On your travels you’ve probably come across a strange souvenir or two. I certainly know that I have. Maybe the oddest item I found is my Saudi Souvenir which I not only bought for myself but gifted to others.
So when I approached some fellow travel bloggers and asked them to share their strange souvenir experiences it was going to be an interesting collection of findings. Read on to see what they found.
Strange Souvenir Selections Of Fellow Travel Bloggers
Nora Dunn nominated her famous Panama Hat.
As a full-time traveler, all my luggage (aka everything I own) fits into a carry-on bag! Thus, any souvenirs I get must either replace or complement my small entourage of stuff, and it generally has to be something practical. After seven years on the road, just about everything has been replaced at some point, so in a way, my entire bag is a collection of souvenirs from around the world!
But recently, I couldn’t resist getting a Panama Hat – from Panama, of course. It isn’t very practical as it can’t be packed and is relatively delicate to the rigours of travel, so I have to wear it on travel days – whether or not I want to. Luckily it matches just about everything, and has actually become a part of my travel fashion statement!
Nora Dunn is The Professional Hobo; a woman who sold everything (including a busy financial planning practice) in Canada in 2006 to embrace her dreams of long-term immersive travel. She has been on the road since 2007, and has perfected the art of full-time travel in a financially sustainable way. She penned the book How to Get Free Accommodation Around the World, which is available on her site, along with a free e-course and all kinds of resources. To get her book or find out more please: Click here to visit The Professional Hobo.
Website: The Professional Hobo
Tamara Elliott says:-
The strangest souvenir I remember coming home with is a pair of ‘Aladdin pants.’ OK, so that’s not what they’re actually called, but that perfectly sums up what inspired those bright-blue flowy slacks. I picked them up years ago when I was backpacking through Europe, and came across them in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. From what I remember, I bought them purely out of necessity since it was crazy hot, and the pants were similar to a skirt in that they allowed more air to breeze through. And hey, everyone else was wearing them! Needless to say I never, ever put them on again after arriving back home to Canada—though they could have made for a great Halloween costume!
Tamara also wrote about strange souvenirs on her website which you can read here.
Agness and Cez of E-Tramping had little doubt on their choice:-
The most strange souvenir that we have bought on our travels was a bottle of snake wine in Vietnam when exploring Mekong Delta. The bottle itself looked very interesting. We could see properly the whole snake and scorpion being coiled and locked up inside of the bottle. It looked scary and weird at some point and you could not drink it. A bottle costed us around $3, but it was a fun gift for Cez’s grandmother.
We are Agness and Cez – best friends and travel companions, bloggers and world explorers from Poland. We call ourselves tramps because we live without a permanent home and for under 25 bucks a day, since 2011. One day, after we both graduated from the university, we decided to leave our comfort zones and start a nomadic life. I decided to set off for my first solo adventure to China and Cez joined me 6 months later, after he quit his 9 to 5 job as a banker. While travelling the world, working and living in different countries all over Asia (so far), we still find the time to write about it, share the tricks to do it cheaply and even help other people do the same on our blog.
If you would like to read more about China, you can check out our “Add the Brick to the Great Wall:”Experience-based Advice for China from Expats” e-book which sums up my two-year experience of teaching, living and travelling in the Land of Dragons.
Marysia of My Travel Affairs talks of her strange souvenir:-
This souvenir is the weirdest I have ever got and brought home. I have received it as a goodbye gift from a man who I met while discovering Gali District in Abkhazia. And yes, it is a brass profile of Jozef Stalin!
No, do not misunderstand, man who presented it to me, hated Stalin and Communism, he said than when Stalin died he was born and I actually think it is quiet a beautiful metaphor.
Marysia is a bubbly and slightly crazy Polish Girl who dedicates her time and energy to unconventional exploring the world in search of amazing people, unique places and immersing stories. Wait till you read them!
The British Berliner says:-
One of the most important thing about travelling is picking up knick-knacks. When I went to Bali in the late 90’s, I was very impressed with the carvings that I saw there. One of them was that of a Balinese CD rack.
It was a wooden CD rack holder made of teak and hand-made. It had an ugly-faced head and a body shape of a man wearing a skirt-like thing of nature fibre. In Germany at the time, it sold for $130.00. I bought it in Bali for $8.00 and it was so precious and delicate to me that I refused to check it in and hand-held the rack from Bali to Singapore to London to Berlin!
The year after, I went on a summer break to Poland and found a similar creature at the Polish Baltic Sea, of all places. This time it was some sort of god-like man made from a darker stain of teak, wearing a string skirt but with woven hair, arm bands and anklets and playing a bongo drum! I was able to get this for $27.00 and drive it back to Germany.
They both remain in pride of place beside the living room speakers!
Victoria is a British girl from Manchester living in Berlin with her German husband and her half-British – half German son. Her blog http://thebritishberliner.com is a lifestyle expat travel blog about her love of culture, history, literature, theatre, style, the English Language and her travels around the world, and of course, her number one item: being British in Berlin.
Victoria currently works as a corporate inter-cultural life coach, educational English language trainer and teacher in Berlin, and is also obtaining an M.A. in Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Chester, in England.
Nomadic Megan also talks of a strange souvenir:-
This picture depicts all my favorite souvenirs from my travels in Thailand this past year and a half. My favorite, strangest, amongst them is the pointed wooden ring in the center. I received the ring from a Thai Rastafarian man I befriended at a Reggae Bar on Phuket. I’d spent just short of month alternating between beach and beach bar, hanging out with the staff at his place. His name was Cow, and he’d carved the ring himself from a stick he found. I’d always admired and complimented it, and on my last day he ceremoniously took it off and handed it to me: “For you. I give.”
Megan is a freelance writer, travel blogger and TESOL teacher.
She currently is teaching in Mandalay, Myanmar. In June, she’ll be leaving her temporary Southeast Asian home for a South American setting where she’ll be celebrating, traveling, football-watching, and writing at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Her previous travels have led her across 23 different countries stretching across Europe, Africa, And Asia. You can read about her adventures past and present at Nomadic Megan or follow her on twitter.
Derek of The Holidaze says:-
Back in 2008 while exploring the Philippines we were walking through a woodcarving district in Olongapo City and found many a magnificent item.
However one in particular instantly grabbed my eye: a wooden blowgun! As I picked it up to inspect it further the shopkeeper immediately came over and said “Ahhh good choice my friend. This can kill a running chicken at 50 feet!” Well, that’s all I needed to hear — I was sold!
After a minute of haggling with the vendor I purchased the item,
although to be honest now, six years later, I have no idea what I paid for it. All I know is that thing was a lot of fun!
It came with a half dozen wooden metal-tipped darts and over the next
three weeks my travelin’ buddy Jared and I had a lot of fun with it. Not
killing chickens of course, just messing around. However the fun only
increased exponentially after we returned back to the States. My buddies
and I would have get-togethers at our house on the weekend and once
people started getting drunk I would bust out the blowgun. At first we
would just aim for the dart board but eventually we got more creative
and started setting up moving targets in the backyard to see who had the
best blowgun skills. Still the coolest souvenir I have ever purchased!
Unfortunately I left it with them while I continued my travels and by
2010 the thing had just disappeared.
Derek Freal quit his high-paying corporate job in 2009 to move to Asia.
Little did he know that he would soon fall in love with traveling and learning about new cultures. Now he writes about the wild, exciting, and strange things he finds and does in faraway lands in the hopes of inspiring others to abandon their life in a cubicle mentality and try something new. Even if you cannot travel the world you can at least live vicariously through him 😉
I would like to express my sincere thanks to all the travel bloggers above who responded to my invitation to contribute. As you can see the phrase “strange souvenir” brings around many weird and wonderful ideas.
Which strange souvenir is your favourite from the ones above? Please tell us in the comments section below. Also let us know what weird and wonderful things you’ve found on your travels. Don’t forget to share this article on twitter and facebook so your friends can contribute too.