Last December when I took a pastry lesson, one of the instructors admired my purse. “That bag’s with a whole lot of history,” she said. Or something to that effect. I’d never really thought about it before but she was completely right. My bag does have a whole lot of history.
My everyday purse is a now beat-up, well-loved, German-style Red Cross medic bag that I admired in an army/navy surplus store. My husband, then my boyfriend of only a few months, surprised me with the bag as a gift for my birthday shortly thereafter. It’s not an obvious bag to use for a purse but for me, it made perfect sense.
That fall we took our first vacation together to Connecticut where I got a patch at the fantastic and highly recommended Mashantucket Pequot Museum. Then later when we went to North Carolina, I got a patch at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. I had started collecting patches and I hadn’t even realized it!
At some point I started attaching these patches with safety pins to my bag. Then in Munich, my husband insisted I get a patch. So we scoured all of the touristy shops selling beer steins, postcards and cheesy T-shirts surrounding Marienplatz to find just the right one.
I like the idea of collecting patches from our travels. They’re long lasting, nice to look at, inexpensive and somewhat unique. Perhaps the best part is that it travels easily and doesn’t take up any extra room in my suitcase when I come home. It’s something special I have from our travels that I can touch and remember unlike photographs.
Is there anything special you collect while traveling? If so, how did you get started collecting travel souvenirs?
3 thoughts on “Patchwork: Collecting Travel Souvenirs”
Your bag is awesome and the patches are great! I have two drawers full of keyrings that I have collected over the years – many of which were bought from various places I visited as a child. There was a time when my collection used to hang on a chain in my bedroom, but now there’s too many to do anything with. I think I’d like to get rid of most of them now (perhaps keeping a select few), and maybe consider doing something similar to you with patches/badges if I get the chance to travel.
I think ever child (at least of our generation) seems to have had a keychain collection. I think mine is still at my parents’ house. I also had a pencil collection, too…
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