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Souvenirs

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Apart from pictures and passport stamps, what collectables have you brought back from your travels?
12 years ago, February 3rd 2008 No: 1 Msg: #26636  
My Mum allways used to buy a chess set at every destination she visited (most places seem to have thier own unique designs) But as this may not be feasable while backpacking, I was trying to think of something smaller but just as collectable.

My only idea so far is to collect different matchboxes or matchbooks from each destination. They are small enough to not take up loads of space and will often vary in design from region to region (some times even shop to shop!).

Has anybody ever collected normal everyday collectable items from the countries that they visit? Reply to this

12 years ago, February 4th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #26651  
B Posts: 11.5K
I don't have a collection of any particular item, so don't have anything definite in mind if I am looking out for souvenirs. My niece collects thimbles though when she travels, and has them in a display case on her wall. Reply to this

12 years ago, February 4th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #26676  
Hello Potterfield 😊

I like to bring home baskets.
I have lots around the house to keep things like socks, fruit, herbs etc in.
I usually only buy one at the most on each trip and use it while travelling to carry the things I take out of my backpack to carry around with me for the day, like suncream, book, pen....

Mell Reply to this

12 years ago, February 4th 2008 No: 4 Msg: #26690  
Hello,
I generally don't buy souvenirs because of the transport problems. I always keep my eyes open for nice things and if something catches my eye that I must have I buy it and ship it home. Once I purchased a massive, beautifully carved slab of stone and was forced to cary it in my backpack for a month before I could find a place to ship it home from - It doubled my backpack weight, so I don't recommend that!
Keith Reply to this

12 years ago, February 4th 2008 No: 5 Msg: #26691  
I try to buy something to put on my Christmas tree from each country I visit. So every year when I decorate the tree, I am reminded of where I've been. And even on a multi-country trip, I make sure they're small enough that they don't take up much room in my backpack. Reply to this

12 years ago, February 4th 2008 No: 6 Msg: #26697  
B Posts: 62
I try to find a patch or two to sew onto my backpack for each trip. Usually it's something symbolic of the trip, but other times it's just something that I find that represents me as a person or would make a nice addition to the backpack. They're small, lightweight, and can go with me wherever I go next. They also makes my pack easier to identify on baggage claim belts! Reply to this

12 years ago, February 4th 2008 No: 7 Msg: #26718  
B Posts: 38
Ditto on the patches, although I would go specifically for country flag patches instead of a symbol, places, or cities.

A good souvenir to collect during backpacking is having local stamps cancelled on your journal. It is neat to see different stamps collected overtime.



And since my mom collects foreign coins and rocks (yes, as the ones you find on rivers), I always keep one set of foreign coins and grab a rock or two from a place for her, although (1) use your discretion and best judgment since most national parks/unesco places/whatever discourage people to do this, (2) it is difficult to take any rocks from a big city, (3) you have to carefully label them otherwise you’ll lose tracks on which rocks come from where, and (4) it will get heavy if you’re heaving a lot of them around on your back.

I know several guys collect drinking coasters, since this is what they always go to pubs when they're going abroad.

Matches could be dangerous, since most airlines banned matches/lighters from check in bags. Although I've brought maches overseas before.

Reply to this

12 years ago, February 5th 2008 No: 8 Msg: #26732  
B Posts: 109
since I have only been to a few countries, I didnt come home with very much. Scarey how many souveniers look exactly like ones they sell here at the gold coast in Australia - same stuff, new name inserted.

That being said, when I was a child my grandmother (who was widely travelled) had a large glass vase full of matches/matchbooks from all around the world. NOne of us smoked, so they were rarely used but I used to look at them with such amazement and wide eyes. She also collected all the small soaps from hotels (though I am sure backpackers need to use any freebies they get 😊 She had a container in the bathroom full with little tiny hotel soaps and she would let me use them when i stayed over. I would pour over the soaps thinking of which one I should choose.

So even though there were pretty mundane boring things, they provided some imagination for a small grandchild! and they were also small and light.

I like the christmas decoration idea... light and small, and you can remember your travels once a year and reminisce.
Reply to this

12 years ago, February 5th 2008 No: 9 Msg: #26738  
Yeah, I love the Christmas tree idea too. I think I will start doing it.

Mel Reply to this

12 years ago, February 6th 2008 No: 10 Msg: #26796  
B Posts: 5
I find it interesting to see what others collect as souvenirs... I myself collect mice, I have lots from all over the world now, as its also become a habit for friends that are travelling to bring one back for me!
Reply to this

12 years ago, February 6th 2008 No: 11 Msg: #26813  
I didn't think of this until almost the end of my adventures, but I wish I would have collected refrigerator magnets from each country....so colorful, useful, and small!
Reply to this

12 years ago, February 6th 2008 No: 12 Msg: #26818  
B Posts: 29
I'm the queen of fridge magnets - precisely for the reason that they are small and you actually look at them unlike most souvenirs which get thrown away or put in a drawer.

I also try and pick up a piece of jewellery because everytime I wear it, it reminds me of the places and people I met when I got it. The expense level and budget can dictate this one, but I always seem to sneak in something. I also tend to buy a drawing or painting or fabric hanging which can be framed or hung when I get home - again for me it being part of the decoration of my home rather than just a souvenir.

cheers Jane Reply to this

12 years ago, February 6th 2008 No: 13 Msg: #26845  

I find it interesting to see what others collect as souvenirs... I myself collect mice, I have lots from all over the world now, as its also become a habit for friends that are travelling to bring one back for me!



I assume you mean computer mice. As an alive mouce would be a nightmare at customs.
Reply to this

12 years ago, February 6th 2008 No: 14 Msg: #26846  
LOL. I thought Ruffie meant mice made out of plastic, glass.......... Reply to this

12 years ago, February 7th 2008 No: 15 Msg: #26880  
B Posts: 5
Your right.. the mice are made out of crystal, glass, pottery, wood, I even have one made from the ash of Mt Helena when it erupted!
Sorry to confuse you..LOL I like them because they also come in SMALL packages!
Nooooo real mice here, primarily because my husband says NO.. heehee
Reply to this

12 years ago, February 7th 2008 No: 16 Msg: #26974  
Refrigerator magnets. They are small and easy to carry. Although we had a tough time finding one in Cambodia. We wondered if that was because not many people have refrigerators. They are great reminders of a great adventure. Reply to this

12 years ago, February 8th 2008 No: 17 Msg: #26979  
My wife is a rabid quilter so every country we go to she looks for material she can incorporate into a quilt. The only exception to this was in Cairo where we spent a lot of time in the tentmakers' souq - Souq Al-Khiamiyya - and ended up buying whole quilts and bedspreads to send home. If you are interested in quilting, patchwork, applique or embroidery, don't miss the tentmakers' souq when you are in Cairo. It is rarely visited by tourists but is well worth the effort to find it.
Reply to this

12 years ago, February 8th 2008 No: 18 Msg: #27014  
Thimbles might be a good thing to collect, they're small, and easy to carry around. They seem like quite an old fashioned kind of souvenir though...


I stick with fridge magnets :P Reply to this

12 years ago, February 8th 2008 No: 19 Msg: #27053  
B Posts: 5
I like the idea of different materials, would be easy to find to! Have a friend who is also a quilter so know the depth they go to " to get something different" LOL Reply to this

12 years ago, February 9th 2008 No: 20 Msg: #27058  
B Posts: 38
Hum. But I found that most of the magnets/knickknacks are made in China, so that takes out the 'authenticity' of the place. Reply to this

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