It seems that nearly every tourist attraction is overloaded with dozens of tacky souvenir shops. And, even those that are out of the way and attract few travelers seem to have an intrepid shop owner who has set up his wares close by. However, many travelers spend their entire trip without buying a single souvenir. So, for this week’s discussion, I want to know: Do you buy souvenirs when you travel?
I have to confess, I’m a bit addicted to buying souvenirs when I travel. Whether it’s a local, handmade carving or a Starbucks City Mug, I love collecting souvenirs and gifts when I travel. To me, part of the experience of walking through a night market is finding that perfect item that will help you remember the destination. Whether it’s the carved elephant I bought in Thailand, the painting in Korea, the bottle of vodka in Mongolia, or the t-shirt in Russia, seeing those items on my shelf helps me remember the city and the local artisan who made it.
Speaking of t-shirts, that’s one of the few souvenirs that can be practical as well. When you’re traveling long-term, it’s nice to have a different shirt you can wear a few times before mailing it home.
And yes, time for another confession: I bought so much stuff that I actually had to mail it home…five different times. Glad it’s cheap to mail boxes from Asia, or I would have blown my whole budget just shipping boxes.
While some may disagree with me though, I really enjoy having things to help me remember my travels. In fact, my biggest regret from my trip to Europe is that I only bought 1-2 things while I was there.
What about you? Do you prescribe more to the theory of “Leave only footprints, take only pictures,” or do you love shopping for souvenirs as much as I do? Let me know in the comments section below.