It’s time to stop bringing back crap that will end up in the trash! Begone fridge magnets, lousy t-shirts, useless key chains and dust collecting mini figurines! Choose to only take back home, mindful travel souvenirs!
You may think it’s easier said than done so let me share with you, 3 easy tips on how to decide to buy a souvenir or not, as well as a list of ideas of what to actually bring back from your travel.
How to chose the perfect mindful travel souvenirs from your trips?
If you’ve ever dipped a toe in Feng Shui or ever read an article about decluttering, you know that there are 2 criteria about things in your life: You should only keep things that you use & things that you love.
So when it comes to travel souvenirs, why would you want to bring in your home anything that doesn’t fit in one or both of these 2 categories?
This is tip number 1 and it’s very easy!
Tip number 2, is to only buy things that are locally produced. If you can find it in your home town, it’s really not worth giving it space in your suitcase. Beware, it may look authentic, but if you look carefully and see a ‘made in China’ label on it, run… well except if you are in China, of course!
Tip number 3, is for the Eco Ninja in you: Only buy things that are organic, fair trade and from sustainable sources. It’s really not as difficult as it sounds. Being mindful about what you bring in your home is as important as being mindful of the impact these things have on the World and other people.
Here you have 3 easy tips that you can follow to find the perfect mindful travel souvenirs!
Mindful Travel Souvenirs ideas
So now that the plastic crap, the cheap stuff and the unnecessary gadgets are out of your system, you may are wondering what to bring back from your next trip. Good question! So here is a list of ideas based on examples of things Mr A and I brought back from our travel.
OK totally not objective here, I love jewelry!! Shop in markets & antique boutiques to find unique pieces. Don’t break the bank but don’t buy bloody diamants either.
I bought the super cute antique rings, displayed below, in Brighton – UK and some amazing amber pieces in Prague – Czech Republic for not much. You just have to know (and like) what the region speciality is.
That one could get complicated! I’m not suggesting you bring back from a single trip, a set of plates for 12. That actually sound like a really bad idea! 😉 But think of the perfect mug, you could use every morning to drink your coffee. An antique silver butter knife or maybe an olive wood spoon which could be a nice addition to your kitchen?
From Tunisia, we brought back a few clay pot. Not a tagine because I knew I wouldn’t use it correctly, so just some regular dish we use frequently to serve food on the table.
A lovely find on a market in Belgium. 3 euros!!
Instead of shopping at home, do your shopping when you travel!
From Munich, I got a dry brush which I love, from Oslo, I got a new sleeping bag (much much needed!), in London, Mr A found the perfect grooming kit for his beard, and in Ghent the PJs he’s been dreaming about…. Travel souvenirs don’t have to be complicated or fancy!!
Books & Stationary
Books are not all available online and are not all distributed Worldwide. Visiting a local bookshop can be quite an experience. Bring back with you a specific book about your destination, a photography book, or a novel written by a local. Or maybe simply a nice notepad or a beautiful postcard.
In the book section, recipe books are also a great idea. As long as they are in a language you can read of course! Being able to cook at home, that special dish you had when you were on that special trip, is a great way to remember it.
From Mauritius we brought back curry powder. Not the little package they sell in tourists shops, no… the big bags you can only find in the supermarket where locals buy them. From China, Mr A brought back some incredible green tea his colleague specifically bought for him. Bringing back maple sirup from Canada is kind of cliché, but when we did, it was the one bought directly from the producer at La Cabane à Pierre where we had a great time too.
So, you get the idea, try to find something really local, something you will enjoy eating, something you can’t find in your own country. Be careful to import restrictions of course!
Crafts & Arts
Where ever you go, chances are that you will find local artisans who produce great crafts & art pieces. Why not bring back something traditional.
Mr A brought back from Morocco a beautiful wooden box which he uses to store his cufflinks.
And you may have noticed from my Instagram feed, that, from Berlin, we brought back this paper deer!! It took me hours of cutting, folding and glueing but this beauty is now displayed in Mr A’s office!
Voila! Hope you find these ideas useful. Obviously, there is no pressure to buy things. If you can’t find anything you truly like, just bring back pictures and great memories!!
Bonus: The most bizarre thing we brought back from on of our trips?
Yes that is a hand drill!! It dates from circa 1920-1930 and it works great!
So you understood that Mr A and I really like old things!!
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