FriFotos: Souvenirs from Africa, London and New York City

Posted on Posted in Africa, Botswana, Dessert, London, London Food, My Favorites, South Africa, Zimbabwe

The FriFotos theme this week is “Souvenirs”.  When I first started traveling, I bought a souvenir for everyone in my life – friends, family and co-workers.  I had friends who collected shot glasses, magnets and postcards. Over the years as my packing got better and bag got smaller, the amount of souvenir space diminished and my criteria for souvenirs changed – it must be made in the country to qualify as a proper gift.  I feel better when I buy local and support small businesses/artists and it adds to the story of the gift especially if you take time to chat with the owner/artist about their work.

For me, traveling solo,  the best souvenirs are the memories and experiences – these are my personal treasures. Not to say, I don’t ever buy myself something small – usually jewelry made by local artists or food items such as cupcakes, cookies and chocolates.   For my friends and family who don’t travel with me, I try my best to buy something that best represents my journey.

Below are a few souvenirs brought back from my African safari, London business trip and weekend in New York City.

African Safari Souvenirs

With only a small duffel bag for my safari segments, I barely had space for an extra pair of socks so I had to be really careful when buying items.

Botswana (Okavango Delta)

Botswana souvenirs from the Okavango Delta
From a small village in the Okavango Delta of Botswana – my guide brought a selection of crafts to camp for purchase.  The bracelets for my sister and nieces and the platter for me

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe elephant bags
For my nieces, the handmade bags in Zimbabwe celebrating the elephant

South Africa

South African beaded headbands
Beaded headbands for my nieces

 

Save the Rhino bracelets
Save the Rhino bracelets

London

When I go to London, my go to souvenirs are homemade baked goods such as cupcakes and chocolates.  In order to retain “Best Aunt” status with my nieces, I’ve violated the “made in country” in order to bring back One Direction merchandise.

Hummingbird Bakery cupcake treats from London
Red Velvet, Black Bottom and Seasonal cupcakes – all great souvenirs of London
Paul A Young Chocolates in Soho London
Chocolate tempation at Paul A Young in Soho – i want to take it all home as a souvenir

New York City weekend

A great souvenir in New York is a photo in Times Square with a character of your choice for a small tip.  For me, it seemed apropros to find my favorite character.

Cookie Monster and me in NYC Times Square
My cookie obsessed partner in crime!

The search for the perfect souvenir adds, for me, a new level of experience to a city, village or country – one that I may have missed as I am not a fan of shopping generally.  So thanks to my friends & family, they have guided me from afar as I attempt to share my travel joy with them in a souvenir.

 

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