Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Tourist's Dilemma

Ahh, the decision that plagues every tourist: To go the snowglobe route or not?

As the UK trip draws near, I've been wondering what to get for souvenirs. I like to have a few ideas in mind beforehand, so I can keep an eye out for specific items. Like, I love the company Paperchase, who makes fabulous scrapbooking albums. So I'll look for Paperchase albums and hopefully get one to scrapbook *gasp* the exact trip I'm on. Crazy!

In general, I prefer useful souvenirs. One of my favorites is from a work trip to Albuquerque. In the hotel gift shop, I picked up a chili pepper ceramic dish. It sits on top of the stove, to hold cooking spoons, etc. I've gotten many compliments on it, and every time I get to say, "Thanks! I got it in Albuquerque," thereby reinforcing in my mind how cool and well-traveled I am. (Not that Albuquerque is the definition of cool and well-traveled, but you know what I mean.)

I'm not a fan of snowglobes, stuffed animals wearing t-shirts with place names on them ... you get the idea. But here's the dilemma: how many useful things can I buy for around the house? I've been in apartments for about 5 years, and we've been in our house now for a few months ... I think it's pretty safe to say that we're managing to live independently. So if something is extremely useful, then we probably already have it.

I guess maybe the key will be to find something I really like ... and then find a use for it.


cat said...

I'm like you. Useful souvenirs are the only ones worth getting, so I don't usually worry about it if I don't buy one. One can only have so many trinkets before it's all just junk. If you're buying your faboo feathered hat, that's a souvenir in my opinion. And there's your Paperchase album full of photos. Both of those items would evoke more memories of your trip than a "Hard Rock London" t-shirt or a snow globe of Big Ben, unless you end up with some kind of story tied to the trinket itself or something about it is truly unique.

We'll ignore that I ever bought "the world's biggest condom" or "beachfront property" in Myrtle Beach. ;)

Amy said...

On my last few trips, I've been making a point of researching the rubber stamp/scrapbooking stores before I go, and then whatever I buy is not only an addition to my collection of rubber stamps and/or cardmaking supplies (not like either of those need expanding, but that's an issue for a different day) but also a souvenir of the trip. So, I guess I'm on board with your Paperchase idea.

I also have t-shirts (not necessarily emblazoned with the vacation location) and CDs as souvenirs. But the kitschy-retro in me hearts snowglobes. [Aside: Apparently my grandpa had a massive collection from all the places he had been, but eventually the water started to leak or get cloudy, and thus he trashed them years ago. Pity. Since that's gone, now all I have left to covet is his record collection -- hope he leaves it to me in the will.]