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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sustainable Souvenirs

So we're back from an absolutely wonderful week in Key West, made all the more sweet by the fact that we dodged some cold weather and enjoyed a week of full sun and near-80 temps.

Every time we go away, I struggle with the temptation to bring home souvenirs.  Now, in the case of Key West, we are far beyond the need for first-time-visitor memories, so it is easier to buy only one or two things, but every trip regardless of destination brings with it the temptation to shop.

Now, as you know, I'm not really trying to embrace a consumption-free lifestyle here.  I do really like my little luxuries and treats, and they are made affordable by my frugal ways.  Why buy commercially-made laundry soap when you can make your own and use the difference to buy shoes?

However, I have become taken with the idea of making purchases in my favorite places that I will use regularly, ensuring that I really continue to remember that experience.  I have treasured a pair of glass tumblers I purchased at Southernmost Beach Cafe a few years ago, one of my favorite spots in Key West.  Using these tumblers at night as water glasses ensures that I go to sleep remembering sipping a perfect mojito while looking out at a beautiful beach.

This time, I found a wonderful little knitting store, and I purchased a couple of crochet hooks -- a size I needed in my collection, and a duplicate of my favorite size.  I can already tell that I will think of my favorite destination while I crochet, which will make a pleasant leisure activity even nicer.

Again, don't get me wrong:  I do still buy more typical souvenirs on trips.  I have my collection of tshirts and tank tops from favorite bars, clubs, and destinations, and I probably won't give that up any time soon.  But rather than buy a tshirt everywhere I go on every trip, only to see them ultimately wear out and become dust rags, I'm trying to make purchases that will really enhance my daily life.  That makes the experience of a vacation last even longer.

What kinds of things do you bring home from trips?  Or do you resist entirely?
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