What is a secret souvenir? An object that does not identify itself as such; it bears no label, so carries significance for the traveler alone.
My University of Glasgow hoodie is an example of a public souvenir.
My Ravenclaw sweatshirt and tie and Order of the Phoenix keychain proclaim themselves to the initiated, however they inhabit a gray area.
A Harry Potter fan will understand what they are, but not their origin; Leavesden, Orlando, or just online? I am the only one with that information.
A secret souvenir is a talisman for the buyer and the buyer alone unless he chooses to divulge the secret (and let’s face it, nobody really cares or will ask anyway, right?). Whenever we buy an article of clothing or a piece of jewelry (or even a book for that matter) that doesn’t trumpet its origin, we create a secret link back to a place and/or a time; an experience and memory that is ours alone.
Some of my secret souvenirs
I bought this raincoat from a little shop in Sausalito on my last trip to San Francisco. The trip was memorable for several different reasons. Even though I have worn it and still wear it on all my travels, it still takes me back to that little shop that isn’t there anymore, and a lovely day out with a good friend.
Secret souvenir from my trip to Prague in 1997. There’s a story, but I don’t want to bore you.
My Kokosalaki, seen here at the Palm Springs Film Festival, is a secret souvenir of a place in time-Manhattan in 00’s. I was newly flush, the Euro was new and hadn’t ruined the prices of Italian shoes yet, and a sample sale was really a sample sale. There; I did bore you with a story!
Two secret souvenirs in one picture; the scarf, which really does accompany me everywhere, from the National Trust shop in Salisbury England, and the dress, from a chilly and rainy Islamorada just this past January.
This scarf from TKMaxx Glasgow. A thrifty way to score some Scottish cashmere. (Maybe with the pound so low against the dollar this year, I will find some reasonable hand made cashmere over there this time? Not holding my breath.)
Who brings a winter coat home from a trip? That would be me! On the left, a preliminary scouting shot at TKMaxx Windsor, on the right, bundled up at home.
Then there are those secret souvenirs that got away; I have hundreds of these in my past. Here’s one- no I didn’t buy this beautiful jet and silver locket in Whitby, and I do regret it!
How about you? What are your secret souvenirs? Yes, I would really like to hear about them!
Thanks for reading.