Many people travel heavy for the main purpose of having room to bring things home. Shopping for others seems to be a popular thing to do. Bowls, candy, stuffed animals, books and more are often found in droves where tourists tend to be. All of this is sold to travelers wanting to bring home a keepsake from a once a year trip. My trips are different though, I don’t make a once a year trip internationally, I make once every month or two kind of trips domestically and internationally. Huge amounts of baggage slows me down, and really I don’t need to bring home a refrigerator for a friend, a small keepsake is often enough.
Travelling around the world with just a carry on for baggage may make traversing an airport quite easy, but it doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for souvenirs. Personally, I’m fine with not bringing home tons of stuff I’ll never use or might just throw away the next time I need to move. There is still that part of me that does like a small memento from where I travel to.
I’ve spoke about my collection of postcards that are picked up all around the world and I leave a note for my niece to read one day when she grows older. These are nice things, but they aren’t meant for me, these are things are to be given to others, or at the very least, a memory for me to share.
So what do I bring home with me at the end of a trip? Fare cards are my thing. Most large cities I travel to have a subway system and modern subway networks often come with contactless payment cards that allow very quick access to the subway systems of the city. I started this before travelling became such a big part of my life and it seems like a nice little keepsake that is small, fits in my wallet, and on my return, acts as a practical item for getting me around.
To date I have collected fare cards from all over the world, here’s what my collection looks like:
Boston - CharlieCard
Baltimore - MetroCard
Chicago - Ventra
London - Oyster Card
Camden, NJ - PATCO Card
Seoul - T Money
Sydney - Opal
Washington D.C. -MetroCard
Those are all of the reloadable cards I currently own, and there are some paper fare cards that I have not listed above, these aren’t reusable, but are a souvenir nonetheless from those subway systems that have not yet implemented reloadable cards… I’m pointing my finger at you SEPTA, my hometown of Philadelphia needs the SEPTA Key cards sped up a bit!
So that is my little keepsake of my travels to the far off lands of the world. Do you have a memento that you like to bring home?