Friday, March 18, 2011

The Cheapest Souvenir

A couple of years ago I read this post on Travelin' Oma. My husband and I had wanted to go to Europe, but it seemed like such a far-off, maybe once we're retired, goal. Suddenly, we were wondering, "What if?" and "Could we?"

We scrimped and saved, putting that money in a special little stash. While shopping I would ask myself, "Would I rather have this shirt, or save that money towards Europe?" It was usually easy to choose Europe, even though it still seemed like such a far-off goal. We put off going out to eat and other unnecessary activities. All my money from tutoring a little girl went in the stash.

About nine months later I found a package deal to Paris that was too good to resist. And we had the cash to pay for it! I invited my cousin and her husband to join us, and soon we had a grand vacation planned. But a grand vacation on a very short shoestring.
So last year we went to Paris, thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Instead of splurging on souvenirs that would soon become clutter, we formed a little scavenger hunt for ourselves. We looked for the letters P-A-R-I-S in whatever we could see. It made us appreciate where we were and slowed us down to look at the details. We snapped a bunch of pictures of possible letters. And when we got home we had a completely unique little souvenir. (And 14 months after our trip we finally got them printed and framed yesterday! The photos only cost $.96-- can't beat that!)

In it I see my cousin's husband's bloody nose while viewing Venus de Milo. I remember freezing while watching the Eiffel Tower lights twinkle from the Trocadéro. I remember the sparkling snow at Versailles. And being ridiculously silly at the Louvre. It brings back so many memories!

So, if you're preparing for a spring break trip or a summer vacation, here's an idea for a cheap, but meaningful souvenir. Give the kids the camera and set them out on the mission. Try spelling out your last name, the kid's first name or the name of your destination. See if you can find the whole alphabet! It makes for such a fun memento!

1 comment:

  1. That is an awesome idea, Deidra. One I need to keep in mind since I hate cluttery mementos!