This post isn’t about your typical souvenirs. It goes beyond the capturing memories in fridge magnets, thimbles and plates to hang on the wall. There are many other collectible objects, such as coins and banknotes from the places you’ve visited and others as simple and tangible as beach sand, local newspapers, or selfies (which are very popular at the moment), and I would like to highlight their originality.
- Selfies around the world: Is there anyone out there who has not made a selfie at some point? It’s become a buzz word lately, but it’s really nothing more than taking a picture yourself or a group utilizing a good stiff arm. And while it is true that there are extendable adapters you can get for your mobile phone, the original selfies were just close-ups. There are travelers who collect these kinds of photos; and there are even some that have become classics, like getting a selfie at Machu Picchu in Peru, at the pyramids of Egypt, or any beach on the planet.
- Sand from around the world: This collection is made up of handfuls of sand from places that have formed part of our life. It’s a material and tangible way to remember a place. At any time, you can then touch that bit of beach that’s been marked but from which you are now far away. I know people who keep sand from the Galapagos (an almost impossible mission), the Azores, as well as exotic places like Fiji, Madagascar, New Zealand and the Maldives. A collection can be even larger if one adds sand from places like deserts, rivers, canyons, and volcanoes. Of course, one should only save a small bit, so that we don’t deplete the world´s beaches. But one should be aware that there are many beaches that are protected, and taking sand from these could result in a fine.
- Coins and banknotes: We propose you create a collection of currencies from all the places you visit. Some are very interesting. When looking at coins, the Danish crowns are some of the most desirable due to their unique shape (they have a whole in the center). Also $1 coins, which are no longer used in the USA, are popular; you might find them in any of the Latin American countries that use the dollar as currency. As for the banknotes, my favorites are the ones from African and Asian countries, because they are the most colorful. The South African ones have especially nice drawings of animals from the African savanna: lions, elephants and giraffes.
- Local newspapers: Wherever you go, stay informed of what is happening around you. It’s another way to learn more about that place, and almost in real time. Tabloid or daily, informative or sensational, in your language or others. A newspaper picked up randomly one day will give you a snapshot of the city / country where you are. This type of collection is certainly a good souvenir, but it’s even better if the newspapers you preserved narrate historical events.
Nevertheless, despite all these interesting ideas for collections, I would like to finish by saying that the best memories are always those that are recorded by you at a particular moment in time, in that instant. Those are the ones that will last forever, imprinted upon your brains. Of that, I am certain.
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