When I am in the kitchen everyday, the several magnets on the fridge always remind me of my travels. I used to travel quite a bit in my younger days and each country I visited, I would buy back many different souvenirs. Apart from buying little gifts for others, I also kept numerous items myself, just for memories' sake.
However, I am a neat freak. I pack and pack my stuff every other month, to so-call 'clear the clutter' (supposedly good for our mental well-being). Each time I never fail to throw away things which I've not used or touch after some time. Gradually those souvenirs from my travels were thrown away and even more so when I shifted house.
From then on, I realise there is no point in keeping so many physical items by my side. As I grow older, I realise I would never remember what souvenirs I brought back from each country. Rather, the memories of the places when I was there remain etched in my mind. So what is the point of hoarding and being surrounded by so many physical useless things to help me remember the place? Why be so attached to the things which will eventually become white elephants?
Instead I began to value more the presents others gifted me. Whether it was just a little gift, a big expensive gift or a precious holy object, their thoughts are what mattered, and that is far more important and precious than buying the world's most expensive luxuries for myself.
So nowadays if I travel, the only thing I would buy back would be just a little fridge magnet from each country. I have a particular liking for those intricate 3D magnets. One of my favourite is the heart shaped magnet from Heidelberg, Germany. Heidelberg is a romantic and picturesque baroque style Old Town with the Old Bridge at River Neckar and overlooking Heidelberg Castle.