Hot! Take a Souvenir

What comes first: the travel or the collection? After the experiences and excitement of a trip, there are the memories. Photos can bring these back, but so can souvenirs. Intentionally or not, over time, these reminders of places I’ve been start to fall into categories.

This became glaringly apparent as I finally unpacked from my three months in Italy. After living out of a suitcase for so long, it was hard for me to move more than the essentials back into my Arizona home. My shelves were empty, my closet had a few shoes and summer clothes. Even my pantry was at a minimum.

In a wave of “cost cutting,” I decided it was time to give up my storage unit and move everything back in. I didn’t have a lot of boxes – I’m not a hoarder. But inside each I had tiny reminders of my trips: metal pencil sharpeners in the shapes of city icons, wooden figurines, postcard size books, pinecones (?!).

Hello, I’m the Girl From Arizona and I collect small things.

There is some logic to this. I’m a light traveler and am usually on the move. Anything larger adds an unwelcome challenge to the rest of my trip. Wine has been the only exception to this rule. I’ve been with others who are on the look out for larger items, and they always have a plan for how to pack it along.

Like with any travel, what you take with you – and bring back – is always a personal choice.

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  1. My souvenirs are usually small and light – this time around, I have a shirt and medal from the Hi Seoul 10K. Oh, and some chopsticks that look like ligthsabers (no guy my age could resist!).