Sunday, April 7, 2013


Since moving to Chicago, I've found myself rationing bath products. I've been buying new shampoo and soap, but I can't quite seem to finish the bottle of Garnier Fructis shampoo/conditioner that I bought in Paros. I don't know whether it's for dry hair or added volume. The pictures on the label don't do much to explain the Greek beyond indicating that it's for your hair and should be used with water. Still, it sits on the edge of my tub and I can't throw it away.

All I really understood was "two in one."
Similarly, I can't get rid of the last bit of St. Ives scrub I picked up in Oxford. The label is probably the same as the US version, but there's a seal assuring me that it is the UK's favorite brand. (Any Brits want to confirm or deny this for me?)

I bought and saved normal souvenirs, too. I have earrings from all over, a couple of t-shirts from Thailand, and more pictures than I could ever frame. Eric's blowgun hangs on our wall (don't ask him about the poisoned darts I wouldn't let him buy), as does the mask we picked up in Venice. I carry my small Michigan flag in my bag all the time. I have many daily reminders of last year's travels and other wonderful trips.

Eric's blowgun, now a decorative piece of our apartment
Our mask from Venice, one of my favorite souvenirs
Yet as we passed our one-year anniversary of leaving for Phnom Penh, I still wanted to hold on to 2012. The things I used daily – that lavender soap Eric got me in Oxford's covered market, that replacement razor I bought in Krabi – connect me to the life I led last year in a different way. Those earrings from Bangkok remind me of the city and of my attempts to haggle, but these basic, practical souvenirs make me think of waking up in the morning in Greece, Romania, and many other places. Memories are infused into more things than I would have expected.
What kind of souvenirs do you save?

Turkish lamps from our trip in 2010 in Michigan colors!


  1. Not related, but: you have an Answer This poster! Love that movie.