Wanderlust and Souvenirs
What is it about souvenirs? Well, do you know anyone who comes back home from a trip without even a little trinket as a tangible reminder? We don’t 🙂
IT TAKES ALL SORTS (TO MAKE A WORLD)
A bit of stats. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that internationally there were just 25 million tourist arrivals in 1950. Fast forward, 68 years later this number has increased to 1.4 billion international arrivals per year! This makes an incredible 56-fold increase. Now, with this huge mass of humanity flying and driving and cruising around this beautiful globe our ours, differences in tastes and preferences – even when it comes to souvenirs – must be huge as well. And that’s what makes souvenirs absolutely fabulous! Also, there is something endlessly playful and fairytale-like about souvenirs. They can be edibles, drinkables, collectibles, jewelry, wearables, artworks, handicraft, trinkets, expensive, cheap, practical, impractical, decorative… just name it. But they’re always about experiences. Whether you are one of those travelers that rationally invest in collectibles or buys a souvenir on a spur of the moment, you’re guaranteed to find your special travel memento, wherever you go. Simple as that.
PORTALS IN SPACE AND TIME: THE STORIES BEHIND OUR SOUVENIRS
Not everyone in the world speaks French, but everyone knows what souvenir is. Yes, that French word describes it all: to recall, a memory.
Well, if there’s one golden rule for all kinds of souvenirs than it is: souvenir has to tell a story.
Souvenir has to warm your heart, bring back memories of the region or place, perhaps of the actual occasion when you bought it at a quaint local market or in that one-of-a sort handicraft shop behind the corner. It has to recall people you met, the food you tasted, cultures you met and embraced.
Souvenirs not only stir memories but, once they’re back in your home, they stir up conversations as well. That way, souvenirs become little portals in time and space, connecting you to the most distant places you’ve ever visited. And they do it in a second, effortlessly.
REASONABLE OR IMPULSIVE SOUVENIRS?
For something that seems so harmless and innocent, souvenirs can be a real a minefield. You might end up with lots of trashy trinkets that might’s have seemed fine when you bought them but turned out to be too embarrassing to display. Or they can even be something that might get you in trouble with the law – like food and drink or perhaps some scientific find (archeological, for instance). Or – this is quite common – you might forget that you bought something that definitely can’t be squeezed into your luggage space. Yeah, we travel a lot and we also made this mistake once or twice. The souvenir lust was just too big 🙂 However, with online shopping today, this issue can be solved as well. Actually, this is how lots our foreign clients get Be Craft souvenirs back home with them. They often choose it in our workshop & store, and then we ship it to any destination in the world they wish.
FROM AWESOME KITSCH TO VALUABLE COLLECTIBLES
What is the perfect souvenir? Well, it’s up to you, really.
Our longtime friend is a flight attendant and has a shadowbox full of awesome kitschy and hilariously funny things, each one with a great story behind it.
As to ourselves, we are rather passionate about travels and by now have visited most of the continents. Never came back without a souvenir, of course. Our children traveled with us from the time when they were toddlers, and we wanted them to have memories of those places as well. And though at home we design and produce handmade glass pieces, we rarely buy glass when we’re traveling. Except when we go to Venice – then it’s a must! We never come back from Serenissima without at least one little Murano piece.
Being artisans ourselves, we love to support local artists, wherever we go. Our favorite thing is graphic prints or, generally speaking, something to hang on our walls. These things are easy to transport and, once we come home, we simply frame and hang them. In truth, not much space is left on our walls now 🙂 We also enjoy roaming the flea markets in search of postcards with handwritten, authentic messages. If we don’t speak the language, we ask the merchant to translate the content and, if we love it, we take it.
Naturally, sometimes we bring things to share with family or friends. Local food or something. When we visited Japan, we learned this is called omiyage (お土産), considered to be a social obligation, and even a form of apology for the traveler’s absence 🙂 Anyway, great thing with such consumable souvenirs is that they can be easily shared with family or friends, so everyone can partake in the afterglow of a great journey!