My proud collection of…. magnets?

I like to overload on souvenirs wherever I go. It’s a really bad habit of mine, especially when I can’t do much with souvenirs but look at them. Recently while cleaning my room, I found old receipts from my last trip to New York City, and I was absolutely HORRIFIED by how much I spent! (Let’s just say there were multiple receipts of over $25 each.) It’s really easy to indulge when you’re seeing one city, and when someone else is paying for it, but while traveling through Europe I knew I couldn’t do this.

There were plenty of new things I could have collected. I thought of shot glasses, but let’s face it — those would REALLY sit in my room unused. I considered country flags, but that would require more effort than I might have had time for. I already have a small collection of keychains, but getting more would also have no purpose since I never use my travel keychains. A friend of mine collected mugs, which was very cool, but I didn’t have luggage space as it was. Snow globes are also pretty awesome, but expensive, and risky to transport because they can be fragile. And T-shirts? Well, I couldn’t look like a tourist wherever I go, so that was not an option.

So I fell back on magnets, the standard souvenir wherever I’d gone before, since my family does this (our fridge is filled with magnets from our trips). A few cities in, I realized I couldn’t afford to spend so much on magnets, and I would run out of luggage space, and there was a big chance they would get chipped, and what was I going to do with 30 magnets?? I decided instead that I would only buy myself a postcard (or two… or fifteen in Prague…) from each city, and  magnets from my favorite cities. I was very good about not deviating from this plan. I brought back a set of postcards an inch thick and only missed a few cities (Sitges, Munich, Bremen, and Lille), and I’ve got a small handful of magnets which all survived the trip!

Not related to the story I just told, but here are some favorites from my US travels….

Live free or die

From my first solo trip. “Live free or die” is not only the official motto of the state of New Hampshire, but it’s also a good motto for adventurous souls, no?


This isn’t my favorite from NYC, but it seems all of my older magnets have disappeared somewhere! However, I do love NYC at night…

A coffee cup… how fitting for Seattle!

And now, for my European magnets…


Barcelona para siempre! You’ve got a lot of the famous landmarks, like the Torre Agbar, La Sagrada Familia (minus the cranes), La Pedrera, and Casa Batlló, framed by a trencadis lizard by Gaudí.


Paris, je t’aime! Can’t wait until I can return :-)




Porto, Portugal. This magnet imitates azulejo which is painted, tin-glazed, ceramic tilework.


The windmill spins! I also loved the color combination, and tulips have become one of my favorite flowers :-)


I bought this small magnet at the Codorniu Winery in Spain. Normally I wouldn’t have, because I tend to shy away from “printed” magnets. I picked this magnet because this poster hung next to my bed in Barcelona, left behind by whoever stayed there before me.


Prague… one of my favorites. It was like walking around in a fairy tale.


Yep, another one from my favorite city (and I’ve just realized that the inset image is the EXACT same as the magnet above!). There was only one left and unfortunately it was chipped at the bottom right :-( But I really wanted it so I got it anyway. As we say when things get damaged, it “adds character” to the item.


London eye, Big Ben, etc.


The bear got me.

Harry Potter crest

Of course I was a fan girl in London, and went to the Harry Potter Studios in Leavesden. I forced myself to walk away with only two souvenirs — this magnet that is the crest of Hogwarts, and a Time Turner keychain.

Really, the only reason I look forward to one day settling down having a place of my own is that I will finally be able to put up all my own magnets :D



2 responses to “My proud collection of…. magnets?

  1. Gorgeous! I collect magnets too, and also lean towards resin because I think it looks much better – and I have the same Amsterdam magnet as you! I have two questions for you: (1) How do you display them? and (2) How did you find so many beautiful ones? Your London, Barcelona, and Seattle magnets are amazing!

    • Hi there, thanks for the lovely comment! I haven’t displayed them yet (they are tucked away at home) but eventually would love to keep it simple and put them up on my fridge… I’m a bit worried about them dropping on the floor if I slam the door too much or something like that, but right now that’s my plan! I always check out magnets when I go to souvenir shops, all of these were found in touristy areas. I tend to gravitate towards a similar aesthetic when selecting magnets but aside from wandering, I don’t do anything extra to find magnets :)

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