This wasn't the post I'd planned for today, but reading the comments yesterday about buying earrings while on trips sort of got me thinking about something. If you missed it, I said that I always try to buy a pair of earrings in each city that I visit so I'll have a little reminder of each trip. A few people said they did the same thing. This little discussion made me think about when and why I started doing this.
Born and raised in a small southern town, my only option for department store shopping was JC Penney or its more elegant cousin Peebles. I'm not saying I was podunky, but shopping options in my town were limited. My senior year of high school included a school trip to Chicago which was my big introduction to a metropolitan city (if you don't count a bus ride to Washington D.C. in the 6th grade...which I don't). I hit the big city in my Gap (outlet) trousers and pea coat feeling like a big shot. I wanted to exude sophistication and prove to native Chicagoans that I belonged there. I knew I wanted to visit all the glamorous department stores that I had heard so much about and I was determined to buy a little something at each, not only for a souvenir but also because I was dying to have shopping bags with the stores' logos (I was seventeen!). I quickly figured out that my travel budget wasn't going to get me very far at Bloomingdales so I settled for a tiny pair of dangly beaded earrings. I relate to my blog twin Miss P at I Do Declare, feeling cool when somebody compliments your jewelry and being able to say “Oh I got these at Bloomingdales” (her earrings in question were purchased in Hawaii).
So this started an entire tradition of buying earrings on trips. I have earrings from Chicago, London, Rome and Atlanta. I have earrings from Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor and Saks. None of these were particularly expensive or even all that special, except I remember where they came from and when I pull them out to wear, it gives me a moment where I think of the trip and how fun it was. Another reader commented that she likes to purchase a Christmas tree ornament from places that she visits and I think this is a wonderful idea as well. It gives you a way to bring home a useful souvenir that isn’t a Hard Rock Café t-shirt or tiny collectible spoon.
Other than my earring and holiday ornament girls out there, do you all have any other things that you always purchase on trips?