FAQ: Do you get something everywhere you go, to remind you of the trip? Well, I get a little older and feel a little more tired, so, YES! Yes, I do.
It really is nice to bring something back from favorite trips. “Subtle elephants, very subtle,” I shouted over the crackly line from India, trying to tell my husband what the new table runner looked like. Jewelry is perhaps an easier option. Remember when gold was reasonable and silver was cheaper? No? If you were in Istanbul in the early Oughties you know what I mean. I wear a necklace my sister bought me as a souvenir back to Italy every year just so it can see its homeland.
Shopping with a mission is a way to purposefully explore a new city in a short time. A teensy pair of ballet flats from Hong Kong (teensy feet, teensy flats) got me out of the hotel and onto the street for two hours. Studying comparative anthropology through close examination of Zara and Mango abroad has netted some cool threads.
A gallery in Brussels sells whimsical prints on stretched canvases just small enough to fit into personal pizza boxes, which is exactly what they are packed in. I now wake each morning to a scrumptiously furry little critter who, eyes wide, tells me, “Ceci n’est pas un lapin.” No. No, he’s really not.
Remember to cut the tags off before you bring something home. It’s not new, it’s just yours (in case anyone asks…)