Having been traveling for 6 years, since 2006, I’d be surprised if I hadn’t picked up a few quirky habits on my way around the world. I try my best not to horde things, I’m a minimalist by nature and other than the tech I travel with, and obviously my backpack, I don’t own that much ‘stuff’ which I’m pretty proud of.
It’s tempting to buy every cool little trinket I come across, every awesome indigenous painting I see, something with every foreign script but if I was do that that before long my backpack would weigh a ton, I’d be lumbering around like a lunatic and the stuff would be owning me.
I like to be free when I’m young, free to move, free to make open ended decisions, free to live how I wanna live, and maintaining this lifestyle allows me to do that. I get my compulsions to buy all that cool stuff by sticking to my long established 3 habits for each country I visit:
1) Sewing flags on my bag: I have a flag for every country I’ve visited on my daybag, it’s running out of space to be honest but it’s pretty cool. Although after this trip I’ll need to have squeezed almost 100 on there, that’s gonna be quite a task.
It’s a great talking point for when I’m in a new hostel, people are intrigued about all the places I’ve been and it brings back great memories from times on the road. I know it’s a bit crass but whatever, I love it!
2) Collecting travel bills: I started doing this years ago, before I even traveled. Trying to get my hands on any foreign currency I could but now I’m country hopping all the time I’ve always got no end of foreign cash so I keep the lowest denomination each time.
I was in Zimbabwe a year or two ago just after hyperinflation and I got my hands on a 100 trillion note – it’s probably my favourite out of all my travel money. I don’t care what condition they’re in, it’s just nice to look at back at them.
3) Eating Subway in every country! This might not go down well with the travel purists, but I’m a subway addict and after you’ve been roughing it in Western China for 3 weeks or busing it through Ethiopia, the sight of some western food, and the promise of a foot long meatball makes me wanna weap tears of joy!
I reckon I’ve probably eaten it in 15 countries or so by now. I know I know, I should hang my head in shame! Considering how bad I could be with collecting tourist memorabilia I come across literally every day, I’m not doing to bad! Do you guys collect anything? Fridge magnets from countries? Posters?