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.
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.
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.