Your best travel souvenirs
Tacky fridge magnets from Florida, those harem pants from India (that you could never get away with wearing back home), and the obligatory “I [heart] NYC” t-shirt. We all often come back from holiday with souvenirs that seemed such a good idea at the time, but you’d actually never, in a million years, spend money on them at home!
There’s a really cool exhibition at the Smithsonian Castle in Washington D.C featuring a load of weird and wonderful, totally unique souvenirs that have been collected by travellers in the past – from a piece of the Berlin wall to snippets of hair. (bit.ly/13jsWYv)
So ignoring all those regrettable purchases you’ve probably made, what’s the best souvenir you’ve returned home with?
Eesh, I’m not sure about the hair.
One of my best souvenirs so far is a cookery book of local recipes from a recent trip to New Orleans: a great way to remember a week of far too much eating and drinking. It’s finally a souvenir that hasn’t just sat on a shelf, but I still haven’t mastered the perfect ramos gin fizz!
By contrast the worst souvenir I’ve bought by far was a pair of (what I thought were) really unusual earrings found when travelling around Bocas del Toro in Panama. I came back to find a friend who had recently been to the region with an identical design; it unfortunately turned out she bought them at a market in London…
Haha, I’d love to see that Museum! I have a huge collection of tat, from fridge magnets, t shirts, pens, you name it! I love them all!
I could be corny and say my best souvenirs are my memories, and my photos of course!
But truly my favourite of all my collection of stuff is a little black soapstone statue of Bast, the Egyptian cat goddess. I bought it because a cat saved my life in Cairo (awesome story) and I thought someone must have been watching over me, so I swore to myself that the very next statue of Bast I saw, I would buy. I didn’t even haggle for it!
Rebecca, maybe I’ll write a post about that on my website some day! ;D Why isn’t the add comment working?
My best souvenir is a fishnet jersey which the tour guide at Andaman gave me.. Quirky yet brings back wonderful memories.
We haggled for a Michael Jackson Russian doll on a stall outside The Church of the Spilled Blood in St Petersburg. Each doll shows MJ through the ages. It’s tacky beyond belief but I love it!
The day before we went to the DMZ all tours were cancelled, tensions were too high. We figured it was all resolved because they allowed us on tour…until we were on our way to Panmunjeom and heard that all the military on site, down to the cooks, were suited up in full combat gear. Face to face with North Korean soldiers we tried not to fiddle too much lest the DPRK interpret it as a hostile gesture. The tour guides warned us to “run” in the event of an attempted kidnapping.
Fresh off the rush of my near kidnapping, I made my way to the gift shop. There was no way I wasn’t going to find some cool memento of the experience. This is how I momentarily lost my mind and ended up with a couple of bottles of authentic North Korean blueberry wine. I was certain this would be an impressive bottle to pull out at a dinner party, and regale everyone with my experience at most dangerous border in the world. Instead, one of bottles (securely packed in a box) did not actually break, but leaked little blue droplets all over my luggage. A drop on a shoe, a drop on a sock, a drop everywhere! It both smelled and tasted like kerosene. I think we know who won this round.
Sarongs from Sri Lanka. Got LOTS of them (at something like SLR150 each). I love fabric, and the batik sarongs are way cool.
Umm, and my Hooters-Interlaken t-shirt
Ah, almost forgot… A Buddha snow globe from National Handloom in Ahmedabad. Can’t even imagine what they were thinking.
Lottie Gross Haha that's amazing... I've got a Hooters t-shirt too – although mine was acquired when my grandparents took us on a day out to the Natural History Museum in Birmingham and then took my brother and I for lunch at Hooters... I was 8 years old, my brother 11, and my grandparents didn't realise, until it was too late, what kind of bar it was...
PirateAt50 The BEST view in Switzerland is at Hooter's in Interlaken (to the MOUNTAINS, not the waitresses), the Jungfrau looks like you could touch it. And cheaper than a train ride.
If ya go there, add up your receipt. The waitresses are noting if not dumber than any you've ever come across. They don't seem to speak any language ;)
Lottie Gross Have to say, I've not become a regular at Hooters since my first experience but I'll bear that in mind. Thanks!