I think one of the most important parts of a holiday is the memories you take back with you. For me I enjoy bringing back certain souvenirs or mementos, just little things to remind me of places we have been and the funny times me and Nick have had.
I am a massive photo addict so I always have a wide range of photos to remind me but certain souvenirs can bring back a memory, whether thats a funny one of something me and Nick had said or a place we have been too.
For each holiday my list of MUST HAVES has grown, I used to just collect a pin badge and a magnet. This has now grown to a little tradition to bring back:
- A Magnet
- From each country we visit or landmark.
- One for me, one for my Mum and one for my Grandad.
- A Pin badge
- Of anything significant or country flag.
- A Small scale model
- Building or landmark.
- A Postcard
- To start each holidays photo album.
If I don’t manage to get one of each of these items by the last day – ‘tut shopping day’ I panic a little and end up scouring the shops for just the right item. Silly as it sounds I love the tradition and when I get back knowing ‘this is from such and such a place’. They can take me back to a certain place or memory or remind me of the trip, I love that each item has travelled all the way from that country.
I can’t remember when exactly it became my thing to collect these items but all I know now is that I would be gutted if I didn’t have them. Each one is special to me not only because it reminds me of our holiday but it can also remind me of a conversation we had, or something we did and when my memory is slipping at only 26 I need all the help I can to remember all the small details.
I currently have far too many magnets. Our fridge when me and Nick live together will be covered, I know this, Nick knows this and that’s ok as it will be of all our travels and places we have been.
My Grandad’s fridge is starting to move in this direction too! I only started buying him and my mum each a magnet from our travels when we were in Iceland. He first of all told me off for spending my money on him but now I think he quite likes the surprise when we get home.
A magnet may not be so important to some but for us its a great way to have all our adventures in one place when we have a fridge to put them on. For now they are on my magnetic chalkboard with all their colours and details.
The small magnetic Artis from Amsterdam was specially chosen as it was not the norm, from its stuffed belly to his thick and thin legs, we felt he needed to come back with us as he was ‘perfect’ which made him even better to us. Every time I look at it now I just remember being in the Zoo shop and seeing the odd legs for the first time and showing Nick, we were instantly on the same wave length and knew he was the magnet I was going to choose.
The butterfly magnet was also from this day at the Zoo in Amsterdam, due to the rainy weather of the bank holiday weekend we took shelter during a downpour in the butterfly house which was actually better than we thought and warm too! A plus when it was cold and rainy outside, you could get very close to the butterflies making for some great photos, well worth being rained in for.
My pin badge collection didn’t start with our holidays and really it was just an extension from my already full small cushion to which I had attached badges to for years. Each birthday I would get a new age badge as well as various badges from places we visited such as Ibiza, Sealife, Zoo’s and funny slogan ones.
It was only really after starting mine and Nick’s holidays together did I start collecting pin badges as well. I have a badge from each country we have visited as well as additional ones for special places such as Tallinn Zoo and the Ampelmännchen from Berlin. These in particular reminds me of watching the polar bears in Tallinn Zoo with their own personalities and how we ALWAYS waited for the Ampelmännchen to tell us when to cross the road.
Models and Figures
My newest addition to the ‘collecting’ tradition is a small replica of certain buildings. I started this in Sweden with little souvenirs such as the Swedish Dalahäst. I think back then I was trying to be reserved by getting the smallest one, little did I know that my initially small collection would grow quite so much!
My love of little souvenir buildings started in Rome, where on every street corner you could pick up a small Trevi Fountain or Colosseum for 1 Euro. I now try and get a little statue which has most of the main sites on – but only if we have seen them. This is why we tend to wait until the last day for shopping, so we know what sites we have seen and which ones we would like to remember. One of my favourites for this has to be from Berlin, the little statue has nearly all the main sites including the Brandenburg Gate, crammed onto it’s small circle base. I like that just from this small item, I can be reminded of each day we spent and watching the festival of lights.
Some of my favourite mementos are ones that are random and break my traditions. One which comes to mind is a poker chip from Monte Carlo for which Nick has a matching one. It was a small reminder of our day there, I couldn’t think of anything that was more perfect to sum up our day.
Now, each time I look at it I am reminded of being in the small shop near the harbour, in the heat and finding it on the counter. My small wooden tulips takes me back instantly to walking up and down the streets of Amsterdam. All the small lanes and bridges with beautiful houses on every street with spectacular views of the canal. It is very hard to miss the tulips as despite the fact we didn’t go to the tulip fields purely because of time, you could find them at the I AMSTERDAM sign, the zoo, etc the list goes on.
Also from the beginning I started to keep a few notes or coins, from our travels. I mean, other currencies are so colourful in comparison! Plus some countries currency can make you feel very flush, flaunting a 50 or 100 kronor note is great although not worth half as much as they appear. The coins from Copenhagen however have to be some of the prettiest we have had, as they each had small hearts surrounding the hole in the middle – also a novelty as in the UK all of our money is fully formed – boo!
From each holiday I like to plan ahead to when I put together all our photos from our trip. This includes making sure I buy a postcard from each country we go to, this then goes in the front of the photo album almost as a ‘this album is for…’ it makes it a lot easier to tell which album is which! I will be writing a post at some point this year all about how I print my photos, arrange them into photo albums and ignore the sarcastic comments ‘do you think you took enough photos?!’