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Author Topic: Souvenirs From Travels  (Read 16912 times)

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Souvenirs From Travels
« on: April 01, 2013, 09:22:27 AM »
Another thread brought this question to mind.

When you travel, do you bring home souvenirs for family and friends?

While we were working, it was expected to provide 'tribute' for the office crowd.  This usually took the form of food that could be left on the break room table.  Black cake from the Caribbean was popular as were cookies specific to various parts of Europe. 

For family, we don't bother unless we find something that's perfect for a particular person.  When we went to St. Anne de Beaupre I was under orders to buy rosaries for my mother and aunts and have them blessed at the site.

 A part of our family has the surname Crabbe.  Of course, we have to raid the souvenir shops when
we visit Baltimore to find something new.  They don't ask for it but cool, crabs items are always welcome in the Holiday packages. 

Otherwise, we don't bother doing much souvenir shopping because nobody in the family does. 

What do you do?


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Re: Souvenirs From Travels
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 09:34:20 AM »
I really only buy souveniers if I'm going somewhere I've never been, or maybe is out of the ordinary, or has something I know my parents would like. They were the only ones I really brought anything back for, and now just my mom. The same goes for me. My rule of thumb is if i can get it at home, I don't buy it, or I can use it (t-shirt, hat from destination). Otherwise, I don't bring much back, even for myself.

I will also try and bring something I know is a consumable (i.e. rum from Bermuda) or something they will like and use. But I don't do tchokes.  I went to Spain in HS, and brought back these lovely ashtrays (both smoked) and flower pots, and some very pretty lacey napkins, which my mom still has and uses!


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Re: Souvenirs From Travels
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 09:37:08 AM »
We used to, but now everyone travels anyway and it's a matter of too many people who already think they have too much stuff, so an item must be really awesome and perfect. We usually only get shot glasses and take pictures for an album for us.

My step-mother was great, though. My favorites were a poncho from Peru and a lovely plate from Brazil and a terrific silver necklace from Algeria. These were Christmas gifts - much better than a crockpot or ugly blouse!

We never worked where food gifts were expected, probably because we were both in education and vacations were taken during the summer so the food probably wouldn't be much appreciated 2 months later, even stuff that's supposed to last awhile.

rose red

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Re: Souvenirs From Travels
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 09:39:08 AM »
At one workplace, we started a tradition of buying magnets so there were a ton of them sticking all over our metal desks.  We also buy food sometimes, especially chocolates.

Our family also don't buy for each other unless we stumble on something they will love.  I used to buy little trinkets (pens, keychains) for friends, but I don't anymore.  I still buy for their children though.


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Re: Souvenirs From Travels
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 09:39:28 AM »
I bring back something very specific to the location, it's usually scarves/totebags, business card holders, jewelry, candies/cookies/chocolates anything that can be used or eaten. I don't give "dust collectors" as my mother used to say. 

I bring back stuff for my children and close family members/friends, but not for everyone I come into contact with.  I do bring back a bag of local candies for the office to share, but that's it.

"It's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Office coffee cup.


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Re: Souvenirs From Travels
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 09:53:15 AM »
I am not fond of junky souvenir trinkets.

I do like to have mementos from my travels but I prefer to buy a single, nice item (a good piece of ceramics instead of the tourist shop ware, a scarf made by a local artisan, etc) instead of the magnets, bottle openers, etc. I rarely buy decorative items, so most of my home is decorated with things from my travels.

I dislike bringing back things for everyone, mainly because I am not a shopper and I rarely see something nice, small and inexpensive that I could bring for several people. I sometimes see something perfect for a particular person but, then, it is awkward to bring something for someone but not others (a pity because it isn't favouritism, it is the luck of the draw!). I try to get some local delicacy to share when I return. My favourite thing, though, is to pick some local recipes and the critical ingredients, to throw a themed dinner on my return.


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Re: Souvenirs From Travels
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 09:57:49 AM »

My favourite thing, though, is to pick some local recipes and the critical ingredients, to throw a themed dinner on my return.

Oooooo! Thanks for the idea! (Except for boudan balls, of course  ;)  It's OK, I'm southern.)


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Re: Souvenirs From Travels
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2013, 11:43:46 AM »
For work, we bring home magnets for the break room fridge.

For friends, I bring home bookmarks. They are small and easy to pack, reasonably priced, and always appreciated.


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Re: Souvenirs From Travels
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2013, 12:51:13 PM »
When my children were at home, I'd bring back something I'd know they would like. For instance, I brought back jeweled knives from Istanbul or sharks' teeth necklace from Hawaii. However, now, I only bring back consumables. Candy from Japan, Kona coffee from Hawaii, Cherry wine from Michigan, etc. When I worked in an office, I'd bring back a sampling from a work related business trip (Hawaii Kona coffee was a must). For family, if it was close to Christmas, I'd give a unique food item as a gift. Generally, a souvenir is only for the person who went somewhere. Why give someone a tchotke from someplace that they didn't visit unless it's your child? Most people don't want a memento from someone else's trip. My personal souvenirs are experiences and memories not material things.


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Re: Souvenirs From Travels
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2013, 12:52:50 PM »
I have present "traditions" with two friends.

With one friend, we buy each other an ugly tea-towel.  The best one that I've received has various Maltese recipes for octopus on. 

My BFF and I buy each other "ugly icons".  The tackier, the better.  Last time I went away I got her a really garish one that is a fridge magnet. 

And, like others, you have to buy sweets or similar to go in the kitchen at work. 


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Re: Souvenirs From Travels
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2013, 02:16:14 PM »
I generally do not bring back souvenirs for work.  I used to do so and usually brought back food items for everyone to share, but I got really turned off from it a few years ago due to behavior at my workplace. My workplace is ordered such that while we have a hierarchy on paper, in reality both "managers" and "associates" work as full teammates. There was far more socialization between a manager and an associate than amongst the managers separate from the associates and vice versa.  Imagine the surprise of the associates when one after another of the managers were all given opportunities to attend conferences abroad (and the associates were not) and the managers brought back extravagant gifts only for the other managers and nothing for the associates. It left a very bad lingering taste in the mouths of the associates that negatively affected professional and personal relationships. Five years later, it is still occasionally brought up.

For people in my personal life, I do not make a habit of bringing back souvenirs unless I see something perfect for a particular person.


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Re: Souvenirs From Travels
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2013, 02:32:59 PM »
I don't. I used to bring back chocolates for the work crowd , but everyone is on a diet and we were asked not to bring.

For ds I bring a magnet ( we try to get magnets from places we visit), usually a t shirt, and sometimes either something Japanese or something cat/animal related. I was recently in Brussels for a day on my way home from the States, so I got him a little lace wall hanging of cats.

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Re: Souvenirs From Travels
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2013, 04:11:22 PM »
The office gets candy.  Everyone else gets Christmas presents.  I try to find things made locally, along the lines of shopping at craft shows.

Edited to add:  I get one very good present for myself, again something locally made.  Alpaca sweater from Peru, silk embroidered picture from China, garnet necklace in Prague, Waterford vase from Ireland (the factory store had a 50% off shelf  :D )
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 04:17:41 PM by magicdomino »


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Re: Souvenirs From Travels
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2013, 05:07:55 PM »
I never bring back things for the office. If a co- worker did me a favor while out, I might bring that person a gift of thanks.

I used to travel a couple of times per month and would bring the kids gifts when they were little, but they started getting to spoiled.

For vacations, I might pick up a gift for friends or family who is pet sitting or if I see something a friend or family member might like.

Our standard souvenir that we keep are magnets or Christmas ornaments. But I also like to buy jewelry when on trips.

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Re: Souvenirs From Travels
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2013, 05:18:35 PM »
When I worked in a team where there were only four of us, I would bring something back for the other three people.  One of them collected shot glasses so that was easy; one of them was my cat sitter so I got her something more substantial.  The other person I didn't particularly care for but couldn't leave out so I got her something relatively impersonal.

I have brought things back for my family like t-shirts but haven't in a while.  My new workplace is 17 of us so I don't bring anything back.  I do bring something back for the person who looks after my cats.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.