Nowadays I’m trying to keep my souvenirs small so primarily collectible medallions, challenge coins, tokens and such. But I collect pretty much anything travel related - maps, guides, brochures, decals, patches and pins.
As a h.s. teacher, I’d get annoyed at parents who would pull their kids mid-semester for a family vacation, rather than during standard spring break or holiday breaks, and so in response to requests for advance assignments (which rarely were completed) I would reply “bring me proof you were on vacation, not just staying home, ditching school,” etc. Don’t buy things (tacky souvenirs), don’t steal things—finally I struck on a formula for anyone going on vacation, whenever: “Bring me a rock—bigger than a golf ball, smaller than a baseball,” and it was a hit.
For one, parents liked it because it gave mopey teenagers something to do instead of complain–“find Mr. C a rock”; friends and relatives going to exotic places gladly obliged my weird request. I have several baskets full of rocks from around the U.S. and around the world; my goal is to someday take them all back . . .
I have a windbreaker from my teen years; upon the chest I sewed a “Free Spirit” patch; upon a sleeve I sewed a “U.S. Female” patch which resembled the post office logo. And then on the back, over time, I sewed the Voyager patches from the 48 contiguous states I visited. (The last was Oregon, for my honeymoon 6 years ago. I’ve also been to all but 2 Canadian provinces. And Italy – Milan, Rome, and Naples – 3 times.) I was born with a progressively-disabling genetic condition. I’m now 58, and permanently partially-disabled. So I got my traveling in while I could. I’m semi-retired, but work 4 days a week doing what I love, and will continue to enjoy every drop of life I can for as long as I’m able!
My wife and I do the same! One of favorite parts of Christmas each year is getting out those ornaments and remembering the trip on which each one was acquired. (This, of course, is always done with a drink in hand.)
Hahaha, good goal!
I have a collection of about 40 blue and white plates that I’ve accumulated during my travels. They are from Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Turkey, Hungary, Russia, and England. Obviously, there are a few duplicates. They are hanging on my dining room wall, which is red, and make a striking display.
I collect “Floaty Pens” The writing ink pens with a scene that changes when you tilt it. A “bear floats into the forest” etc. They are fun, useable and easy to pack.
Thanks—can’t decide if to do a trip for each rock, or one grand world-wide swoop. :?)
We also collect refrigerator magnets, which we keep on the side (not front) of the fridge. They hold notes and the like, and also indicate when the dishwasher load is clean. We have so many at this point, we rotate them out, about 8-10 at a time. The rest are in a bag in a cabinet. Every time we swap for a new batch, we’re reminded of our adventures as a family.
Christmas ornaments, whether traditional or something else, like a key chain, that will hang nicely from a tree. These collectables are made even more special because they are only displayed once a year and, as we hang them, we are reminded of where we have traveled together
We collect patches, as well. Years ago I found some very large, velvet, decorative pillow shams (with pillows) in the “scratch and dent” section at IKEA. They had a few dings, but those were quickly hidden. Once I had enough patches to arrange, I sewed them to one side (in progress photo, below). I hand-stitched them using matching floss. Now I’m working on the other side. As we collect them, the patches-in-waiting are stashed in a baggie inside the case.
I also collect floaty pens from travels. I do find them hard to display well. Any ideas?
I have been collecting postcards for 55 years. My collection began with postcards that friends and family picked up as souvenirs, and I started to add cards from my own travels as I grew up. Now my vacation is not complete unless I come back with at least 100 postcards! You can see in the photo of a portion of my collection that I also collect art and political postcards as well.!
I collect hiking and camping related patches and have been sewing them on a custom etsy quilt I designed for about six years that I display on the wall.
Lapel pins! If I can’t find a pin at the location I will often get a magnet and put an adhesive square behind it to attach it to my woven hanging.
My guest room, “Number Six,” houses my collection of Yellowstone Park memorabilia and Wyoming souvenirs. I designed the room to hold the collection as well as to resemble a travel court motel room circa 1950. I have maps, albums, postcards, a hatbrush, rings, watch fob, matchbooks, plates and shotglasses, a thimble and many bears of various types as well as some one-of-a-kind souvenirs like a National Parks Songbook and an actual automobile pass.
My friend Mac made his patch collection into a really neat quilt.
Over 400 lapel/hat pins on a cork board. Old and new. See the Atomium from the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels (upper left quadrant) and the medallion for climbing the Great Wall of China (lower right quadrant). Blue Angels jet in the top right corner and every state in the Union.
Aw that sounds awesome. I love the idea of periodically swapping out your family memories to keep them all fresh!
That’s a terrific display idea! Those look awesome.