One thing about me is that I like collecting things. Movie tickets, mementos from special events, programs from concerts, etc. I like having physical reminders of things I’ve done and places I’ve been so that I can go back and look through them later on. Besides saving keepsakes from my everyday life, I also have collections of specific things from my travels.
The fun part about collecting a specific item when you travel is that you can see how it differs from place to place. Since I was little, I have collected three things on and off throughout my travels: erasers, hotel slippers and soda cans.
Now, erasers might seem like an odd things to collect. But this was the first collection I started, and I initiated it when I was 7 during our trip to Scandinavia. Back when I was in elementary school, having cute little erasers in different shapes was really popular. That’s probably why I started looking for erasers to collect in the places I traveled to.
Above from left to right: eraser from the Franz Liszt museum in Budapest, two Dutch children erasers from Amsterdam, five Beijing Olympic erasers from Beijing, five animal erasers from Bangkok.
Above top row: Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art (NYC), The National Archives (Washington D.C.)
Second row: Art Institute of Chicago, New York Public Library (NYC), U.S. Patent Office (Washington D.C.).
Above are erasers from my trip to Spain.
Top row, left to right: Prado Museum (Madrid), Picasso museum (Barcelona), Aquarium (Barcelona), a music school (Barcelona), Reina Sofia Museum (Madrid)
Bottom row, left to right: Poble Espanyol (Barcelona), Miro Museum (Barcelona), Tenerife (Canary Islands), two erasers from the Reina Sofia Museum (I liked that they had my name on them, even though it was spelled the Spanish way).
Top row, left to right: La Galerie de L’Opera de Paris (Paris), Magritte Museum (Brussels), Shakespeare’s Globe Theater (London), Sydney Opera House (Sydney)
Middle and bottom row: 500 euro note from the European Union (Brussels), Museum of London (London), Eiffel Tower (Paris), The British Museum (London)
The five white erasers and the heart eraser are from Rome. Bottom middle eraser is from the Academia Gallery in Florence. The bottom right eraser os from the Jewish Museum in Bologna.
Another thing I like collecting is hotel slippers. Hotel slippers are more of a European and Asian thing — I can’t at the moment recall staying in an American hotel that offered nice slippers. I mostly just collect slippers that have hotel logos on them (some hotels that offer slippers are just plain with no design, boring.) Although I’ve noticed over the years that fewer and fewer hotels are offering slippers, I still love to keep my eye out for them.
Above is my hotel slipper collection so far. Unfortunately, I can’t remember where every pair is from right now, but I do have it written down somewhere.
Top row, left to right: “R” slippers (can’t remember), two Sofitel slippers (one from Rio de Janeiro), InterContinental (Sydney)
Middle row, left to right: Royal Garden Hotel (London), Majestic Villa Hotel (Paris), Alvear Art Hotel (Buenos Aires), Villa d’Este (Florence), Hotel Spadari Al Duomo (Milan), Nazionale (Rome)
Bottom row, left to right: Royal Park Hotel (Tokyo), Hotel Villa Real (Madrid), Hotel Giorgione (Venice), Le Meridien (Budapest), airplane slippers, can’t remember
Lastly, I also sometimes like to collect soda cans and bottles from around the world. My mom actually inspired me to start this collection because I found two old-fashioned Coke bottles she’d kept from trips to Israel and Japan years ago. The funnest part about this collection for me is seeing the different languages on the bottles. Perhaps the most interesting can I have in my collection is from Belgium — it has both French and Dutch on the same can, because those are two of the official languages there.
Top two cans: Portuguese Nestea from Rio de Janeiro, Dutch/French Lipton Ice Tea from Brussels
Left to right: Hawaiian water from Honolulu, Chinese Sprite from Shanghai, Greek Fanta from Athens, French Coke from Paris, Spanish Coke from Buenos Aires (this Coke bottle was a special edition 2014 World Cup bottle because Argentina was playing), Portuguese water from Rio, Icelandic spring water from Reykjavik, Japanese Coke from one of my mom’s trips to Japan, Butterbeer from Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour (London), Chinese Fanta, Israeli Coke bottle from my mom’s visit to Jerusalem.
Not only is it fun to keep an eye out for new items to add to my collections in new places I visit, but it’s also fun to go back through my collections from time to time and remember the places I’ve been and the hotels I’ve stayed at. Because, in the end, it doesn’t so much matter what you collect, just that you’re collecting anything at all that will serve as a little piece of a memory later down the road.