As a follow up to the red coat diaries, let’s talk about it as a souvenir!
Do you buy souvenirs?
What do you buy?
I used to buy little things here and there that mostly collected dust. They were nice reminders of the places I had been but they didn’t really serve a purpose in my life. I quickly got to a point in my travels when I didn’t feel like I needed any more of these little things in my life. They just added up to boxes of stuff when you move. Plus, who likes to dust souvenir trinkets?!
I found over the years that I really liked the functional items I bought. The items that I could use on an everyday basis or when I needed them like a scarf. I also bought other items of clothing, purses, coffee mugs and some jewelry. I found that these items brought me even more joy that the items that stay on the shelf. It gave me an opportunity to talk about the place I bought them if anyone ever complimented me on them or inquired about where I purchased it.
Plus, those items are usually unique that you buy overseas. Most people back home might not have a necklace like that or a scarf of that pattern.
I also love buying useful gifts for other people. I’d much rather give them an experience over a gift but a gift from a faraway land is usually more special than a gift from the local mall back home.
Where do you buy a good souvenir?
As a small business owner myself I love supporting other small businesses, I love markets or old town shops when I travel abroad and I love seeing what the local artists have to offer. These have been great places to pick up those useful items. Heck even some local spirits are a nice thing to bring home if you don’t mind checking a bag.
Bonus tip: Buy the local spirits in 3 oz bottles for just a taste to bring home in your carry on liquids bag.
It was in one of these markets that I bought my first red coat. I didn’t think that a red head could wear red. It’s also a very bold color. Maybe it was this international travel that made me more bold or maybe it was growing older. Whatever it was I think it was a great decision.
Bonus tip: Most markets don’t have fixed prices. You can offer about half of what they tell you the price is and then settle somewhere in the middle depending on how good you are at bargaining.
If in doubt, just don’t buy the souvenir. If you don’t absolutely love the item then it’s probably not what you need anyway.