|Photo from ladiesgadget.com "Inspired by Aboriginal Art"|
I consider a souvenir a great conversational piece and i usually buy something not common to my place of origin. It is good to have things that spark conversation especially when you are in a neutral or unfamiliar territory. A piece of jewelry, art work, or table place mat can spark a great deal of conversation. People should not walk into your office and see a piece of shot glass and automatically know it came from Nevada because it has Nevada written on it and that's end of discussion. If you have a piece of paper weight made from some type of stone or material that is not common, chances are a compliment will be passed and a question will ensue as to where it originated. This gives you an opportunity to share your story behind it and possibly learn something new. Through this avenue, you may discover you have a lot in common with your guest and a connection is established. In some cases those connections have led to job offers, business opportunities, or just plain friendships.
Bring back articles that are specific to the particular place or region you are visiting. Things like currency, stamps, or other crafts are great mementos to collect. For example, The Netherlands is known for it's beautiful Tulips, so if visiting you can buy some Tulips to plant in your garden or give to a family or friend that likes gardening. Tea and Coffee or Spices are also great for gifts. It is usually very easy to find out what a place is known for from your research of the place or by consulting with the local indigenes.
Accessories are also great to bring back as souvenirs. These are things you can actually use daily and they also add character to your persona. Women love accessories and they will definitely appreciate it if given. Fabrics are also great especially for cultures that custom make clothes a lot. You add a flavor of another culture to your culture and it brings out the beauty in both cultures as well as uniqueness.
The list goes on and on. I am not in anyway saying you cannot buy things that have the name of a place stamped on it, what i am advocating is putting a lot more thought into your collection of souvenirs. If you find something that is unique in it's design and still has the name on it, buy it. It could still be worth collecting.
Do you agree, disagree, or have a souvenir pet peeve that you would like to share? Please share in your comment.