More about Souvenirs

I’ve been thinking about souvenirs and how to stop bringing so many back from trips. I have decided that the following are even better than souvenirs because they don’t last (at least for me) and therefore won’t require packing!

Chocolate:

Fruit from markets:

And of course gelato!

Decluttering Travel Souvenirs

For me the fun of travel begins with research and the library is a great place to find travel books as well as history books about cities and countries.  I also like using apps to listen and practice words and phrases in the language I’m learning.  I know I’ve made progress when I can read signs and billboards while on my travels.  But then I’ll hear children speaking to their parents and realize that they already know more words than I ever will in their language. 

I also like to leave extra room in my suitcase for the souvenirs I want to bring home, although I’m trying to limit my souvenir buying.  This is especially true since I have brought back some purchases that I haven’t used and have no place to keep them. 

Luckily there are things you can’t take with you (like gelato), so you have to eat them right away!

gelato

So now I have more than one drawer stuffed with travel souvenirs like key chains, postcards, ticket stubs and refrigerator magnets. Are they valuable memories or just clutter? I did find a use for some of my key chains by displaying them on an earring holder:

Souvenir tree

Sometime soon I will look at these souvenirs and decide whether or not to keep them. At least in the future I can focus on enjoying the experience of travel through photos and memories and let them replace the clutter. I will really try to do this!

Italy

At Home with Souvenirs

I have a drawer in my house where I keep travel souvenirs.  When I opened it to add my postcards, tickets and programs from the Chelsea Flower Show, I had trouble closing the drawer.  Could it be that all these wonderful souvenirs were turning into clutter?  I didn’t think so, and I recalled all the opportunities I had to find interesting things to bring home with me.

Still, when I saw how many things I’ve accumulated over my travels I decided that I could use some these souvenirs in a way that I could remember when and where I got them.  My first idea was to use a jewelry tree to hang some of my key chains to make something I’d enjoy:

Souvenir tree

I also have fridge magnets in this drawer that I can’t use because they don’t stick to the front of my refrigerator!  Then I remembered that I have a small message board that is magnetic.  It was fun arranging the magnets on it.

Magnetic souvenirs

Afterward there was a lot more room in my souvenir drawer and now I can look at these displays and remember all the fun experiences I had when I got them!  I should mention that I also consider scarves, jewelry and hand knit sweaters souvenirs and I wear them all the time.  But it was great to make a display of these souvenirs so they don’t simply become more clutter in the house.

The Search for Souvenirs

Part of the fun of travel is bringing back souvenirs that have memories of where and when they were purchased.  I have lots of postcards and refrigerator magnets but some of my favorite souvenirs are things I can look at such as art prints and calendars.  I also like things I can wear like scarves and bracelets.  When I was in Italy I wanted to find some unique souvenirs, but where should I start?  Wherever I went there were so many choices it was difficult to decide.  As I looked around I saw possibilities like these:

It’s a good idea to stop for some refreshments along the way.

Souvenirs

But instead of fruit I decided to stop for a gelato and this photograph is a great souvenir!

gelato

Travel Details

It is always exciting to see famous landmarks when I’m traveling.  But I also like to notice other things in addition to the places I either read about or saw pictures of in books and magazines.  The more I travel the more I remember details of a place such as doors, signs, some flowers or even a simple bench.  As I walked around Milan I saw so many details and they have become part of the experience of being there.  When I look at these pictures I know that although they are less recognizable they are just as meaningful as I look back at my time in Milan.  Here are some examples of what I mean.

This looked like a fun way to get around in Milan, and there was even a bicycle traffic light.

Italy

Italy

 

Travel theme: Inviting

There are some places that are so welcoming and friendly that they have become some of my favorite memories of those visits.  When I was growing up my family used to drive to the coast of Maine during the summer to go to the beach.  I had the opportunity to return to one of these beach towns recently and I found the same sense of relaxation and fun that I remembered from the past.  In addition to the ocean there are shops, ice cream stands and summer cottages that make a visitor feel welcome.  Here are some of those inviting scenes.

 

Maine

 

For more on this subject look here.

Unpacking Travel Souvenirs

Since my recent move to a new house I’ve been busy unpacking a lot of boxes.  Although this has been rather overwhelming today I was absolutely delighted to find a box with the intriguing label “travel souvenirs.”  Suddenly I didn’t care how long it might take to unpack everything.  I carefully looked inside to find all kinds of fun souvenirs.  There were postcards, key chains, scarves and jewelry as I sorted things out.  But how to begin – by country, type or just random?  Before I actually started putting things away in different drawers I took the time to get pictures of some of my favorites.  They all have wonderful memories of past trips and I’m looking forward to adding more in the future.

Here is a dish towel from Provence that I will never use!

souvenir

 

Around Venice

One of the best things about souvenirs is that they preserve wonderful memories of a place. I have lots of souvenirs that I’ve purchased such as postcards and Murano glass jewelry.  But these photographs from Venice are both from famous landmarks and places that will always remind me of a moment in time.

This may not be a famous place but I can recognize it as being from Venice.

Venice

Greetings from Avignon

This is where I stayed when I was in Provence.  One of the first things I saw was the bridge, and immediately I started humming “Sur le Pont d’Avignon…” which I learned many years ago during French class in elementary school.  I wondered if there were other people nearby who knew the song so we could sing it in a round.

Avignon bridge

I also visited the Palais des Papes and learned about that aspect of the city’s history.  It was interesting to see all the different room displays and admire the impressive building.

AvignonAvignon

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Travel Time

I am about leave for France and Spain and then the adventures will begin!  I’ll be back with new stories and pictures of some of the wonderful things there are to see.  I already know I’ll be watching movies on the plane instead of resting, and there will be lots of chocolate (and gelato) ahead.  I’m also bringing a sturdy umbrella and a poncho in case it rains.  When I return there will be new souvenirs such as photos, postcards, and scarves to add to my collection of memories.  Here are some pictures from an earlier trip to France.  Goodbye for now!

FranceFrance

France