You know what happens when you go on vacation? You look around and spy a t-shirt that would be perfect for your best friend, and then you see a pair of earrings for your co worker, and if you get one co-worker something you have to get the rest of your co-workers something so you pick up a box of candy to take to the office when you spy a tea towel with a recipe that your Aunt would like. That’s how it starts; most of us have been there. The insult to injury are the handful of key chains that you grab at the last minute along with those 5 for $20 shirts for those “just in case I missed someone” gifts.
When you arrive back home, after paying the extra $50 for overweight checked in bag you begin to sort through your travel treasures. This one for your sister, that one for your BFF and these you’ll take to work. Then it dawns on you that you really bought too many “things” and you have key chains, shirts, trinkets and overpriced “authentic” items in abundance. A big pile of stuff, stuff that you don’t need and that you can’t think of anyone to give it to. So what do you do with those left over key chains and baubles? I used to keep all my extras in a plastic storage bin, along with any coasters, brochures, and oddball things like menus. Yes, I have taken menus home with me, my favorite one was from Bahia, Brazil because it had “srimps” listed as one of the menu items.
Much to my disappointment, I realized that extra key chains and geegaws make really great Christmas ornaments. Decorating your tree or home for the holidays is not only festive but a reminder of the places that you were able to visit. You guarantee a uniquely decorated tree that gives you the opportunity to tell the stories of each one at a Holiday party. Guests will appreciate your stories much more than a slideshow of all the photos you took.
How about the t-shirts? What do you do with shirts once they are outgrown, worn through, ready for the give away pile? I ended up with an entire drawer of t-shirts that I had collected over various trips. I find that I wear the same t-shirts over and over though. I don’t really have the need or opportunity to wear 50 or 60 shirts. So, what do you do with a drawer full? How about a memory quilt, a quilt of shirts that tells the story of your traveling days? On those cold winter nights when you need something to wrap up on the couch and snuggle in with your honey you can retrieve a one of a kind, truly personal quilt.
Use shadow boxes to make wall hangings that hold miscellaneous knick-knacks along with train stubs, museum tickets, left over coins, postcards and place a print of a photo from your trip to act as the background. These are just 3 ideas for you to display, keep, organize and creatively manage all those extras that you pick up along the way during every adventure. There must be a hundred more, what’s your idea?!