I have a shoe box. It’s on the bottom of my night stand. OK that’s a weird way to start a blog post but hey let’s do weird for once 😉 . So going back to my shoe box, I bet you’re dying to know what’s inside (or not…), it contains bunch of things I collected while on the road since I started not so long ago: tickets to museums, city maps, guidebooks, bookmarks, Metro/train/bus tickets, boarding passes, hotels keys (don’t judge!)..you just name it, I keep them all in my precious box, well except for the kitschy weird porcelain figurines looking right at you, I keep them on my desk at work… I’m not ready yet to be the main character in Anabelle’s sequel thank you…
This morning when I tried to kind of filter all the stuff to get rid of some of it, I couldn’t. Instead, I spent couple of hours reminiscing over the trips I had with every object. This is when I thought about two things. 1) People like to collect things. 2) Souvenirs have a huge power to take you back and make you re-live that exact moment when you found/bought that thing and bonus 3/ oh why not write a post about it? But why do we collect them?
The first reason I can think of when it comes to collecting travel souvenirs is to feel “travelly” when you actually can’t travel. In fact, when you’re not a full time traveler, you go through a period of time where you can’t do it (either for work or for financial reason), which reminds me that my tolerance level in that case is 3 months, beyond that it is torture! So what I do is when I’m feeling a bit too boring, bored and un-travelly, I can just look into my box and remember all my fun travel times. Like that night in Cape Verde I couldn’t find my way to the hotel where I’m staying (again..) and ended up alone in a dangerous neighborhood (so they told me after that), trying to play invisible man with couple of wild dogs screaming at me… my souvenir from that night? The business card of the guy who saved me! Come to think of it, that wasn’t such a fun moment after all.
Also, collections are a great conversation starters! Some collectors, including myself, take pleasure in socializing with others, who are interested in the same type of objects or who went to the same places and next thing you know you’re sharing the stories behind each object you have. And finally, besides being fun and full of memories, those collected souvenirs can also be pretty useful: a mug or a piece of clothing from every major city you visit, is much more than just a useless souvenir covered in dust.
I know there are a lot of you collectors out there reading this (well hopefully!) But I’m curious about what is the object you absolutely HAVE to bring back from a trip, because I feel like it’s one of those things where early on when you were just about to start travelling you had to make a call or ask someone on what was that one item that could be universally found in each city or country and that’s what you stuck to. For me, the must have object in my collection is a Bookmark, since I’m a big books freak it was a quite natural choice, and now I need to have a bookmark from each place I go to, a bookmark that will probably be displayed in my collection since I obviously use only one at a time, but it is a kind of tradition and it still feels great to go through all of them and just remember 🙂
So how about you? What do you collect? I would love to hear from you! Is it magnets? pins? patches? flags? dolls? (okay I don’t really know).
Cheers to the places we yet have to go to!