bilan travels // favorite travel collectibles

As one journey ends, another begins. Wait, but who said the journey technically ends?

As I attempted to pack four years into a few suitcases and cardboard boxes, I found memories upon memories. My ticket from the epic 7-3 Madrid-Sevilla game in which the Royal club left the Sevillistas in the dust.  The parking ticket after driving around Milano with amico mio. A black and white map of Monteverde, the smallest yet most largely stunning place I have ever been to in my life. The ankle wrap from when I sprained my ankle after a mere month of study abroad. These items unexpectedly triggered in me a sense of nostalgia. We do not remember days, but moments, I am excited to share with you all some of my favorite inexpensive travel collectibles that may help you keep your memories close.

  1. Detailed Tourist Maps:

    Often given for free at most Welcome/ Tourist Information desks, maps are easily personalized and therefore a great way to remember your trip. By adding little notes around areas of interest, you can always return to those moments.

  2. Postcards, Stamps:

    My most extensive collection has to be postcards. Rather than mailing them across the world, I just keep the postcards from each place that I visit. My postcard hoarding obsession is a rather cheap addiction as they each value at less than 1 US dollar. When choosing the right one, I would always recommend getting a postcard that is reflective of that place. For example, in Portugal, they have cork postcards as they are one of the largest producers of cork in the world. Stamps are also a great collectible as they are small in size and relatively inexpensive. Also, I have an exciting new project in the works that is related so stay tuned!

  3. Jewelry: 

    The first thing that comes to mind is the world famous Pura Vida bracelets that every twenty-something-year-old is in search of when they come to Costa Rica. I know many friends that buy the inexpensive string bracelets from everywhere they go. I am a bit weary of this method because, as someone that doesn’t have the best memory, I would never be able to distinguish if this was a bracelet from Paris or Phnom Penh. I would still recommend jewelry that reflects the destination in some way, shape or form whether it has words, a particular color scheme, or even both.

  4. Football/Soccer Jerseys: 

    My obsession with collecting football jerseys began when I traveled to Djibouti and passed by stores entirely dedicated to football gear. Of course, it became tradition that every time I visited the city, I had to return to the same shop, haggle with the man in my broken Somali, and get matching shorts with my purchase. In Costa Rica, it became my mission to get the Tico jersey while the country was still on its post-World Cup performance high #VamosTicos! Although they are 99% replicas of the real thing, they make for an interesting story and a unique addition to any wardrobe!

  5. Mini Flags:

    I am an absolute sucker for mini flags. A dream of mine is to collect mini flags from all over the world and decorate one wall in my house with them. Yes, you heard me correctly, I fantasize about having a United Nations wall in my future home. As much as I would actually love that, in all seriousness though, mini flags are great as decorations for the home, office, etc!

What is it that you like to collect from your travels?

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