When I was home in Columbus, Ohio during Christmas, I rummaged through some of the boxes I have at my mom’s house. I was in the basement looking at old photographs (from the late 90′s, early 00′s, when we use to use film and print pictures. And for those of you born after I graduated high school, I’m referring to the 1990′s and 2000′s not the 1890′s and 1900′s.) and finding souvenirs I purchased on trips. Souvenirs that I had long forgotten about but would make great additions my current collections. It then dawned on me that I collect too many types of souvenirs.
From foreign currency to hat pins, magnets to shot glasses, coffee mugs to postcards, my room is filled with souvenirs from my travels. I have a walking cane from a village in Hue, Vietnam that makes me look like I’m related to Huggy Bear. I have a Ziplock bag full of foreign coins that if added up probably wouldn’t be enough to buy a latte from Starbucks. A miniature Venetian carnival mask and Malaysian welcoming necklaces. When will I ever need a miniature Venetian carnival mask? Unless I return from a trip to Papua New Guinea with my head intact but shrunken, I can’t possibly reason why I needed to have a miniature mask.
Shopping is impulsive and addictive enough. That seems to get magnified when we are on vacations. Even if we’re buying for others. When I went to mom’s house, I expected to find a refrigerator full of my postcards and magnets; the coffee table with Russian Matryoshka dolls, Australian boomerangs, Roman Colosseum sculptures and a Borneo blowgun on top. I found none of it. It was all in a box… just like my own souvenirs were in. Why do we feel the instinct to buy every little trinket we can when we travel?
I ask myself and you that, but I know how much I love my trinkets. I simply wish I could narrow my own collection to one thing. Here are my favorite things to collect. Which should I stick to?
(not pictured: magnets)
Shot glassed from places I've been to around the world.
I recently got in the expensive habit of collecting Starbucks city/country mugs.
I prefer the smaller mugs when possible. Same price, double the pleasure.
Who doesn't love cash?
I love my flag pins. The pins on your right are called "friendship pins." We give those out on the ship when we visit foreign ports. I buy pins wherever I go.
What about you? What type of souvenirs do you collect? Do you have things you must buy when you travel?