This months travel link up is pretty much perfect me for me because I’ll admit it I’m a total sucker for souvenirs and tourist tack. I try my hardest but which ever destination I visit I almost always pick up some kind of weird and wonderful souvenir to put in my house (often to never be seen again).
I’ll start with the most ridiculous story yet of how we came about getting this souvenir on our wall.
We had been doing a 2 week overland trip in Kenya and Tanzania and by the time we got to Zanzibar there was more souvenirs/tourist crap than you could imagine. All I wanted to do was sun myself whilst Dan somehow got it into his head that he wasn’t leaving without a club, you know the ones that Masai’s use to defend themselves? So he ventured off to pick one of these up. He came back with a club, a traditional stick and a beaded Tanzania bracelet. I swear he can not be left to shop on his own.
So from this point on the stick was top priority, it had to be kept safe and wrapped up at all times. When we came to leave Tanzania at Dar Es Salem airport it was here that the problems occurred. The stick was wrapped up heavily but because we were back packing it it had to be attached to the outside as it didn’t fit inside the ruck sack. When we were checking in the baggage handler then proceeded to say “Give me money and I won’t break it” and “I’ll look after it for you just give me some money”. At this point we were furious because we’d had a pretty shit time in Africa and were dying to get home and here we had some guy telling us basically if we didn’t pay him the stick would be gone. We didn’t pay him and upon arrival in London the souvenir stick was of course smashed to pieces.
We knew it was going to happen but still seeing it arrive in pieces sucked for Dan, I must say I was pleased because I really did not want this thing on my wall. We went to Qatar Airways to complain and explained what happened on the other end and of course they dismissed it completely. To say Dan was heartbroken was an understatement but luckily for him one of his friends had some sort of arty wood glue and was able to fix it and within a couple of weeks it was on my wall. It is literally part of the furniture now.
Another souvenir I have recently started buying is t’shirts for my nephew. He was born whilst I was living in London and I’ve missed so much of his life so every time I go somewhere I try and buy him a little t’shirt and send it off to show him all of the great places around the world and to remind him of me. The first one I bought was a Olympic smurf one from London. Some of the other t’shirts I’ve got him are: Muscle Beach baby grow from Venice in L.A, an I heart Ibiza, a bull in Barcelona and these two recently from Scotland and Ireland and Hamburg.
Last but by no means least is the fridge magnet. Dan and I started collecting them back in 2011 and it’s got a little out of hand. It started with a country but now we seem to buy destination magnets too. So when we went all over Croatia a few years ago we ended up with about 8 of them (from the same country). It almost becomes the holiday debate and I know we spend far too much time finding the ‘perfect fridge magnet’ but it happens. Our fridge is literally covered but it reminds me every day of all of the great places we have been and is always conversation starter around the fridge.
I’m usually always short term travelling but I know when I do go travelling for an extended period of time I am going to struggle not to buy something at every destination.
What’s your favourite souvenir item?