Yesterday I visited the Mutrah Souq in Oman while on holiday. I love souqs – the vibe, colours and smells make me not want to return home.
In the past I would fall for the leather slippers, which are a must-have for our “no-shoe” policy at home; the spices because I am going to recreate the local dishes once back in the UK, using my overpriced but haggled down tangine whilst being watched by the badly stitched together camel….
What a romantic vision but the reality is so different. Of course I am not using the tangine as it doesn’t fit in my oven – my tangine actually is used for storing onions. The slippers – not very safe on the carpeted stairs of my London home. And the camel? He didn’t actually survive the journey home.
Here are some interesting souvenir statistics:
On average we spent £80 on souvenirs while on holiday – that is 30 skinny lattes, a family day out or the best part of the weekly shop.
Of these souvenirs bought – about 65% end up in the bin or charity shop after just 2 weeks (that is £50!! When was the last time you threw that amount in the bin??)
And guess what – 12% of us had to pay for extra luggage fees to accommodate those “must-have” items.
But how will you remember this amazing trip if you don’t buy any souvenirs?
Referring to James Wallman, author of “Stuffocation”: memories live longer than things. Experience your trip, live it while you are there, infuse your mind with the sounds, colours and smells. There is even a word for it “experientialism”, which is the philosophical theory that experience is the source of knowledge.
Take photos to accompany the stories you’ll bring back, print them off and display in your home or make a photobook. You can even do this while waiting in the airport on your way home. And you now have an extra £80 to pay for it.
As my husband once commented – souvenirs are like a holiday romances, they are great while away, but often don’t work once back on home soil.