When it comes to souvenirs, are you a shot glass person or a fridge magnet person? One can tell a lot about a person by their souvenir of choice. Studies have shown that 80% of people who opt for shot glasses are more likely to …
Ok, I am kidding. I know of no such study :). But wouldn’t it be cool if you could tell a lot about a person by just that?
In my ‘younger’ days, I was all about the shot glasses. I thought they were cool and that it would be a great idea to collect them and display my collection in my apartment. One from each city I visited. They would make for cool stories, or so I thought. One time, I bought a set from London. I kept one of them, the one that had the Mind the Gap sign from the London Underground, and I gave the rest out as gifts.
However, more recently, I have been into fridge magnets. They are the ‘adult’ thing to buy. Haha. When I went to Europe, fridge magnets were my souvenir of choice but somehow I managed to misplace the one from France :(. My latest fridge magnets are from Hungary, gift from friend.
I buy fridge magnets as gifts for friends too but sometimes I try to switch it up. For example, when I was in the Netherlands, I got several sets of miniature clogs for my friends. I also got the kissing boy and girl– I’m not sure if they have an official name but they were everywhere so I figured they were a big deal.
When I went to Dubai, I got a camel. Not a real one 🙂 and a bottle filled with authentic desert sand. I’ve also got bottled sand from a beach in the Dominican Republic, a gift from a friend.
One time in England, I got a miniature red telephone booth filled with candy for some friends of mine. I just had to; it was too cute and the perfect English gift.
I once got a blue miniature Eiffel Tower from one of my friends when she had a layover in Paris. The same person got me a ceramic standing cow from Switzerland from a different trip.
Another good one is post cards. Be careful though, not a lot of people are into those. I have one particular friend who collects them and so I know I would make his day if I got him one from a trip. I don’t send them from the country, however, I send them once I am back home. I also usually put the post card in an envelope before mailing it. I know, I’m weird.
I’ve also got post cards from friends. They usually hand deliver them or mail them when they get back as well. I’ve got a post card of the crookedest street in the US (Lombard street, San Francisco, CA) :).
The one that never fails is key holders. I recently got one from a friend who went to Vegas. Everyone needs key holders right? Because we all have keys. And spare keys. They make for interesting conversations with friends (and strangers) sometimes. Such as the hot pink pepper spray on my key chain :).
I remember for the longest time in undergrad, people used to think I was lying about being Nigerian because I had a Ghanian key holder on my keychain. It was a gift from a (Ghanian) friend.
Photo frames are also cool. Especially when you actually get to putting photos in them. Bonus points if the photo was taken on the trip. Or leave them blank- that works too. I still need to put a photo in the photo frame I got from my trip to San Francisco. It’s just that it’s for such a weird size of photo. So yes, beware of that. Don’t fall into that trap.
Then there’s t-shirts and hoodies, and they usually charge horrendous prices for them. Especially at airports. Ugh. However, I’ve got a few of those too. In undergrad, where it was perfectly acceptable to wear t-shits every day, I had much use for these t-shirts and hoodies. Now, not so much. I have to do the business-casual thing at least Monday through Thursday. Even Friday, wearing Jeans can be tricky. See, this is one of the reasons adulting is hard :).
That being said, I love my Amsterdam shirt. And no, it does not have a single image of a bicycle on it ;).
What are your best/coolest souvenirs? Let me know in the comment section below.
Header photo: One of the displays at the Atomium, Brussels. April 2015. Photo by O Thomas.