Do you collect things when you travel? Little trinkets.. magnets perhaps? My travel collections have evolved throughout my life. Some by accident, some on purpose. Some I still have, some I have let go of...
I started collecting patches when I began traveling to Europe in my early 20s. Naturally... I was young, staying at hostels, and traveling with a backpack. So - said patches - were lovingly hand sewn onto my backpack, as badges of honor. At the same time, I collected magnets on these travels, for my grandmother, with whom I lived. I didn't discover until after her death that she was quite the vagabond herself. I wish I had known then, so we could have had those conversations about wanderlust... but I think she was content to hear my own stories of travels and enjoy the magnets on her fridge. I do still occasionally pick up a patch on my travels. I now have a little stash of them with dreams of creating a travel quilt with them one day. After my grandmother passed away, I inherited her magnet collection and continued to buy magnets... for her... and display them on my fridge until recently, when I realized I just had way too many magnets! So I have stopped buying magnets.. for now.
In my late-20s I began collecting shot glasses. At it's peak the collection was well over 100. I had a fun stand, shaped like a bi-plane, to display them on. Alas, when I got sober in my early-30s... it didn't seem like the best item for me to collect. I let them go and began to collect coffee mugs. After about 20 mugs in my collection I realized they were just too bulky to collect. I donated them and imagine they are in homes inspiring others to travel, too.
The first trip I took with my now husband, when I was 34, was to the Redwoods in Northern California over Christmas. We bought a Christmas ornament as a souvenir and those have evolved into my latest iteration of travel collectibles. Since then, I have a wonderful time decorating our Christmas tree every year... taking a long trip down memory lane to all of the beautiful places we have visited in the years we have been together. So far.. it's the best of both worlds. They are neatly packed away.. not collecting dust. And once a year I get to really enjoy the memories. Spending a few weeks walking by our tree, reminiscing. It's lovely.
Lastly, I have collected postcards off and on through the years. Most recently, they're the postcards that I send to my husband when I am on solo trips or trips with my girlfriends. I've created a little binder that I keep them in. When I come across it on the shelf, I open it, take a quick peek, and recall an adventure or two.
What sort of things do you collect from your travels? Do you create collections - like I have - or do you buy one-off things, to decorate your home or wear?