It usually seems to be the hour before you’re due to come home, that an urge takes over your limbic system and nothing seems more important than capturing one last memory of a trip. As kids were always taught the Forest tramping code; take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints; but all reason seems to leave my head in that last hour or two of visiting a new city. It just seems to become imperative to find a cool reminder of our visit.
When I began travelling, with one suitcase, a carry on bag and a pretty shonky camera, I started collecting postcards. Many of them still grace my kitchen wall, but the good intentions soon gave way to a bad memory and I started on the hard stuff. Actual physical reminders of our trips.
I say cool but, well, it usually ends up being something cliched, silly and funny. That’s the joy of being a tourist in a nutshell. I normally use my family as an excuse (they have had all sorts over the years posted or hand delivered to them 3 years late *see the last item in this post* such as Eiffel Tower shaped bottles of cognac, Singaporean Dragon keychains and a Moroccan Fez).
Oh yes, I just spent a good hour scouring Hollywood Boulevard tourist shops for miniature golden statues. Just for the irony of this bog post *shifty eyes* not because they took my fancy or anything.
Souvenirs, oh, souvenirs. Gifts, mementos, relics, trophies, memorials, remembrances, reminders, tokens, (sidenote: is remembrancer even a real word or have the thesaurus people just changed the ‘Remembrall’ idea from Harry Potter?) whatever you want to call them, Love them or hate them, sometimes buying a souvenir is just right.
When this topic was suggested, the girls suggested that I make Mr Kiwi – my most unexpected holiday souvenir (the original plan was to stay in the UK for two years, not get married and live there indefinitely) – the topic of this post, but it felt like I was exploiting him. Y’know, even more than the myriad times he gets used as a taste tester for new recipes, as a photo model, his opinion called on in restaurants and every time we travel somewhere random that takes my fancy.
We have started a fun tradition though – we pick something in the tourist shops that makes a good Christmas Tree decoration. Amongst the branches hang miniature dutch clogs, an Irish fairy, teeny Kiwis, Football baubles and a German angel who crown our decorations with a fair few others. As a childless couple it makes for a personalised tree, a month in the year running through travel memories and they are super small to carry through airport security procedures. (A small Oscar figurine might just have been added to the collection but I couldn’t confirm anything. A gold Christmas decoration theme may also be on the cards this year.)
As an aside, I’m kind of hoping to learn how to spell the word souveneirs by the end of this topic. That would be progress. (And just for clarity, those packs of biscuits hidden throughout our luggage at the end of a holiday at home in New Zealand? They totally don’t count as souvenirs. I think of them more as expat necessities. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.)
Ps. On the subject of not being able to spell, my apologies to Jaime for misspelling her blog name in my email out – it’s Angloyankophile.
|I drove through a Florida Monsoon for this baby. And it only took 3 years for me to remember to give it to the recipient…|
If you fancy getting involved, we announce the new topic one the 15th of the month so bookmark this Travel Linkup page, keep an eye out on our social media or pop one of us an email and we can add you to the email update list!