MISSION: To visit every state and territory in the U.S. For my mission a visit is greater than a stop over; I wish to explore the natural and cultural environments of these areas. Each of these locations has a story to tell, and I want to find it.

As of February 2018 I have visited all 50 states (and Puerto Rico and 2 island in the US Virgin Islands) at least once.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pictures, Jewelry/Art (and maybe a magnet)

What do you take away from a trip?  I raise an eyebrow at those that say that I take a memory... everyone takes a memory.  Right?  I make plenty of those, but I also like to take something (or somethings) back home with me.   Honestly, I often take more than one thing back for me.

Major locations have gift shops, and there you can get your souvenirs - your thimbles, spoons, magnets, key chains, tee-shirts or other novelties and baubles.   People collect all sorts of things.  Often times, these gift shops are one of my first stops.  Here, I can stock up on postcards, because a trip is more fun if you can brag about it to others... kidding, sort-of.  I love sending postcards for a few reasons: (1) I like getting mail other than bills and I am sure others do too, (2) family and friends track where I go (my mom keeps a book of all my trips, and I used post cards to teach the map to my younger brother), and (3) writing postcards helps me reflect on my trip as it goes along and plan for the remainder of my time there.

The real souvenir for me though is something from a local artisan.  I search local galleries, co-ops, boutiques, shops, festivals and vendors for something that catches my eye.  You can find jewelry artists of all skill levels wherever you go.  I love wearing something unique and I can tell you where each piece is from.  Besides, it is fun to have a story (and that memory) behind something that I put on every day.  That is not to say that I also do not look at at other local art - watercolors, folk art, pottery, sculpture... it is fun, it supports the arts, and it is something that you cannot find anywhere else.

My final take-away are my pictures.  I am always with a camera and when I travel it is essential.  You never know when that moment will POP.  I have a few pictures from my trips scrolling on the sides of this blog.  By no means am I a professional photographer, but I enjoy it.  I do not have the patience or the time to lie in wait for that "perfect shot," but I think I do okay.  The really special shots get rotated on a wall at home where I can look at my moments.

Souvenirs clutter more that just memories, but at least mine have flare! And for me, that is better than a bunch of snow globes or a cluster of keychains (not that there is anything wrong with that).

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