Collect Moments, Not Things? What About Souvenirs?

“While you are alive collect moments not things, earn respect not money and enjoy love not luxuries.” – Aarti Khurana

So what about souvenirs?

There’s this quote with its first part cited so often and part of us agrees. I mean if someone would offer us a fancy new car or a trip to Iceland no doubt we would choose Iceland. A new pair of expensive shoes versus a weekend hiking trip to the Alps would also be no question. Actually, we do make those choice in our everyday life quite often. We don’t spend much money on clothes, gadgets or entertainment and we usually ask ourselves three times before buying anything whether we really need it. We rather spend money on travel and new experiences. Anyway, shopping is not a hobby but a burden for us; something that is necessary from time to time but we try to keep it short and quick.

Souvenirs: mugs of all kinds

Still sometimes we like buying things. For example souvenirs – and sports clothing… and chocolate… But let’s focus on souvenirs for now. They remind us of those beautiful moments we spent somewhere. They are actually part of the experience and through them we feel that we take the whole world home. Tiny parts of the whole world but still.

That’s how souvenirs put smile on our faces every day

Souvenirs: our fridge magnet collection

We have an enormous collection of fridge magnets. Because wherever we go we buy one – in each new country, city or national park. And opening our fridge often make me smile because I see all those tiny colorful pieces from all the very different places we love so much. But it’s not all about fridge magnets. We have souvenir mugs from the Vienna Christmas market and whenever I drink my yoghurt from them there’s a sudden warmth inside. Actually, we like buying that kind of souvenirs that we use often in our everyday lives. The point for us is not to put them on a shelf to make ourselves annoyed when we do the dusting but to use them sweetening the simplest moments of our lives.

Souvenirs: the perfect case for my phone

I have a necklace with a tiny green dolphin from California and a pair of necklace and bracelet decorated with the same kind of flower figures that are used to make a lei in Hawaii. We have T-shirts and sweaters from most of the national parks we visited in the US. And hiking socks from Yellowstone, cute baby socks from Grand Teton (we don’t have a baby but those are to protect my phone from scratches – no laughing, please), and the apron I use when I cook is also a souvenir. In addition there are two well-worn baseball caps from California that we always wear when hiking and that we should have thrown out a long time ago. We just can’t as they are a little piece of California for us.

Souvenirs are connections between our travels and our home

In my California top in Grand Canyon National Park

These small things are actually memories and whenever we look at them we remember all those moments…

We love travelling. We love that excitement we feel when we visit a place for the first time and we also love reconnecting with places we’ve already visited. And it may sound contradictory but it really isn’t that we also love arriving home. We love arriving because we leave from time to time. We like being on adventures knowing that somewhere far away our sweet home is waiting for us. Our travels and our home complete each other and those small souvenirs are part of this balance. They are the connections; they bring the world into our home. Unless we buy some special local chocolate that usually never reaches our home. Ooops.

Do you like buying souvenirs? What kind of souvenirs do you have?



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By Beata Urmos

Bea is the co-founder of Our Wanders. She’s the writer and the trip organizer, and she’d love to help you plan your own amazing trips! She likes hiking, good novels and chocolate, as well. Her motto is: “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” (John A. Shedd)

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