Collecting Travel Souvenirs has been a bit of a love hate relationship for me, what with having to wade through the crowds of people just to spend a fortune on a little something to remember the place by. Before I set off for Europe and to travel I was determined to only buy something small, a memento of each city/country Id stopped in. I was travelling with my backpack after all and the idea of lugging around heavy or easily breakable items seemed like a horrible task.
Like a good aussie that I am I automatically decided Id collect bottle openers. They were small, most importantly useful and something I thought would be easily found in all good/bad souvenir shops. I cant say they were all amazing specimens but hey its a little keepsake from my travels, not art I was planning to display on the wall at home.
Having been abroad for well over 2 years now and being somewhat settled in London for the majority of that time I have started to regret my decision to just collect small items. In the beginning it was the perfect idea but as I think back I cant help but regret buying the tacky bottle opener instead of something I could have displayed when I settled and bought a house. A Fez from Morocco and that Beer Stein from Munich would have been a better talking piece, no?
To settle my internal argument I put the question to my amazing Facebook Fans yesterday to see what they collect. It seems the majority of us shared the same idea, collect small easy to carry items. Some kept a few coins/notes (Ive done that as well now I think about it), others shot glasses or magnets and badges. I like the badges idea as some day you could sew them all onto a blanket, Ive done that in the past from my scouting days.
But others I felt picked far better than I, like Danae who grabs something for her home. I now wish Id done the same as they would certainly make for great talking pieces when friends and family drop over, not to mention be a constant reminder of your travels as walk around the house each day. Jennifers Christmas decoration idea however just makes me jealous Id never thought of it, imagine the stories you could tell your kids each year as you decorate the christmas tree.
This year as Ive spent a lot more time in Belgium (the country of beer) Ive found myself drawn to collecting something a little more unique, beer glasses. In Belgium each beer has its own glass which I think is really really cool and Im unaware of any other countries that do this. The glasses will look great in my man cave as I grow older but its hardly a match for the above and Im not looking forward to shipping them to Australia.
What is the best travel souvenir then do you think? Small and memorable that may end up stuck away in a box or something more unique that can take pride of place decorating your home? I think Ill stick to my beer glasses for now but Id love to know what you collect from your travels.