We’ve traveled more while we’ve been here than almost any other time in our lives. And every place is filled with souvenir shops. And I have to admit that I find myself drawn in, gazing and wondering what I just must get to commemorate my time here. The girls certainly are drawn in right with me. The flamenco fans, postcards, piggy banks, swords, hats, flamenco dresses, magnets, the list could go on. I look, I deny the kids opportunities to stock up on souvenirs that will last a month and yet, I think, maybe I should get something, maybe I will regret not getting something to remember this place. But then I flash forward (and yet at the same time remember only months ago) and think about purging my stuff ten years in the future and will this thing even be still around, will it remind me of this time or will I have anxiety over purging something that’s been buried in storage for years yet I feel compelled to keep? The allure of buying and the idea of needing stuff to remember is quite a strong pull.
I’ve managed to keep the kids souvenirs to a minimum. To encourage them not to have to have stuff to remember a place, to instead spend money on experiences or items they may use longer into the future (think a nice purse over a paper fan, a row boat ride together over quarter ride). I’ve managed to keep my souvenirs to a minimum. In fact, this last vacation was the first souvenirs I have bought. A kitchen knife from the city of Toledo — a city that is known for it’s knife and sword making. I’m hoping it’s a useful and long-lasting souvenir. And one that TSA does not confiscate.