Is it possible to travel and not collect souvenirs? Of course it is, but it can be so much more enjoyable to have things that remind you of your travels. The most obvious place to buy a souvenir is at the airport, but you can buy a refrigerator magnet from an airport without actually visiting the destination itself. I know, because I have a refrigerator magnet from Newark, New Jersey that says “New York” with King Kong climbing one of the letters. Anyway, I was at the Newark airport for a connection to Charleston, South Carolina, where I also obtained many souvenirs from their downtown market, none of which was a refrigerator magnet. My favorite keepsake was a sweet grass basket I bought as I watched a woman weave and create baskets as she sat in the still-hot October afternoon sun.
But back to purchasing souvenirs from your travels. Another popular item is a snow globe. I always hesitate on this because what if you drop it? Or could it leak inside your suitcase? One time I was thinking about buying a snow globe of the Eiffel Tower when I was in Paris, but I decided against it and kept looking at the items for sale on the pushcart with a striped awning. It was a suddenly chilly late September afternoon and I saw there were plain black wool berets. My husband was standing somewhat nearby and I put the beret on my head. Since there was no mirror I turned around to ask him, “How does this look?” I realized too late that he was sitting on a park bench further down the street. Two American ladies were there instead, and they both said, “Oh you look very nice.” “Thanks,” I muttered and quickly paid the vendor for the hat. Later that day I purchased a charm of the Eiffel Tower at its ground floor from a slightly bored sales person who had to look up from reading a book to take my money.
Another popular souvenir would be postcards of your travel destination. I do buy these, especially the ones that open like an accordion. I was on a walking tour in Verona, Italy, and I saw these accordion postcards attached by clothespins and suspended from the awning of a souvenir shop. I hurriedly fished in my purse for a 2 euro coin and dashed into the shop to buy one before the group I was with disappeared around the corner.
Souvenirs can have a picture of the place you are visiting, or is a souvenir something that recreates a picture in your mind? I know that when I wear that black beret, I instantly remember being in Paris. And those are the very best memories.