Tuesday, March 15, 2011

OF MEMORIES AND KEEPSAKES....

When you travel, you always are tempted to buy some souvenirs, as gifts or as reminders of your wonderful time. Memories after all stay with you forever, and sometimes the tinkle of a wind-chime or a glance at a small keepsake unlocks a flood of delicious memories. Of course the ideal way to travel would be to take nothing but photographs and leave only footprintsJ but, we are human and want some tangible reminders of wondrous moments… Here’s my pick of  ideas for souvenirs!

Postcards
Postcards are inexpensive, easy to carry and make great memories. You can frame them make a collage or insert them into albums. If you are visiting museums, pick up postcards of your favourite paintings or art and have them framed.

Fridge magnets
These are colourful travel remainders which can be conversation pieces and liven up any home. Easy to carry and inexpensive, they make perfect souvenirs or gifts!

Subway/metro maps
This is a really novel idea. Any large city with transportation will have these maps. Frame one and remember the good times!

Local music
I have gamelan recordings from Bali, and J pop music from my trip to Japan. Pick out folk music from India and Africa or jazz music recordings or any other ethnic music for a great souvenir to take back home and re-live the holiday.

Local Art
I have paintings of the Venetian lagoon picked up for a few euros as well as some great watercolours of the astronomical clock in Prague. Get them framed for your living room and you have some everlasting memories. You can also pick up posters and graphics that have a local feel-like festivals or events and get them framed.

Books
Look out for books written by local authors or a specialist book about local cuisine or the places. An old book of maps or some other non-fiction can make a good souvenir.

Supermarket buys
Locally made jams, pickles, herbs, pastas, chocolates and candies all come under this category. They are usually inexpensive and very representative of a place and therefore great souvenirs and gifts. One can also pick up local soaps, bath salts, potpourri, etc.

Stationary
Local handmade paper (I once bought paper in Sri Lanka made from elephant dung), souvenir pens with objects floating in liquid which are delightfully tacky!

Souvenir Cups/Wall plates
Typical, I know but a cup with the destination’s name emblazoned and a picture transports you to the place and brings back great memories.

Local Crafts
Pottery, fabrics, multi-hued masks, figurines, baskets, bags and a myriad other items made by local people is always a great buy besides helping the local economy. Marionettes from Prague and bright kites from Bali have livened up my living room and act as great remainders of my holidays.

Would love to know what are your ideas for souvenirs?

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