Kamusta mga kaibigan!!! I bet everyone aside from tremendous photos you took during your travel, you picked up some knickknacks to bring back home. Some memorabilia of your amazing trip, to remind you of the adventure, fun and stress free time you just had. Others buy t-shirts, others caps, magnets or key chains. Aside that they are common and easy to grab, most of us simply just didn’t have the time to give it some thought and almost forget about it. At some point, I was like that. To break the bad habit, I started to choose differently.
I made a conscious effort that, when I visit a new place may it be local or abroad, I’ll bring home with me a piece of culture of that amazing place (it doesn’t have to be expensive all the time). Something that I will use everyday or if it will be for the people I love, I’ll make sure it is something that will tell them that I thought about them as well while I’m exploring, learning, experiencing new places and culture.
It is also the same concept that I’ll tell my friends who are travelling and asking me, what I want them to bring back home as a souvenir for me. I’ll ask them to get me something local, unique, a piece of culture. After giving it so much thought and serious deliberation in my head (nah), I’m happy to share to you all my top 5 all time favorite travel treasures to date, things that I picked up along the way and other amazing gifts from friends from their adventure. Every piece tells a story of adventure and fond memories. May you start bringing home a piece of culture as well on your next escapade.
5. You got mail
Oftentimes neglected in a souvenir shop today, postcards. Affordable souvenir with photos of beautiful places & culture, professionally taken and fits in your bag…beat that! It may be old-fashioned, but, I still believe that handwritten message in a postcard still have its charm to melt the recipient’s heart. Aside from social media, I still enjoy sending postcards to family and friends to communicate. The effort to write something on it and the magic it brings upon receiving it in the mail is priceless. I just love random old-fashioned catching up in a busy and modern world. So, to spice up that randomness, I use postcards I got from places I’ve been. Whenever I’m out there somewhere, I make sure I’ll grab a couple of postcards.
4. Bookworm’s bling
I love to read. When I saw this bookmark with hand painted mayan art, I knew I have to buy it. It is just a perfect bling for my books and as I turn the pages, it automatically reminds me of my alone time in the western highlands of Guatemala. I bought it while I was visiting the Zaculeu Ruins in Huehuetengo, Guatemala and on that day, I was interviewed by the local television channel about travelling. Detailed bookmark with lots of travel stories attached…winner!.
3. Divine intervention
I pray the rosary and I also carry one with me wherever I go. It wasn’t intentional to collect rosaries, it was more of a habit to get one every time I visit a church and then I realized I accumulated a lot already. The habit started back home when I’m about to leave the country in 2006. I wanted to have pocket rosary with me as I travel and begin a new chapter in my life. I also give it to dear friends of mine. I believe in miracles and the power of prayers. For me, faith/religion is a big part of any history & culture in every nation. So, when I’m in a church visiting for the first time, I’ll get a new rosary and have it blessed.
2. Writer’s delight
It’s like Christmas in May when I received this beautiful notebook by mail. A dear friend of mine Samuel, a certified globetrotter got me this special notebook with a Warmun artist’s masterpiece, whose works are made of natural ochre and pigment on plywood from Australia (and it smells so good!!!). He knows that I write and what a perfect souvenir to give to a friend who writes…a notebook. Imagine this, Samuel bought it in Cairns, Australia, then wander around the country, later, he hopped in to Asia with it, continuing his adventure in Singapore, Thailand, then en route to China & New York on his way home to Montreal and then before leaving again to continue his journey, he sent it to me here in Guatemala. Whoah…what a ride for this notebook. But wait, mileage is not over yet for this special notebook, I told Samuel that I’ll bring it with me wherever I go. Therefore, the story of the travelling notebook is still on. Notebook on the move (should I give it a name?). And where is Samuel now? you got it…he continues to discover the wonders of the world (and saves it as well 😉 ).
1. Dainty treasure
To date, it is the most expensive but worth it travel memorabilia I ever got. I can proudly say that I own a piece of Philippines natural treasure. When I visited the Philippines in 2011, I bought a pair of South Philippine Sea pearl earrings while on vacation in Palawan. Aside from its worth, I thought that it is something that I can pass on to my children and the beautiful stories behind these beautiful pearl earrings.
I am Imelda, a traveler, I cherish travel memories, and I bring back home a piece of culture with me. I dream to learn and experience more cultures from all around the world.
What do you cherish and what is your dream?