I don’t often buy souvenirs.
When I was younger, my sister and I took pride in our collective shot glass collection. We had a lot of shot glasses. Dad would bring home a new shot glass from wherever his latest business trip took him and we’d proudly add the glass to our growing collection. I contributed a few from my own travels to far off places. I’m sure they’re all safely wrapped in a box somewhere in my parents’ garage.
I tried fridge magnets, but I never remembered half the time. Then, the stainless steel fridge became popular and pretty much killed the market for souvenir magnets.
I was never one to buy a t-shirt just for the sake of buying a t-shirt, and I definitely didn’t need another canvas bag with some random city’s name plastered all over it. I wanted the collectibles and conversation pieces, but that didn’t fit into my teen and early twenty-something budget.
Today, I’m still pretty choosy when it comes to selecting a travel memento. I like local arts and crafts, regional food and drink, traditional dress, or unique keepsakes that I cannot get at home.
My favorite souvenirs are the ones that tell a story.
The rug from Iraq.
The ceramic bowl from the bazaar in Istanbul.
The book about the Pied Piper from Hamelin.
Jewelry and beautiful kurtis (tunic tops) in India.
And, of course, all of my photos.
What kind of souvenirs do you like to bring home?
What is your favorite one?