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  • Writer's pictureBhakti Kansara

Memoirs from my travel journeys

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

How often do you reminisce of the places you've traveled to and the memories you made there? Travelling to a place is like building a story. A place exists in multitudes and it can never be same for everyone. So when you go to a place and it feels like you were "meant to be here", you were not wrong. A version of that place was waiting for you there. It waits for your arrival and then stays with you the whole life.

But how do you tell that same story to others? Do you know how easy & relatable the telling becomes when we have photographs and souvenirs to show along?

Photographs and souvenirs are time travelling machines. As soon as we see an old photograph from a trip to mountains, the walls around me start to diminish, the sky turns bluer and the mountains arise from all over and we are left wondering if we're transported to that place or the photograph has turned itself into that place. Such is the intensity of some memories linked with photographs.

Most of the people write travel journals and stick the travel photographs to cherish later in the future. I do the same. However, apart from clicking pictures & writing blogs, I love to collect souvenirs from all the places I visit. You see, collecting tokens that are specific to that region adds a special meaning to it. May it be Himachal in the North or Kerala in the South, you will always find the unique speciality of such places.

And when I say collecting souvenirs, it doesn't mean only buying them, they can be collected in other ways too. I never miss out on collecting them no matter where I go. For a travel freak like me, it's a hobby to collect souvenirs.

Let me show you what have I collected so far and how it will prove that pictures are just not enough to remember your trips.

What to collect? Where to find stuff? How much to spend? Well, collecting souvenirs does not need planning as such. Anything you find which is something related to that place is what makes your collection complete.

Here are the things you can collect :

Magnets & Keyrings

The most common and cliched amongst all. I think almost everyone buys magnets during their trip. Some people buy to gift it their colleagues/friends, some buy to stick it on their fridge.

I personally find this interesting. Different art & structures on these magnet & keyrings depicting some monuments/scenery of that place.

Though I don't like to use keyrings, collecting them has become my hobby.

Magnets & Keyrings are something you will find almost anywhere you go around the world, you don't have to search hard for it.

Sea Shells, sand & stones

What do you like the most when you go to the beach? Definitely, it's the vast ocean spread ahead of you. And when you run towards the sea, you stand by the shore and feel the sand running through your feet. It's the best feeling.

And while playing around, finding beautiful seashells makes us happy. We used to love collecting it during our childhood. So why not now? These are by far the best collection one could have when they travel to beaches.

And... it's free !!! I believe, best souvenir is something which we don't buy.

Religious & sacred miniatures

Being an Indian, we often travel to places of some religious value. More often than not you will find small shops outside the temples which sells lovely souvenirs like -

Prayer flags are very common in the Northern part of India. I bought one when I traveled to Manali and another one from Dharamshala. It reads 'Om Mani Padme Hum' (6 syllabled Sanskrit mantra).

People buy Dream catcher as they are considered as a charm. I love collecting them.

Prayer wheels are usually used by Buddhist/Tibetan for meditation and devotion. I collected this one when I traveled to Dharamshala along with this cute small monk miniature.

Locally/Naturally Made

There are many things which the localites make that you can buy, things that you will not find anywhere else.

Like here in the picture, this little boat miniature I bought from Allepey, Kerala which itself tells that this place is famous for the houseboats.

Elephant miniature bought from Thekkady, Kerala, a place famous for spices and elephants.

The rosewood that I collected when I visited the famous Pine Tree Forest of Kodaikanal.

You see, every single thing which is either real/natural or made by the locals tells a story about that place.

Stamps, Tickets and Receipts

Yes, I'm the one who collects these things as well. Flight tickets, travel brochures, entry tickets, etc. are also something that reminds me of that place. With exact dates (and sometimes our name) being stamped on it, these become the personalized souvenirs - made for us and us only.

Do you collect them as well? Do let me know in the comments below.

These souvenirs are to be kept very safely, I often keep them wrapped so that the ink doesn't fade away even after a long time.

Apart from these, there are several other things that you can collect like coffee mugs & coasters, travel posters, postcards, clothes, etc. And trust me when I say this, when you look at this stuff after a long time, you will definitely cherish the moments, and it will make you happy. However, collecting them is not the only thing, you also need to take care by keeping them properly in box or any other storage option so that they last long.

I have small boxes for each place I went to, as displayed in the above picture. This way, everything is kept in storage and it becomes easy to identify what I bought from which place.

Do you like collecting souvenirs?

Are you also a travel freak like me?

Which souvenir collection you liked the most from above?

Do share your side of the story and let me know in the comments below how you remember and enjoy the past travel destinations that you have explored.

P.S. If you liked this post and would like to refer to this for the next time you travel, please do save this blog and hit the like button below.

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