Souvenirs that weigh you down

It’s a very strange compulsion we have, to buy souvenirs when we’re traveling, or even visiting an attraction in our home town.

There was a time when travel provided the opportunity to purchase something one could not obtain at home: Venetian glass, Italian leather, silk from Asia, Swiss chocolate, Scottish tartans. Now you can probably buy all of those within twenty miles of your home. If you’re an online shopper, you don’t have to walk out the door. However, we want to buy something while we’re having an adventure, to commemorate the occasion.

When we are unpacking at home and putting things away, however, the hat with the Goofy ears suddenly doesn’t seem like such a treasure. Where is that going to go? Under what circumstances will you wear it on your head again?

souvenir glass

It was great fun drinking out of that mug, but it doesn’t fit in the cupboard, and I can barely lift it.


1. Resolve not to bring this type of thing home in the future. Stay out of the souvenir shops. Plan ahead of time for the sort of thing you will allow. My current plan is not to bring home souvenirs that require dusting. I limit vacation purchases to things I can wear (not goofy ears; scarves or jewelry,) things that can hang on the wall (art,) or Christmas tree ornaments (for the, um… wonderfully eclectic tree.)

2. Go get that impulsive purchase that you now regret, and put it in the garage sale/donate box if you can’t recycle it. Hold on to the memory, not the stuff. Make more space for the things you use and/or love.

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