So I was talking with some relatives and family friends about the State Quarters a while back, and it got me thinking about traveling.
Assuming, for sake of argument, that you had the time and money to go anywhere you wanted, how would you choose where to go next?
And what would you consider an ideal souvenir when you got there?
State Quarters and Random Destinations
The family friends had mentioned using the State and National Park quarters to make such a choice–when it’s time to go on a trip, you look through your pocket change, and you pick your destination from whichever states or parks are represented.
That may be fine if you’re willing to visit a random destination, and if you’re keeping your travels within the country.
But what if you want to go someplace specific? What if you want to visit another country?
My idea, then, would reverse this process. My idea is to visit another country, and obtain as a souvenir at least one coin of that place’s currency.
Specific Destinations and Souvenir Coins
The importance of the souvenir would depend on how I’ve obtained it: the best coins are those I acquire in the normal course of my stay, such as those I receive in my change when making purchases.
We have plenty of such coins from Canada and Germany alike, now I simply need the means and opportunity to visit other countries for the purpose.
Naturally countries that have gone over to a more “global” currency like the Euro would make this more difficult, but I would still try to obtain other coins.
The second, and less desirable, option would be to visit a shop that deals in older coins and buy the ones I want.
A third option, the desirability of which falls somewhere in between the two, is to be given such a coin by someone else. If a friend or relative has visited the country and I have not, I would be willing to accept such a coin, but I would set it aside, a gift from my list of “places to visit” rather than a souvenir in its own right.
Or if I have visited the country, a coin given by a local–a friend I’ve made while I’m there, or perhaps a hosting family if I am so lucky as to not need a hotel–could work as well as a coin obtained during any normal purchases.
The “coin” idea could happen, funding and free time depending, any time of the year. But there is another souvenir idea that I came up with recently, one that relates to a specific time of year.
And that idea is Christmas tree ornaments.
I visit one country, purchase an ornament specific to that country. Visit another country, purchase another such ornament. And so on, until I can make a themed Christmas tree decorated only with those ornaments… and with any others that have sentimental value, of course.
The trick here is that it would either take a long time to collect many ornaments, would require visiting multiple countries during one Christmas season, or would require finding such ornaments outside of the Christmas season.
Or all three at once. Or, quite possibly, buying such ornaments online if necessary, but like with the coins, the ornaments would really only count as “souvenirs” once I’ve actually visited the country, and as such should only be attempted as a last resort.
But I believe it can be done if someone wants to try it.