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….
And now, for my European magnets…
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