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


  1. Nice Anitha.

    I picked up the habit of buying souvenirs from my colleague from Honeywell. There was another gentleman who would collect all the boarding passes.

    I definitely think it's a nice way to recall good moments of your trip. My most memorable one was my travel to South Africa. I was in a place called Secunda near Johannesburg. During my stay I visited a few places and liked the rustic nature of those places.

    I can't possibly write about all the encounters here but suffice to say that souvenirs does help in easy recollection of fading memories..

    Keep writing...

    1. I think I have a couple of boarding passes too!

      I just added South Africa to the list of places I want to visit! Thanks for stopping by Appa!

  2. I remember as a little girl my Grandmother would travel back to England and bring us home things like rock candy, little dolls, and dresses I was always so excited! I started collecting things when I was young and we would go on family vacations, but now I love to bring home art, or jewellery made by locals #mg

    1. There was a very cute koala bear shaped clip that my dad got from his trip to Australia. I used to wear it with all my dresses! And he did bring loads of candy and chocolates too until Mum forbid him to :) Local art and jewelry are wonderful souvenirs!

  3. I liked the idea of creating memories through keeping the piece of the place. Great read. here through #mg

    1. I picked up a few smooth pebbles when I visited the smokey mountains and wanted to paint them. That's how the trend began :)

  4. Woo hoo. didn;t know you were at MG's. This is great Anitha. I love pebbles. I've also picked up pine cones and wild flowers, though they kind of disappear no matter how carefully I press them between book-pages. Of course there's the shopping.

    1. I happened to find MG's link at the end your posts and wanted to check it out! :)

      I have done that with the flowers. They were meant to be used on cards but I kept forgetting about them!