In dealing with stacks of travel keepsakes, an impulse purchase came to my rescue.
I wasn’t planning on doing any organizing. Not for a while at least. I was perfectly content with old maps, postcards, boarding passes, and train tickets sitting in a plastic bag, tucked away in the closet of the home office. After all, there were new trips to be planned, not to mention other house projects to tackle.
Then the boxes found me.
I was at a department store, not really sure what I was looking for. Pillows? Maybe some new candles? And do they have shoes on sale?… Tired of walking around and wasting the evening away, I was about to go home empty-handed, when I was stopped in my tracks. There they were: two travel-themed storage boxes, stamp and Air Mail images plastered all over them.
Luckily, not more than the price of a couple of meals on a domestic flight. I left the store with a big grin on my face, boxes in hand, and rushed to my travel room. That’s right. Suddenly, calling it ‘home office’ no longer seemed fitting.
Organizing the souvenirs naturally brought back a lot of memories – of métro rides around Paris to gypsy jazz clubs, of flying to San Francisco on my birthday, of cheering on my favorite teams on the road. I also noticed a lot of boarding passes dated December – a reminder of holiday trips to see my family overseas, and a sure way to make me homesick.
What surprised me when going through the bags was how many old keepsakes had somehow survived my move from Europe to the US - postcards, magnets, even money! I didn’t recall ever packing them.
I was also reminded of an earlier time when I didn’t keep souvenirs long enough.
Being rather minimalist, I generally do not hold on to things that I don’t use, and I don’t buy much in the first place. Travel items have been an exception, but only recently. Unfortunately, this means that postcards I had received from friends in high school and the few souvenirs I had from my trips as a teenager are mostly gone…
Now that I have the boxes, I’ll get to keep my surroundings clutter-free and still have something tangible to remind me of my journeys. A win-win situation.
Perhaps I should check if the store has a few more in stock.
What do you do about your travel souvenirs? Do you keep them or toss them after a while? Let me know in the comments section below!