We have all tried to be in the situation where we’re amazed by a certain destination and get caught by the moment. The sun, the food, the atmosphere, the wine, the music… Thrilled by the excitement, you decide to bring home a random souvenir thinking that it will be the perfect reminder of that special moment.
You then get home and realize that the little replica of the Colosseum, the Statue of Liberty or the Swedish horse is not looking good at you home. At all. There’s nothing special about it, it is made in a million of copies and you end up not knowing what to do with it.
Some years ago I started to think souvenirs in a different way. I decided that if I should bring home a memory of a destination it should be useful or at least serve as a piece of decoration at my home.
Finding the right thing is not easy, but here are some tips for a perfect souvenir that will last long in your home:
- It should be useful (if it’s not useful, it should be extremely pretty!)
- It should blend with the rest of the interior in at your home
- It should not be tagged with a destination name
- It should serve as a (daily) reminder of a special trip
And remember; it’s not necessary to bring home something from everywhere you have been. Limit the purchases to something you really like.
Here are some examples of some souvenirs I have collected over the years and I really enjoy having in my home:
Cigar box from Cuba
It is impossible to mention Cuba without mentioning rum and cigars. The beautiful wooden boxes are handmade and so are the cigars. We brought home one box of Cohibas when we visited and I really enjoy having the fine box in my living room along with some vintage movie books, porcelain and a Davidoff cigar box found at a flea market. We don’t really smoke, so the cigars served more as gifts for family, than for ourselves. I enjoy the smell though, which gets me directly back to the Viñales Valley where we smoked our first cigars in Cuba surrounded by breathtaking nature and excited about the incredible road trip ahead of us.
Hand painted bowl from Tunisia
Some years ago my husband and I had a day in Tunis. We strolled in the Medina and bought this little hand painted blue bowl. Well, I guess it’s needless to say that the one who painted this bowl wasn’t the best for the job… and I would probably have chosen another one if I went today, but however, I love the color and the size is just perfect for some snacks. I believe we use it at least once a week, always thinking of that extremely hot day in the Medina of Tunis.
Box of macaroons from Paris
The classic choice from Paris. A pretty box filled with macaroons from Ladurée is the sweetest souvenir and will make it as a great gift as well. The boxes come in various sizes and colors according to the season. This purple box is from my latest trip to Paris in October and is now used as a jewelry box. I see it every morning when I open my jewelry cabinet and it is a wonderful reminder of a great girls weekend in the city of love.
Tiles from Cadaqués
I do have a thing for tiles and hand painted porcelain. I chose six different tiles in a little boutique in Cadaqués on Costa Brava last summer. I originally thought of making them into a little serving tray, but so far I have used them as a centerpiece on our dining table, as coasters or even for serving little desserts. I love that they are quite rustic and don’t match perfectly in height.
Business cards from all over the world
Throughout the years my husband and I have collected business cards from bars and restaurants all over the world. As the frame is not big enough for everything, we replace cards from “okay” places with cards from fantastic places, so that the entire frame is always updated with our absolute favorite places.
I hope you have been inspired to finding the perfect souvenirs on your next trip. Happy souvenir hunting!