Tuesday, April 13, 2010

1 Travel Tip Tuesday: Souvenirs

The word souvenir comes from the French translation of "remembrance". I love the idea of collecting little items from travel destinations that bring back the memories, feelings, tastes, and smells of vacation. Choosing smart souvenirs is an art form: they should be things that evoke stories, that are somehow unique to where you got them, and most importantly should be items you'll actually use.

There are certainly things we've bought while traveling that don't fit this criteria, but we've gotten some winners as well. Here is a list of some of our personal favorites:

Clothing - The winter scarf I've used for the last two years is actually a gift I received while in the Khasi Hills of India. It has an unusual but beautiful weave and it keeps me very toasty. In the less artistic category, I'm really looking forward to bringing backpacker fashion to the streets of Boston this spring with the Aladdin pants I bought in Malaysia to refresh my destroyed wardrobe in month four of our trip.

Soccer Jerseys - A special subgroup in the clothing department. Patrick's collection is getting quite large and he wears them all the time. It's not rare to be approached with roars of "MENGA!" and Portuguese chatter when he walks around town in his Flamengo jersey from Rio.

Jewelry - I have a pair of earrings I bought on the streets of Granada, Nicaragua. There is something distinctly unusual about the stones and wire work and they always spice up an outfit for an evening out. We also did some bargaining for strands of pearls in Hoi An--I'm still not sure if taking a lighter flame to the pearls proves they're real but that seemed to be the standard demonstrated test in Vietnam.

Spices - What better way to recreate your favorite flavors from a recent trip? I went crazy at the Spice Market in Istanbul and still have some very hot pepper in my cabinet. The trick is not to get anything "living" or suspicious-looking so you can get through customs without a hassle.

What are some of your favorite souvenirs?

1 comment:

  1. I'm a really horrible traveler, and I never remember to get good souvenirs.
    Luckily for me, though, my sister is constantly travelling AND she always gets the most amazing presents. I have scarves from Egypt and Mexico, and a pair of shoes she had made for me in Thailand. I'm a lucky girl.

    p.s. That cupcake was from the South End Buttery. At flour I always get a brownie or their double chocolate cookie- so so delicious!


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