34/300: Write about a souvenir you have bought or received.

when i was younger, i would bring back mementos from family holidays: interestingly shaped rocks, seashells from a favourite beach, or some kind of knick-knack. but nothing i took home with me held its life. those rocks lost their character, the shells became annoyances that i had no where to put but felt guilty about throwing away, and the knick-knacks always ended up being kitschy, tacky, and cheap.

so when i traveled last summer, i didn’t bother trying to bring home souvenirs. the real trick was just packing my bag so full that i couldn’t fit anything else in it.

but it also felt good to explore new places without bothering to try to find something that physically embodied the place i was in. no rocks, shells, or cheap plastic crap. the feel of the air, the smells in the streets, the humming of urban life on another continent in a country that was new to me — all those moments exist in my head. i don’t need an item to look at or to hold in order to tease out those memories.

i did take way too many damn photos, though. something to work on for next time.

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