As you know, I’m a light packer. And as much as I love shopping (when I’m in the right mood), I have a hard time justifying buying souvenirs unless I’m on a short trip and don’t have to lug stuff around too long.
But traveling for 8 months and seeing things you’ve never seen before sometimes prompts a desire to take home a relic or two. Here are some of my favorite souvenirs that not only fit into my bag, but will also remind me of my fabulous trip and the incredible people I met along the way.
Look for Unique and Practical Garments
If you buy a t-shirt for every destination you travel, you might end up with a lot of extra weight in your pack. Trust me, there were so many clever and cute t-shirts I wanted (Appelman in Berlin, anyone?) but really often at souvenir shops they’re kitschy and overpriced.
The good thing about buying t-shirts as souvenirs is that if you’re traveling long-term, you’ll probably have to toss or donate your old, ruined ones at some point. And what better to replace them with than ones that are both practical–I mean, you can wear them!–and have a story behind them.
The trick? Look for items that you might not be able to get anywhere else. And that you WILL USE AND WEAR.
Example 1: In October, I traveled in Italy with the fantastic Emily & Logan. While they were off being their badass selves cycling 135 km through the picturesque Tuscan hills, I was eating porchetta and watching as people came in at the finish. Oh, and I also perused the L’Eroica market place.
There, I stumbled upon the tent for Borracce di Poesia, a project joining the joy of cycling with love of reading. Literally translated to “Water Bottles of Poetry,” its founder inserted poems he’d written that focused on urban cycling. I LOVED the idea behind this, and they had the coolest design for their t-shirts. The founder and I had a really great chat, and I asked myself: Where else would I get something like this that was paired with this experience?
Overlooking Siena and promoting poetry!
I love my Borracce shirt and can’t wait until there’s warmer weather to wear it all the time again–I did in Italy!
And by the way–now you can get their t-shirts online! They are super cool and come in many colors.