How people choose to remember their travels always interests me.
When I write interests me I mean, gives me something to laugh at.
Next time you visit a well-travelled friend see how many of the following you can spot:
- photos – either online (slide show time!) or for the more serious amateur photographer, printed out and displayed on every available surface or wall
- deliberately kitsch collections – fridge magnets, shot glasses, bottle openers, snow globes
- local handicrafts – usually shoddy wooden carvings with a tedious myth attached to them. Bonus points if the proceeds of the purchase funded a worthy cause
- free stuff that apparently has sentimental meaning far beyond its value – shells, beer mats, condom wrappers (maybe)
As well as being a pisstaker, I am also a massive hypocrite.
I collect all sorts of tat including:
- pebbles – I used to have a jar of stones. I chucked them in the garden when I realised that I didn’t know where most of them were from
- postcards – I buy a postcard instead of spending ages trying to take the perfect photo
- ‘little things’ – this was to stop me buying ‘big things’. All rubbish irrespective of size
- coins and notes in small denominations – I am the proud owner of a 200 dong note. Get in
- tickets, receipts, boarding passes – I am archiving my life as I go along. This stuff is going to be chucked away when I die, not put in a museum
- bottle tops – This collection says ‘I’m fun and drink beer’
- badges – I haven’t worn a badge since 2007
- maps and propaganda posters – I just like them
- black and white pictures – I’ve been back in the UK for 5 years now. None of the pictures are framed
Although none of these things are expensive or big they weigh me down.
Souvenirs mean I have more stuff to tidy and clean. Time I could spend travelling (or at least planning my next trip).
I spend time and money hunting out the perfect keepsake when really I should be gallivanting around having fun.
These things don’t help me remember my travels. Sitting down quietly and having a think or chatting to friends would be much better.
Ideally I’d like to get down to 1 collection but at the moment I can’t choose which one I love the most…
How do you remember your travels?