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Posts Tagged ‘memories’

Almost every travel book, blog and message board that I have come across has suggested that bringing small gifts along is a great idea for your trip.  Whether you plan on doing homestays or not, it’s still good to have some trinket or memento that reflects who you are.  It shows respect for the people who let you stay in their home & appreciation for your fellow road mates.  Based solely on the experiences of other travelers I’ve seen a wide range of the type of gifts that people bring.  They seem to range anywhere from pens to key chains to cigarettes.  One guy, Erick Trinidad, even handed out a book that he helped write – of course he didn’t give that to every person he met on the road, but to the people who helped him along the way.

 Corey & I have discussed this briefly & the one thing that we both agreed upon was that we want it to have a personal touch, something that others may not think to give as a gift.  Don’t get me wrong, the gifts above are great, but we want to give something that might actually help people to remember us.  The gift can be given to someone who allows us to stay in their home, to a fellow traveler or even to some local kids. 

 So, what did we ultimately decide to hand out to our future acquaintances? 

 We both agreed that friendship bracelets/necklaces would be our main gift to give.  They’re small, light weight, easy to make & will give me something to do while we’re in commute on long train/bus rides.  I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t happy that someone gave me a friendship bracelet.  They have many uses: bracelet (duh!), zipper-pull, bookmark, hair tie, key chain accessory and the list goes on!  Plus, I’ve already got a stash in our apartment!  The only thing that Corey noticed is that I need to work on using more masculine colors.

 So, what do you think?  Would you want something like this as a keepsake?  Would you hate it?  To those of you who have done your trip already, what was your gift, if any?

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My newest thing right now is journaling.  I’m trying to get into the habit of recording some of the things that I have experienced and how they have affected me.  I tried journaling when I went overseas the first time & it turned into more of a daily log.  I would state the day, where I was and what I did, but I never reflected on any of those things.  I even saved most of my ticket stubs, passes & brochures as little mementos from the trip in hopes of putting some sort of collage together, but that never happened.  And who knows where that stuff is now.

This time I want to be more prepared & I think the best way to do that is by reflecting on the random events that happen in my everyday life.  I probably had a bit too much fun at Michael’s (craft store) this weekend.  I bought color pencils, stamps, ink & some other fun things from the scrap-book section.  I even got some glue stick for the little mementos I receive along the way.  I had my sights set on a moleskin journal, but they didn’t have one.  So, I practiced with some blank paper on Sunday. 

Well, I went straight to Barnes & Nobel yesterday, purchased my journal, went home & painted in it for 2 hours!  As I said earlier, this is more of a practice for the big trip.  But, I’m super pleased with the results. 

 Once our trip is closer I will purchase another moleskin or 2 & prep the pages before we leave.  That way I’ll have some interesting backgrounds in place & I won’t have to lug a bunch of paint + supplies on our journey.  If anyone has journaled extensively while on the road I would love to hear your suggestions.  Feedback is always welcomed! 

I think this will be a great way to remember the small stuff: the inside jokes, interesting people & food and the fun charades will have trying to communicate with those who don’t speak English.  (Don’t worry, we will learn the basic phrases in whatever country we are in, but there’s only so much you can learn when a trip is this big!)  I definitely feel more confident that once we get back we will have something to remind us of all the fun & adventure we had while we were away.

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