It’s a dilemma. On the one hand we’re travelling on a budget, you have to when you’re away for nine months, and our packing space is ridiculously tight. But on the other, it’s hard not to want to buy things to be a reminder of an amazing time in our lives.
So we do buy stuff, not too much, but stuff that means something to us. For my birthday, I got a beautiful necklace. A permanent reminder of the convict built terraces in Sydney. Over the months we’ve bought lots of new children’s books, which are now sitting in boxes on ships, slowly wending their way home. Often our souvenirs will be something practical like a spam sushi shopping bag, that sadly won’t make it back to London, victim of a rough game of superheros.
We also keep all sorts of leaflets, stamps, tickets and maps. Other things we’ve kept are just bits and pieces that get picked up off the ground, a delicate emu feather, a pretty beer bottle top. I have grand plans to make something collagey with them all when we get home.
South East Asia is no doubt going to be very fruitful on the souvenir front, for a start, everything’s so cheap. We’ve already acquired a huge papier-mache dragon’s head which cost more to post home than to buy, but will make us the envy of the school at Chinese New Year.
I like the thought that when we get home we’ll have lots of boxes to unpack, and be able to say “do you remember when?”