| Everyday Luxury Travel General

Thanks for the Memories: Souvenirs from Travelling

I’ve blogged before about how Mr S is my ideal travel companion….well this month’s travel link up has inspired me to write about something else that we furiously disagree on complement each other on. And that is the purchasing of tat souvenirs whilst on holiday.

Now I like to keep my flat modern, tidy and uncluttered with bits and pieces, whereas Mr S is a sentimental old fool and loves holding on to memories. Now I don’t mean to sound harsh, memories are important to me too in the form of photos or one or two classy mementos. However, Mr S likes lots of souvenirs and will hold on to memories such as boarding passes, tickets and key cards…just no!

Now with that in mind I thought I’d write about how Mr S and I have come to compromise over the purchase of souvenirs.


Keeping our Memories


When Mr S and I went to Australia in 2012 it was the absolute trip of a life time for us and we still haven’t surpassed that experience. We loved it so much and kept everything but instead of keeping bags stuffed with boarding passes we put it all together in a book. The book was something that we worked on together and we loved reliving all the memories through the photos. In the back of the book we scanned our itinerary, every boarding pass and the menu from an incredibly memorable meal at Vue de Monde in Melbourne.

Now we have a new way to record our memories and that is through my blog. One reason that I’m so glad that I started the blog is being able to look back and relive all the wonderful things that we did together. As a wedding anniversary present I created a new book that was a compilation of all the blog posts that I’d written for our honeymoon. Mr S loved it so much that it brought tears to his eyes, I told you he’s a sentimental old fool 😉


Choosing the Right Things 


We bought far too many souvenirs on our last trip to Thailand; the promise of ‘completely hand made’ items was enough to sucker us into buying stuff we didn’t want or need. The description of the ‘finest silk scarf’ led us to purchase several when I never actually wear scarves. We bought hand carved wooden elephants and Buddhas as we thought they’d make fabulous memories but when we got them home we had no where to put them!

When we got to Chiang Rai, our final destination in Thailand, we already had a suitcase bursting with silks, elephants, trays and a jewellery box…and I don’t pack light at the best of times! When we were staying at an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Rai I fell in love with the beautiful glassware that was etched with elephants and the mugs that were in the shape of the gentle giants. These I really wanted! Now whenever I drink my coffee from my elephant mugs, or sip champagne from the engraved flutes, I remember our magical trip to Thailand. For me these were the perfect mementos.

Setting Limits 


I loved our trip to South Africa so much that I really wanted to buy good quality souvenirs that I could look at everyday. Our incredible hotels Singita Boulders and Lebombo both had gorgeous boutiques with items carefully sourced from some of the best suppliers in Africa. Seeing real lions close up was one of the best experiences I’d ever had and I bought a wooden lion from the boutique. To me this wasn’t just any old wooden lion, it was a lion hand-carved in the country that I’d fallen in love with and every time I walk past it in my flat I can remember that life changing experience.

We also bought two cases of wine back from a vineyard that we loved in Franschhoek, so we can still taste that sunshine at home! Sometimes it’s good to drink your memories 😉

Gifts for Loved Ones


From every major trip I’ve been on, I’ve bought my four-year old nephew a stuffed animal that represents my experience in that country. From Australia it was a kangaroo, from Thailand he got a elephant and from South Africa he got a lion. There’s nothing so cute and moving as hearing that he took his lion into nursery and telling his friends ‘My Auntie got me this from Africa!’

After several years of travelling together I think Mr S and I have finally reached a compromise and a way of preserving our wonderful memories without becoming hoarders!

Have you got any interesting stories about souvenirs? Do you love them or hate them? What’s your favourite and have you ever planned a whole trip around obtaining one. If you have story you can pop your post on the link up widget on Emma, Rebecca, Kelly or Jaime’s blogs from the 1st June until 7th June.

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  • I love a bit of tat from my travels although over the years I've managed to streamline it into just buying magnets. Now I've got the dilemma that I just brought a swanky new fridge and I don't want to scratch/mark it with the magnets so I currently have a bag full of them trying to decide what to do!

    Victoria x
    FlorenceandMary.com

    • Hmmm…it's a tough one but I think you should choose your shiny new fridge over the magnets 😉
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Aww I can sort of relate to Mr S as I'm a bit of a sentimental old fool too! I used to always keep ticket stubs and boarding passes though since blogging, I've stopped doing those things as the blog is a great catalogue of memories anyway! I absolutely love those elephant mugs ☺

    • Exactly the blog is a great way to keep it all in one place! I love the elephant mugs too!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • OMG!!! That idea you have for your nephew is the sweetest thing ever, Angie! I love it. I also love how you're organized enough to make photo books! I've done two, but want to do more of our travels … I love looking at our travel photos, instead of having them stuck on the phone or the cloud somewhere! I was waiting anxiously to read this post and it did NOT disappoint! 🙂 xx

    • I'm so glad that you liked the post! The blog book was really easy as it just puts the book together using your feed. I used a website called In Real Pages.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • I sadly admit to being in the Mr S camp of keeping everything. I have a jar that I keep all our old boarding passes, keys, etc in! I'm definitely the sentimental fool here ;D x

    • ha ha! One day I might wish I had all that stuff.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Aww the books are such a good idea. I'm just using my blog to record memories from trips at the moment. Might have to make an epic photo album at some point!

    Gem x

    • I love having them to keep forever 🙂
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • I'm kind of divided on the subject of travel souvenirs! On one hand, the impulsive collector in me wants ALL THE TAT – the more I buy, the more joy of the trip I bring home with me, amirite? But on the other hand, I've come to the stark realisation that unless I sell my tiny London apartment and live in a large house with a room purpose built soley to host ALL my souvenirs which clash with my personal decorating style – a designated 'travel souvenir' room, if you will – I'd be very much regretting the purchase of those 20 straw giraffes.

    My compromise is to buy ONE souvenir while on holiday and let the blog do the rest! x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • I love that idea…the souvenir room…which is basically our spare room full of the stuff Mr S won't throw away! Definitely a good idea to buy one quality item 🙂
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • I'm definitely similar to Mr S, I keep all my tickets, room keys and boarding passes etc as well! I don't really buy souvenirs though, I'm similar to you when it comes to buying one or two 'classy' souvenirs! And I also always get my god-daughter something from each 'big' trip, I love picking things out for her 🙂

    C x | Lux Life

    • Ha how funny you're like a combo of Mr S and I! It's so cute buying something for your little god daughter.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • I'm definitely in your camp, I'm tough as old boots when it comes to the discarding of what I deem to be 'tat' or more harshly 'utter crap'. Husband has actually occasionally referred to me as entirely mercenary in the throwing out of junk!

    • It's so nice to have a tidy flat without rubbish all over the place!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • I always find it hard knowing when to throw certain things away, especially if they could be considered souvenirs or mementos. Wedding invitations, for example. I know they cost a bundle, but I also have no where to put them after the fact and no idea if it would be rude to biff them… so many decisions!

    • I know what you mean! Same with birthday cards and things like that! Everyone definitely needs a souvenir room!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • It's funny, I'm more restrained by the Mr – but it does mean I delight in suggesting really, really cringeworthy souvenirs…!
    Beautiful photos!

    • Ha ha! Thanks lovely, I liked the mirror thing I had going on!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Hehehe, 'sometimes it's good to drink your memories' – I couldn't agree more! Absolutely love your photobooks, definitely stealing that idea for our honeymoon 🙂

    Polly xx
    Follow Your Sunshine

    • Do, a website called In Real Pages is really good or try Bob Books.

  • I really like the idea of the books – my auntie did this from all her travels.

    • It's such a nice way of keeping it all together.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Lovely post Angie, makes me nostalgic for my past holidays. I always try to keep the map we use to get around – my one from Barcelona has loads of notes and scribbles on it from locals when we asked where were the best places to go – I love that!

    • That's a really nice keepsake idea!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • I have travel memory books similar to yours and I love them! They are such a fun way to look back on things. I am working on my one for last year still, but I can't wait to get it printed :).

    • Tbh they take us ages to get round to finishing, but we're always so pleased with the end result.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • You two sound the opposite of me and my husband, I try to stuff my nightstand with all sorts of things like tickets and postcards since I know he will never go in there but if I leave them somewhere else he will get rid of them!

    • How funny! But at least we both have someone who's opposite so we can meet in the middle!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Love that idea of making your blog posts into a book, we meant to do a honeymoon book but never got round to it. As for those elephant mugs, they're adorable

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    • Oooh you should do the honeymoon book!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • I made a book of photos from my travels around Laos which worked out beautifully – also a really good coffee table book. Didn't think about talking photos of the souvenirs/tickets etc and including them too – such a great idea, definitely doing it next time I go away. Totally with you on the whole clutter free thing too. My roommate at university used to fill her space with the most useless tack & it really annoyed me (doesn't mean my room was tidy though…). Love the lion – reminds me of SA too!

    • It's so beautiful to have and for other people to look at too! Lol! I hate useless tack but I do really need to clear out my flat at the moment!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Have to admit, I'm a boarding pass and key card saver..! But I do put them in my lovely little photo albums when I get back! Sri Lanka was the ultimate spot for tat (ahem) souvenir shopping for me!

    Lauren xx

    • That's so sweet! Lol, I know that's how I feel about Thailand!

  • I love your photo books! I need to make more of those I think they are such a great way to keep your travel memories.

    • Thanks Kiki, I'm glad you agree!

  • Ahhh Angie, this post made me laugh so much! It seems Michael is EXACTLY the same as Mr S when it comes to 'collecting memories', i.e. stuffing scrunched up bits of paper and tickets into his bedside drawer until it comes to the half-yearly clean out and he'll say to me "what should I do with these", i.e. what loving way are YOU going to preserve all of these memories I have collected… hahaha, urm, they go in the bin darling. I also made a scrapbook for him albeit mine was hand made but I couldn't agree more that they are an awesome way of documenting memories! We also try to buy one item from every country we visit for the flat… which is starting to look like a bit of an eclectic hotchpotch! Ha. Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    http://www.andreaspassions.com

    • That's really sweet that you made a scrap book! It's crazy isn't it I can't deal with all these massive important bits of paper / memories everywhere!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • I am a mix between the two of you, I love to keep things for the memories but they have to be special. The elephant mugs and the book are lovely Lucy x

    • Thanks lovely, I love those mugs!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • I like your style Angie – keep the clutter out, just the nice stuff I agree. The first photo – did you buy that? I bought one as a joke for a captain friend that had me upgraded to first. Utter tat – and now everytime we visit (nice house – goes with the job) I find it in the cupboard and put it back on display… I still get upgraded so he can't mind too much!

  • I agree, its much better to have one or two beautiful things that you really want rather than a bunch of things you just dont know what to do with – although I do tend to keep my boarding pass stubs and the like …

  • you are pretty diplomatic about your souvenirs! I'm lucky Adam doesn't tend to want to get loads of stuff either, HOWEVER our family brings us back loads of tat every time they go somewhere, so it's still everywhere haha.

  • Michelle

    I love buying souvenirs! But I try to keep it simple, like buying one local ceramic (a mug or tea cup or a small plate) or local fashion (a hairpin, jewelry or a scarf). Because these are thing that I can use in my daily life and I am reminded of all the beautiful places that I‘ve visited every day.