“Collectors are not merely possessors; they are themselves possessed by the search and at last by the objects of their affection” (Paul Theroux)
I often wonder why I bother to shop for collectible items during touristic travel. Haggling about price with aggressive sales hawkers does not appeal to me along cruise stops. Nor does browsing in local shops for cheap souvenirs on guided tours “strike my fancy.” Do I logically need to add more bulk/weight to my suitcase/backpack by purchasing items that I questionably need?
Searching my “intuitive, “right brain” for finding further excuse for my vacation shopping desires, I recall my obsessive childhood fascination with collecting thousands of major league baseball cards. For opening a new pack of cards revealed in my youthful eyes then a plethora of fun activities. Rather than staring at the player pictures themselves, I would flip, fold, or throw them in game-like fashion. For added pleasure, I might stick them in my bicycle spokes to hear them snap loudly in rapid succession. For a mental challenge, I recall stacking each card into player position categories and inventing ingenious all star teams. When boredom ruled the day, I could even build my own castle with physical arrays of cards. For such cheap stuff that I acquired in my youth, I clearly realize a buying spirit of “free play” of my mind/body predominated my thinking.
As I stare today at my travel souvenir collections accumulated from our extensive world travels, my adolescent buying spirit for spontaneous enjoyment continues. Our living room cabinets are continuously replenished with fun filled, travel memorabilia, providing a daily feast” for the senses. As I aspire to find “more than tourist stuff” in my enjoyment of the present moment of travel, I thus showcase below some prized collection examples.
(Blow it) A horn purchased at a European airport struck me as a fun way to toot excessively as I watched the World Cup on TV taking place in South Africa.
(Drink it) Sitting amidst strangers in Buenos Aires, I learned how to slowly drink a foul tasting liquid from a “mate” cup at lunchtime to enhance social conversation.
(Play Soldier) Standing near “Checkpoint Charlie” adjacent to the Berlin Wall shortly after its historic destruction, I bought a Russian military officer’s medaled hat to wear daringly there on this momentous occasion.
(Hit It) The opportunity to buy authentic bats at the Louisville, Kentucky Baseball Museum/factory provided me with youthful zest to suit up and hit a fastball again.
(Sing It) A Russian music box purchased on a tour excursion to Moscow became a singing toy for us to feel Russia’s “old country”, cultural presence.
(Shake It) Snow globes come in handy when you imagine this plastic orb suggestion of a frosty night in sweltering Las Vegas or Route 66 in the Mojave Desert.
(Meditate on it) The presence of Buddha as witnessed on our India/Thailand adventures provided a powerful icon of purchase for our self- spiritual pursuits through yoga practice at home.