Thursday, October 27, 2016

What souvenirs do you bring home?

My dad traveled a lot when I was a kid. His work took him to different places around the world. He always returned home with something special. Sometimes it was a pretty patterned plate or an ornate folding fan. At other times it was a colorful mask or a whimsical snow globe. I loved the postcards he brought home. Our refrigerator was adorned with incredible magnets. The key chains were too lovely to be used.  I always waited patiently, with bated breath, as he reached into his suitcase to pull out these exquisite mementos.  It was quite a grand moment, almost like watching a magician pull something out of his hat. That’s where my love for souvenirs began.  As a child, they made me look forward to visiting amazing places and now, they help me go back.  I always come home with several keepsakes after a vacation. That’s the reason I pack lightly :) Here’s a list of some of my treasured souvenirs:

Coffee table books about the vacation spot

Our bookshelves were graced with these beautiful books that my dad never forgot to bring home when he returned from his adventures. I remember flipping though the vibrant, glossy pages, admiring the magnificent photos.  Photos! Yes, that’s one of the reasons I really love these books. While I do enjoy posing for a few photos or trying to capture what I see on film, I do not like photo sessions to consume hours of my vacation, unless of course that’s what is intended.  Sometimes I find that in my efforts to try and get that perfect shot, I forget to experience the beauty that I see. A simple solution I found is going to the marketplace and picking up one of these books.  In addition to spectacular images, I also often find interesting facts that the guide may have forgotten to mention.
A book about Santorini I bought during my vacation

Tote bags

One of the things in a souvenir shop, that always catches my eye, is an array of printed tote bags. It is a reasonably priced, extremely useful souvenir. It doubles up as an extra bag to ‘smuggle’ all my ‘vacation purchases’. I do love carrying the tote bags around once I am home because they are great conversation starters. A colorful bag that has ‘SANTORINI’ printed across is bound to draw attention and make that long line at the coffee shop seem shorter.

Maps, guides and tickets

If you love scrap-booking, crafting and recording all your travels, you’d know exactly what I am talking about. These are wonderful resources that can be used creatively. Sometimes they just go into my memory box. Does that make me a pack rat? Hmmmm. What can I say?

A piece of the place

Yes, I mean that quite literally. I pick up oddly shaped tiny rocks and stones that I come across while I am on a trip. I like to clean and paint them or simply put them in a wicker basket or a decorative bowl. They make a beautiful accent piece and remind me of the incredible places where I found them. Simply using a permanent marker to mention the date and place makes them an inexpensive but very special keepsake.
A little keepsake I brought back from the sleeping bear dunes.

Although a Pensieve would be ideal, souvenirs help me relive happy ‘vacation memories’ for now. What souvenirs did you bring home from your last trip?

Linking up with Mackenzie Glanville's reflections from me