3 Reasons You Should Boycott Souvenirs

3 Reasons You Should Boycott Souvenirs

3 Reasons You Should Boycott Souvenirs

What’s the deal with souvenirs? I’ve never understood the point of someone lugging back some bizarre ceramic toad or shark’s tooth or fertility vase to give to a friend or family member. Why, so we can always remember your trip?


I say, let’s boycott souvenirs!


1) It Takes Time Away From Your Vacation

First of all, searching for souvenirs only adds stress to my vacations (“What should I get everyone?” “I forgot about Aunt Hidla!”). While I’m soaking up each sun ray on the beach, or admiring every new view from a mountaintop, a lingering voice nags, “What about the souvenirs?” and kills my buzz. So, why do we even bother?


2) It Adds To The Clutter

Second, from the other side: I don’t want any silly souvenirs! As a mini-minimalist (I try to have as little as possible, but I don’t live in a Tiny House—yet!), I really don’t desire any more things. I don’t want to fill a shelf with tiny porcelain tchotchkes that require daily dusting. Call me crazy, but I feel like I can still lead a fulfilling life without collecting things that remind me of someone else’s trip.


3) Souvenirs Are Usually Inauthentic

Finally, most souvenirs are inauthentic. A green T-shirt inscribed with fanciful letters reading “DUBLIN” is not as authentic a souvenir as a blue Dublin football jersey.


So, why do we do it?

Like most things we spend our hard-earned money on, we buy souvenirs thinking they can hold our memories. We attach emotion to things. We think that every time we see the rhinoceros horn hanging over our mirror, our brain will be flooded with scenes from our trip to Africa and how we contributed to the extinction of a precious animal and the rapid climate change that will eventually lead to our own extinction. Oh, what? No, I didn’t mean that. Let’s get back on track: we think that every time we see that shelf full of random items or wear that festive hula skirt on the subway train, we’ll be overwhelmed with joy, reliving the glory days of vacation.


A bit odd, isn’t it?


I’m not completely against souvenirs—just useless souvenirs. Maybe you need a new teapot, so you decide that where else but England than to buy a beautiful porcelain teapot. Or, perhaps you’ve been looking for sparkling, jangling earrings and India’s home to the perfect pair.

IMG_3668 (1)
Useful souvenirs.

I’m against the silly, useless, knick-knacks that add to our clutter. I’ve decided to stop buying those, even if they are really cool—like a 5,000-year-old mosquito enveloped in amber—and request I don’t receive any either.


Remember: the more things you own, the more your things own you.


When you’re so focused on things, you dwindle precious moments of time. And time cannot be collected or saved. Time can only be spent wisely. So enjoy your vacation, and boycott souvenirs.



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