SOUVENIRS: A COLLECTION OF MEMORABILIA OR USELESS CRAP?

Souvenir shops aren’t going out of business any time soon, and for a good reason. There is and always will be a market for cute little somethings with a location stamp on them as a validation – We don’t sit at home all day; we go places and do stuff. Whether we give these souvenirs as gifts or keep them for ourselves they’re undoubtedly pleasant little reminders of our adventures. The problem is the fact that literally anything can be turned into a souvenir, and I unfortunately, much like many others, am notorious for collecting too much of it. I’ve gotten better over the years, but a useless magnet will slip through the cracks every now and then.

Let’s take a look at top 10 souvenirs purchased by tourists today:

  1. T-SHIRTS – T-shirts are cool. Except when it comes to the souvenirs market and the mass production of cheaply made things, they’re more often than not exactly that – cheaply made. The material is rough and the design will wear off after a few washes. Now you’re walking around wearing a raggedy tee from 10 years ago that you got in Alabama.

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2. ACCESSORIES – Things like bags and hats are often used to demonstrate one’s travels. Hats of better quality unlike T-shirts are actually easier to find. I mean they’ll cost you like 30 bucks but whatever, you get what you pay for. Bags and such are pretty useless. They seem like they have a purpose. You can put things in them, duh! But then you just end up stuffing those bags with more bags because you end up having more bags than you know what to do with. So they just sit there in your closet collecting dust.

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3. KEYCHAINS – Keychains are cool. I used to be big on keychains. Then I realized I was dragging around something that should only belong to a janitor. So I was like alright, some of these need to go – having two keys and 11 keychains is just silly. Deciding which ones could stay and which ones would get the boot was one of the hardest decisions of my life. Well not really but you know what I mean. They’re all just so wonderful! So avoiding the risk of being unfair, I took all of them off, shoved them into a memorabilia box and replaced them with a fur ball. It’s small and lightweight enough to not make me feel like a janitor, and its soft texture comforts me when I get nostalgic about my other keychains.

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4. JEWELRY – Any jewelry that is sold in a souvenir shop can’t even be called jewelry. Oddly enough necklaces and bracelets made out of shells, which quite frankly look like they belong in the ocean, probably bring the most profit. They cost almost nothing to make and yet they sell for almost 20 bucks. Where does one wear such silly jewelry anyway? I feel like this is one of those things that one just buys for the sake of buying it, and then it just chills there on the bottom of the jewelry box.

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5. MAGNETS – Magnets I like. They don’t take up a crazy amount of room and they’re a much better decoration for the fridge instead of stickers, if you were to go the route of decorating your fridge in the first place. The problem with that is at some point, you’re bound to be stuck with just way too many magnets. Are you going to leave the already cluttered and hard to clean refrigerator be, and move on to the stove and every other metal appliance in your home? How much is too much?

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6. SNOW GLOBES – Seriously though, how many snow globes can one person need? If anything I think maybe one is the limit. You live in a state where sun shines three quarters of the year and you want a nice reminder of your vacations to the snowy mountains? Very nice, here’s a snow globe. But that’s it.

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7. PICTURE FRAMES – Again, how many is too many? Let’s say you take a lot of pictures on your trip and let’s say there’s a particular picture that you like the most. Naturally you want to put that picture on display so you go to a souvenir shop and you get yourself a nice little picture frame that reflects where this picture was taken. Alright, that makes sense. Now, are you doing that for every trip that you take? Tell me, how much fun is it to wipe the dust off dozens of picture frames? Your pets probably love knocking them over all the time too.

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8. BEACH TOWELS – Can’t have too many towels I guess! Except that you can. So you like to take showers and stay clean and wipe yourself, that’s good, keep it up. If your linen cabinets possess the power to stretch and fit more things than it was originally intended for then you probably shouldn’t worry about running out of room. Please by all means, continue to indulge in purchasing more towels. Best of luck to you and your limber cabinets.

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9. SHOT GLASSES – When I was younger I used to collect shot glasses. They’re small enough to not take up that much room and they can be pretty cool sometimes. The problem was that they never got used. I mean obviously I drank a lot; I still do. But shots? How many people do you have to have doing shots at your house, all at once mind you, in order to be able to actually utilize all these tiny little glasses you’ve accrued over the years? It’s almost impossible. And it’s not like you do a shot and the glass is so dirty, you can’t use it and therefore have to grab another clean one. The only reasonable justification for having lots of shot glasses is if you live in a frat house. Even so, you’re running into the risk of your little vacation reminders being broken by the pigs and amateurs that come through. Think about it.

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10. MUGS – I saved this one for last solely because it’s the only item I still buy every single time I go on vacation, anywhere. I’ve stopped buying everything else and resorted to only buy mugs mainly because they’re the only things that I can actually get use out of. I drink coffee and tea and unlike with shot glasses, you do actually have to spend a little more time washing them post use. Also sitting down with a nice hot mug of coffee allows you to spend quality time with said mug, therefore taking you down the memory lane and allowing you to feel connected to the time and place where it was acquired. It’s quite nice. Mugs are also of different shapes and sizes so you can switch them up based on what you’re drinking and what mood you’re in. But nevertheless, I’m reaching that point where I have too many of those mugs as well. I don’t have the luxury of those stretching cabinets in my kitchen either.

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All in all souvenirs are in fact both a collection of memorabilia and a pile of useless crap.

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