Many of us like to purchase souvenirs to remind us of our vacation. Remember when collecting spoons was a thing? As a teenager I had a spoon collection. Others buy hats and t-shirts. Do you have something you collect? Or don’t you buy souvenirs at all? Maybe you pick up items for friends, family and the pet-sitter instead.
My parents used to travel a lot for work. They started buying art, one special piece from each country they visited. These aren’t fancy or expensive paintings or prints. Some are small, others larger, some are painted by friends, some are gifts. Their home is like a small art gallery now. I love it! The paintings on the wall add character but more importantly memories of all the places they’ve seen and people they’ve met.
I love going into local art galleries, both at home and when traveling. I’ve bought some art over the years ~ most of it is hanging in our condos (then it’s a write-off, after all)! Yesterday I walked into a newer gallery at the Shops at Wailea, Maui Hands. Maui Hands has several locations around the island (Makawao, Paia, Wailea, Kaanapali) and showcases the artwork of various local artists. I was drawn to the most beautiful blue ceramic vase by Jen Selwyn. I see the textures and colors of the ocean in it, absolutely love it! Originally I thought, I’ll give this to the kids to give to me for Mother’s Day. But then I thought, you know what, I deserve a treat! I’ll buy it for myself, just because!
Here are some other items I’ve picked up over the years that I love and cherish. My little Inga Elin coffee cup from Reykjavik, Iceland. My ceramic bell from Helsinki, Finland. The set of Matryoshka dolls from a Baltic Sea cruise a number of years ago. Calendars, handmade fashion jewelry, t-shirts.
My favorite souvenir
My most favorite souvenir of all, however, are the photos that we take while on vacation. While we are traveling, I pick my favorite photos each day and upload them to an online photo album. At the end of the trip I solicit the rest of the family’s pictures and create a photobook for the whole family to enjoy. When the kids were younger, I made them keep a travel journal and then create their own photobooks (these were bigger trips). Truthfully, after the second time, I gave up on that venture.
There are several companies that make photo books. Some are easier to use, some have better print quality, and then of course there is the issue of cost. Most have very regular sales and online coupons, so look out for those! Most recently I’ve been using Snapfish.
How about you?
What are your favorite souvenirs? What do you bring home to share with others from your Maui trip? Some things we bring are: coffee, mac nuts, fruit jewels, calendars, Christmas tree decorations….