walls. Maybe it’s already been eaten or drunk. Items that are on display or left in the back of closets waiting to be rediscovered. Items that are meticulously stored away. Perhaps, it’s postcards, ticket stubs or photos. Maybe even postcards you send yourself to collect local stamps.
Reminders of my time in Helsinki First Time in Helsinki- Snow Filled City
For me, it is an item that will transport me back to a particular moment of my trip. By either looking at it, wearing it or using it. It will remind me of great museums that I truly enjoyed. Small towns that I would go back to. A memory that just makes me smile. I don’t collect any particular item.
Sometimes I return home without a souvenir. As the years have gone on, I’ve become more focused on only buying items that I really love and not buying for the sake of buying. I went through the buying for the sake of buying phase as a teen but have come to realise that they can often end up as just clutter and I can’t take everything with my when I move. Call it intentional purchasing.
I haven’t bought the same item from 2 different countries. I look for something different.
Something that I don’t see or can’t get back home. A design perhaps that is pleasing to the eye. My eyes. Even better if it has been designed locally by a craftsman or craftswomen. For many, this is the skill where they make their living from. The art of creation is getting lost and I really appreciate the time and workmanship that goes into creating.
Hand made Obsidian Turtle from Mexico
What do you look for in a travel souvenir? Do you have a favourite souvenir?