Monday, April 17, 2023

In Anno Itinerantur - No thanks

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter N

In the past year since  travel opened up for Australians Robert and I have taken several journeys at home and overseas. While I posted many photos of these adventures on Facebook I want to leave a more permanent record of some of our adventures. This challenge provides me with opportunities to share my photos and stories while recording some personal history. 

I plan to share photos and stories from our travels between April 2022 and March 2023.  My theme this year is In Anno Itinerantur. 

Although we spend quite a few $$$ on our travel I find it very easy to reject all of the souvenirs and mementos that we see our fellow travellers buy. I am fascinated by the people in our tour groups who get irritated when the tours don't have time allocated for shopping. I travel to see the sites and meet the people.

My souvenirs are my memories, my diaries and my photographs. I occasionally make an exception and buy a fridge magnet that I put on the metal filing cabinet beside my desk. I enjoy looking at these little shapes that remind me of a few of the places we have travelled. 

Top drawer of my filing cabinet displays some magnets collected in the past year

I have sometimes been tempted by a book which is usually an autobiography of someone associated with a site we have visited. I gave into temptation at Disney in Tokyo and bought myself a practical shopping bag. Not many of the souvenirs I come across are practical and/or good value for $$$.

Handy shopping bag from Disney, Tokyo

Among the necessities I purchased were three hats: a beanie to ward off the cold in Ireland, a sunhat that wouldn't blow away in Rome and, after mine flew away, a new bucket hat to keep the sun at bay.

Avoiding the sun's rays in my new bucket hat in Jaffa, Israel.

Of course if Robert wants to buy me a nice piece of quality jewellery as a memento of our travels I can't disappoint him. 

Just looking - In Florence, Italy

When harangued by enthusiastic street vendors I just say "No thanks" and walk on. When fellow tourists swarm into tourist shops I stay outside and may take a photo of the goods on offer or find a seat and watch the passing parade.

I took a few images of the temptations (souvenirs) I resisted in tourist towns during the past year.

Florence, Italy

These little bells in Comogli, Italy were pretty 

This old girl doesn't do tourist tshitrts

I peeped through the door in Verona, Italy

Oops - I may have transgressed and bought a scarf in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

I sat in the coach in American Samoa while some of the shopaholics did their thing

I must admit these figures in Lerwick, Scotland were cute but not for my house

I took plenty of photos of the real thing so it was "No thanks" to these models in Alberobello , Italy

It was hard to resist these houses in Siena, Italy but common sense prevailed

We found these all over Italy. Made in China?

Stall spoiling the ambience in the main square in Siena, Italy

There were numerous stalls outside Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia

I should have bought one of these cute fishy magnets in Chania, Crete

Not my style in Santorini, Greece

No shortage of pottery and plates in Kusadasi, Turkey

Ripoffs in Japan


  1. I’m not a shopaholic by any means but I will often buy something from the place, just not tourist tat. We got a lovely serving bowl in Lisbon and I’m partial to a new pair of earrings. And then there’s all the genealogy documents I get when on a hunt. I admit I’d have had to look in that shop in Verona…so cute.

    1. It had a lot of Romeo and Juliet kitsch inside. Was right near the balcony.

  2. I usually don't buy anything!


  3. I especially hate it when third world countries send out the littles to try to sell to us. So hard to say no.

    Donna McNicol - My A to Z Blogs
    DB McNicol - Small Delights, Simple Pleasures, and Significant Memories
    My Snap Memories - My Life in Black & White

    1. Tugs at the heartstrings. We will often buy a pack of postcards from vendors in third world countries - because they are at least trying to earn something.

  4. I could definitely use a "no thanks" training to resist museum stores. Even here in NYC, I always find myself buying a little something. Your post has inspired me to resist the temptation :-)

  5. The challenge would be what do do with all that stuff … but sometimes one needs to buy gifts for those ar home so a memento can be useful for that purpose.

    1. I'm a meanie - you are kinder than me Anne. The trip I am about to book only allows 16kg of luggage = no space for mementos.

  6. I'm a bit like you Jill, in that, I don't bother with shopping when travelling. Though I do like to buy a book that is set in the area. Souvenirs don't interest me at all. I prefer to be out and about eeing the sights.

  7. Mugs, clocks and magnets are three things that are a must buy for me when on travel. My fridge looks like art by Klimt or someone that eclectic ;-) I dont' know how you resisted the fishy magnets or the adorable houses from Italy - I would have gone berserk and bought them all :-)

    1. Luggage limits on tours impose restrictions.


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