Since I started writing about my travels on my blog last year I realised how much fun it is to go back and read through old posts. Mainly because I end up feeling so happy as each one brings back so many amazing memories.
Travelling has become such a big part of my family’s life, and our children have been extremely lucky. They’ve experienced and learnt so many new things from the places we’ve been. We budget and prioritise our travel almost as much as we do our monthly living costs.
If I’ve learnt anything from our experiences, it’s that memories are one of the most important things we have and souvenirs are a way to keep those memories alive.
One thing that I’ve noticed is that we collect trinkets and treasures as we go, and someday I hope to fill every room in my house with memories from our adventures around the world.
Patterned rugs from Morocco, pretty paintings from the beach at Malibu, colourful lamps from Egypt… you get the gist! I love picking up a memento and will go to all lengths to get them home, even when travelling with hand luggage only.
On my recent trip to Madeira (read about that here) I had hand luggage only, bursting at the seams, and still bought the biggest blanket you’ve ever seen. BUT I needed it. It was from a little old lady at the top of one of the walks we did, it has cats all over it and y’know… it’s a blanket!
If I’d have needed to fashion it in to some sort of dress to get it home I would have. There was no way that was getting left behind.
It seems I’m a sucker for the little old dears as I bought this damn ugly camel from a little old guy in the Souks at Marrakesh and as I hadn’t yet figured out the money situation gave him something like £30 for this piece of tat. But I love it!
To me this wasn’t just any old leather camel, it was a camel hand-made in a country that I’d fallen in love with, and every time I look at it on the shelf next to my desk it makes me laugh.
Steve literally cracked up when I told him how much I’d paid. Especially when we saw the same old guy drunk a few hours later…
We love them. It’s become an event in itself on holiday to find the perfect one, and I’m pretty sure we’ve nearly missed a flight once when we realised we’d forgotten to buy one. This display is on my kitchen wall right next to the door and every time I walk in I see it and smile.
I bought these little hand-made glass bottles from a stand on the promenade in Castellammare de Golfo, Sicily. I’m still searching for the perfect place to hang them but for now they’re on my dressing table. In my mind I have an image of them going in a beach themed bathroom at some point.
So I save all sorts of tat that’s probably a tad weird. Ticket stubs, wristbands, champagne corks… the kind of stuff that would look like rubbish to anyone else. I hunted down this frame, bought a cork map and started to label and stick all my mementos down. I’m yet to find somewhere to hang it.
Our home is quickly becoming one big travel diary.
I love bracelets and wear this little fish one I found in a back-street shop in Paris all the time.
We’ve bought candle holders that throw pretty coloured shapes over your walls…
Vegetable soaps, vegan and super kind to sensitive skin… I bought these from one of the cutest Italian Towns in Tuscany, read about Lucca here. I used the soap whilst there, so now when I use it at home the smell takes me straight back.
Cake stands and vintage china from a flea market in Paris. Another hand-luggage only fiasco.
Christmas Baubles from Switzerland…
Do you collect travel mementos, what’s your favourite? Do they make you as happy as they do me? Love them or hate them? Comment below and let me know. Maybe you’ll give me some inspiration on what I can buy next.
I also spoke to a few other bloggers and it seems I’m not the only one who likes to collect mementos from their holidays.
Alana who blogs over at Baby-Holiday says “I’ve been collecting Christmas tree decorations from places we visit for a few years now. It means we don’t have to have ornaments etc around the house, but get to see them once a year … and have a very eclectic tree! The most random are a sequinned tiki from New Zealand, shell angel from Barbados and Russian dolls playing instruments from St Petersburg.”
Ashleigh from AshleighHitter is another souvenir hoarder “I love souvenirs and keep everything from my boarding pass to a tissue from a restaurant, but I don’t think you can beat good old pictures and then making them into a scrapbook with all of your memories and souvenirs in one place.”
Chantele from TwoHeartsOneRoofcollects flattened pennies! “They are becoming harder to come by though which is sad but makes them more unique, I kinda love that it’s a tiny bit of art I helped create!. I found a flattened penny passport in San Francisco which has been great for storing them too.”
Jennifer from My Mummies Pennies is another fridge magnet fan. “As a family we choose a fridge magnet when we visit a new place on a holiday or a day out and display them on our fridge. It’s only something small and never costs a lot but it’s really lovely to look at them all on the fridge door and relive the memories from all the wonderful places we’ve visited together.”
Katie from AwayWithKatie does similar and says “Something I’ve been doing in the past few years is collecting prints from each city I visit, hand drawn or painted if possible. I like to have something that represents each place visually!”
Kate Mai-Lyn who blogs over at EverAfterWithKids says “I always get a giant tacky touristy t-shirt and I wear them all as nighties. Husband hates them but I love my collection!”
Kelly Kemp from Schoolrunshop says “We always pick up a keyring to put on our ‘days out’ backpack, but it got a bit jingly so I had to take most of them back off!”
Megan, from HelloMegano says “I try to get a piece of local art whenever I go somewhere, and I’ve created a little gallery wall in my bedroom with the pieces I’ve collected! Sometimes it’s just a cool little postcard, other times it’s a street artist or a print from a cool shop. They’re all anchored around my scratch off map too, so every morning I wake up and it’s the first thing I see!”
Michelle from WhatMummyThinks says “We tend to collect sand from the beach or something handmade. We’ve had monkeys hand calved from coconuts, jewellery, wooden animals. We have these two from our honeymoon to Hawaii which are our favourites.”
Sarah from JustButtonsBlog says “I love finding photo albums themed to where we’re staying. My favourite is from Mexico when we were on our honeymoon”
Sara-Jayne from KeepUpWithTheJonesFamily says “We collect pins and use them as pinboard tacks. Usually from Disney and other days out – they’re small, not too expensive and easy to carry home.”
Sarah from MummyCatnotes collects something a little original “I always either get a stone from where I’ve been or a fridge magnet, I also ask my mum to bring back stones from places she’s been.”