My Favourite Travel Souvenirs

For this month’s travel link-up, I considered telling you the story behind my first ever gift from Rich – a very realistic looking penis-shaped bottle opener which he brought back with him from a holiday to the Canary Islands…but he might kill me.

Instead, I have decided to focus on the souvenirs which I love for the memories they evoke. I am a sentimental old fool, so whenever I travel, I will usually bring a little memento home with me to remind me of the places I have been, the things I have learned and the people I have met. Most of these items, if small enough, end up in a special box along with a whole pile of letters and postcards from days gone by. Soon this box will be full and I will be forced to have a clear-out, but for now, I feel safe in the knowledge that I have a little space full of memories that I can return to whenever I wish.

My most sentimental souvenirs however, are kept in far more visible places. You can tell a lot about the tat that I like to keep hold of by having a look around my (very messy) desk at work for instance.

On my pin board to the left of me live some notes and cards which remind me of special people, significant moments and important achievements. Those that know me well know that I love a motivational quote, and I am always looking out for new ones on my travels.

To the right of me sits a collection of items that were gifted to me by colleagues following a recent trip to observe the Asian Cup in Australia. A cute koala, a “koozie” (clever Australian invention to hold a bottle, or “stubby” while keeping it cool) which I use as a pencil pot, and a boxing kangaroo pen which has sadly lost its arms due to over-use. A random hotchpotch of items which I have kept because they remind me of why it is that I do what I do every day.


Next to my little ode to Australia sits two very special pictures of our wedding venue, Chatsworth House, sent to me in the post by my lovely mum. These ‘souvenirs’ are a daily reminder of my Big Day which is rapidly approaching. Whenever I look at them, I think of the happy future ahead for Mr Sunshine-to-be and I, and feel a little flutter of excitement!

Last but not least, there are my photos. A memory of a special few days in the Peak District in a silver frame, and an image of a life changing trip to Sao Paulo as my screensaver. Photographs are my favourite souvenirs of all, because so many memories and feelings can be evoked by one still image alone.

What are your favourite souvenirs, and why do they mean so much to you?

I am posting this as part of the monthly travel link-up.  If you want to join in the conversation about our favourite travel souvenirs, you can pop your post on the link up widget on Emma, Rebecca, Kelly or Jaime’s blogs from the 1st June until 7th June.



  1. June 4, 2015 / 1:30 pm

    A lovely collection of moments Polly 🙂 Although I would have liked to hear more about that corkscrew… haha. Photos are definitely my most treasured souvenir but I love picking up (nice!) bits and bobs for the house when I am abroad to remind me of a place. Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea's Passions

    • June 6, 2015 / 7:21 am

      Thank you lovely! I will divulge more about the bottle opener when we meet 😉 It's lovely to have a few things around the place to remind you of your travels isn't it – just so long as they're tasteful!

      Polly xx

  2. June 4, 2015 / 3:12 pm

    I love this, it means you can look at your memories all the time! I've just realised that I have most my silly photos arounds my desk ie photo booth ones, the silly ones that you get when you visit tourist attractions etc, I love looking at these when I have a little break!
    Lots of love,
    SilverSpoon London

    • June 6, 2015 / 7:22 am

      Awww, I am a big fan of a personalised desk space! I'm sure it aids creativity…or something!

      Polly xx

  3. June 4, 2015 / 5:46 pm

    Such a cute desk array of souvenirs – I always mean to take stuff in & forget! I can admit to adding my favourite travel photo (the Cliffs of Moher) to my screen saver though!
    (Ps. Props to Rich on the bottle opener – he's definitely a keeper!)

    • June 6, 2015 / 7:23 am

      I'd like to see this photo Emma! *heads to your blog to search for it. It was definitely that moment when I realised that Rich was the man for me. What a classy gent.

      Polly xx

  4. June 4, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    We're so similar! I also love picking up souvenirs to evoke memories of the places I've travelled. I also carry my Fujifilm Instax with me whenever we travel so I can capture moments and add them to my photowall when we get back as a constant reminder of the good times! 🙂

    Kam xo
    A Married Couple & Their Travels

    • June 6, 2015 / 7:26 am

      🙂 Such a good idea to take your Instax with you everywhere! Like you I'm a huge sucker for photos so my trusty camera comes with me everywhere too. I've had to invest in bigger handbags so I can fit it in (great excuse to buy more bags).

      Polly xx

  5. June 4, 2015 / 9:00 pm

    Can Rich please do a post on the penis bottle opener for the link up 😉 I love your sense of humour!
    I think photos are the most special souvenirs that you can have as they are your own individual way of remembering a destination or special occasion x

    • June 6, 2015 / 7:27 am

      I've asked him kindly if he would like to and was met with a resounding 'no way' – I'll keep trying! Haha, thanks Kelly. I agree completely!

      Polly xx

  6. June 5, 2015 / 8:37 am

    I love that you keep everything around you – means no matter how stressful work gets you've always got something lovely to look at! I think we should hear the bottle opener story over sushi…!

    Lauren xx
    The Lifestyle Diaries

    • June 6, 2015 / 7:28 am

      Exactly!! It definitely helps top calm me down in those 'arrrrghhhh!' moments!! Feed me a few glasses of wine and I am sure I'll tell you aaaall about it!

      Polly xx

  7. June 5, 2015 / 9:43 am

    So, so special, Polly! I love these sentimental souvenirs. xo

    • June 6, 2015 / 7:28 am

      The sentimental ones are the best 🙂

      Polly xx

  8. June 6, 2015 / 4:24 pm

    Love your take on this Polly – I'm with you with the random clutter on my desk at work, it feels like home (and do I spend enough time there for it to!)

    • June 7, 2015 / 10:58 am

      Thanks Anna! Haha, I'm totally with you on this one!

      Polly xx

  9. June 6, 2015 / 7:41 pm

    Love your selection, it's so good to have souvenirs on your desk at work to help keep you sane! 🙂 I have way too many travel souvenirs all over my place, from postcards to prints and tacky little pieces picked up from touristy shops! I can't help picking them up though 😛

    • June 7, 2015 / 10:58 am

      Thanks Emily, I know, it really helps when you're having a bad day! I am exactly the same as you, I just can't seem to stop myself!

      Polly xx

  10. June 8, 2015 / 7:41 pm

    Photos are among my favourite souvenirs too – definitely the best ones!

    • June 9, 2015 / 3:50 pm

      Absolutely! I can never get bored of skimming through old travel photos 🙂

      Polly xx

  11. June 9, 2015 / 8:33 pm

    It is wonderful to have things to look at everyday, photos especially. Chatsworth is beautiful and right near to where we live, lovely that your mother sent you a picture to look at each day Lucy x

    • June 10, 2015 / 9:34 am

      Oh how lovely Lucy, where do you live?! I love that area of the world soo much, can't wait to get back there!

      Polly xx

  12. June 10, 2015 / 7:54 pm

    Oooh, I have a penis bottle opener story as well! But mine wasn't a souvenir. Was yours silver?

    • June 11, 2015 / 6:49 am

      Did I mention that I love you?!! Mine was actually a carved wooden one. I would love to swap penis bottle opener stories with you one day. When can this happen?!

      Polly xx

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