When you’re on vacation, you’ve got to get souvenirs right? It’s part of the fun of traveling, taking wacky photos of yourself “holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa” or sending a post card “Hello From Sunny…” “Wish you were here!”
Over the last few years, I’ve developed some fun, and funny, travel collections. These are the things I seek out when I’m away from home. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, and reason I started blogging, hence the name, has a chapter in her book where she discusses the importance of collections to happiness. Rubin didn’t herself collect anything at the time, and during her happiness experiment began collecting bluebirds and placing them around her office. A keen idea for her work.
Buying something for the sake of a collection in hopes it will make happier isn’t going to last, and I’m sure Rubin knows that. It’s the meaning behind the item that makes it special, or makes you feel good.
The fabulous blogger August McLaughlin captures the sentimental of things with her charming story of friendship and Five Fab Uses of Object Affection. Love this post! Check it out, you probably have a similar story.
My guilty pleasure travel buys include things that make me remember where I was when I bought them and what I felt when I traveled there.
Weird, right? I collect slide pens. They’re getting harder and harder to find! As a kid, I remember these pens and loved playing with them. Now, I collect them from places I go and always reminisce when I write with one about the trip I took. Since not every place I go has these, I’ve taken to buying any pen while traveling. For example, my pen from South Korea has images of their currency on it.
Another rarity for me, I collect bracelets from trips I take. I don’t normally buy bracelets because my wrists, heck my arms, are sticks. It’s hard to find ones that fit. But for some reason, I always find a bracelet while I’m traveling. What’s become a better tradition is that I buy 2 and give the other to my sister. Sometimes hers is a different color, but each trip I take, she knows she’s getting a bracelet for her birthday. Not only do I think of my trip, but I think of my sister too.
Probably a more common collection, but I’ve just recently started. It’s a lot easier to pack a bracelet or a pen in your suitcase and not worry about them breaking. But I love drinking out of my vacation mugs while I’m working. When I use the Cafe’ du Monde mug, I remember eating beignets and drinking cafe’ au lait while listening to a Jazz band in New Orleans. My Madeline Island mug reminds me of my weekend getaway with my book club and skyping and interviewing author Jay Gilbertson. Now, I’ve added two new mugs to my collection.
You know what my longest and biggest collection is? POST CARDS
Granted I take a lot of photos on my journey, but I still buy, send and save a lot of post cards! My mom got me started with it as a kid. Post cards were still cool then. We were notorious for not having a camera with us, or just using a really crappy one, so my mom would buy post cards to get a nice image of the places we were seeing. The habit stuck.
I buy post cards of things I may have taken pictures of, but chances are, the post card is nicer. It’s a keepsake shot. I like filling my journal with them when I write about my trip. I also save brochures, programs, and maps – in that sense, I’m a bit of a hoarder, but paper doesn’t take up a ton of room.
How ’bout you? What do you collect when your traveling? How did your collection start? What’s your favorite piece in your collection?