Souvenirs, travel memento and other keepsakes

Recently, I shared on my Insta-stories a few of the souvenirs I’ve collected on my travels. I was pretty surprised that people actually wanted to see more, so I have decided to write a more dedicated post on the things I’ve collected over time. The people have spoken. Traveling to foreign lands, discovering new things, meeting new people and experiencing exciting adventures are probably some of the things that motive most people to get out there. From documenting our experiences on social media to bringing back souvenirs and other keepsakes, there are many ways to remembers the places we’ve visited. Here are some of the ways I use to remember where I’ve been.

Hard core souvenirs

As far as souvenirs go, many fall into what I would call the “hard core” category. Those are the Eiffel Towers, the I heart “insert city name” t-shirts, magnets shaped like landmarks, key chains and mugs. You name it, they have it. They are meant to be a small piece of wherever you are that you can bring home with you and say that you’ve been there.

Mostly, they are cheap, mass produces and let’s be honest, kinda tacky. Vendors sell them by the boatload and they can be found everywhere. You most likely have a few of these and frankly, so do I. Why do we keep buying the hard core souvenirs? Well, because despite being tacky, they are also fun.

souvenirs travel momentos
Lots of hard core souvenirs
Kind of border on artisan and hard core

Artisan crafts

If you want to classy it up a bit, there is always the artisan option. These items are usually a local specialty, made by the  hands of those who have been making whatever “this” is for generations. For the locals, they are a given. For the tourists, they are a pricey novelty and a must-have to bring home.

These can be anything from jewellery, precious stones to clothing and specialty items  made of leather, wool, silk  and/or other specialized materials. Pottery, paintings and any other artsy things can also fall into this category. I’ve got a few items like that, but I definitely didn’t break the bank to get them.

artisan souvenirs
Hand made crystal viking, amber bracelets, lava beads necklace and a hammock
Iceland’s finest – wool sweater and hats


Then there is another category that holds a special spot in my heart. These are the things that are a crucial part of any trip. These are not exactly intended souvenirs, but rather items that hold their value entirely in the hands of the beholder. I’m talking about maps, admission and transportation tickets, magazines, pamphlets and brochures. Things meant to guide and assist you, provide information or direction.

Back in the days before social media, I used to collect postcards.  Since I couldn’t always trust my photography skills,  getting a postcard meant I had at least one or two good images of where I’ve been.  I used to be that person who asked everyone for a postcard when they were going somewhere.

I also love bringing home with me tour maps, museum guides and things like that. Looking at them reminds me of whatever place I visited to get them.

Various maps, guides and brochures


As I travel more and my collection grows, what I bring back with me varies as well. Now, I am more interested in picking up pieces of clothes that I can’t find at home. So far, I’ve gotten some fantastic additions to my wardrobe, including jackets, skirts, tops and shoes.  I especially love, love shoes.

I have also added a few great bags to my accessories, scarves and wraps that add a little bit of flair to my everyday life. Also, it’s kind of fun when people ask where I got a certain piece from. Years ago, I got this really cute top in Italy and ran into some woman who wanted to know exactly where I got it, right down to the name of the store in the town I mentioned. That was a little extreme.

travel souvenirs
A small sampling of the items I picked up over time
Souvenirs fashion
The jacket – an impulse buy at an airport in Hong Kong

Culinary delights

This one is probably a little more difficult as food isn’t that easy to fly across the ocean, but not impossible. This allows you to literally bring a little taste of your destination with you. We tend to stick with alcohol, candy, coffee and other things that we know are permitted in Canada. You should always check the laws of the place you visit as they are not the same for every country.

The only downfall of this type of keepsake is that it probably won’t last that long. Especially if you bring a small amount and consume it fast. Then again, this always gives you a reason to return for more.

travel souvenirs
A little taste of our travels from tea to cigars and sweets

What do you collect?

Do you have any special pieces that you have brought home from your travels? Do you collect more of particular type of a souvenir? Let me know!

You might also enjoy: Top 10 reasons to travel, Where does your wanderlust come from? and Travel blogging – year in review

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