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.
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.
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.
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.