I tend to be a relatively frugal traveler. My main souvenir from any trip tends to be my photographs and notes to help me remember my experiences. I am not a great purchaser of souvenirs and, mostly, I don’t opt for the most expensive option much of anywhere. However, the point of being in a place is to be there, not to save the most money whilst being there.
One of our family’s travel indulgence’s is an afternoon ice cream break, when we can find it. It started as a now and then thing but has become fairly regular. So much so that we called our family walking trip to France in May of 2001, our “Tour de Glace”. (Glace being French for ice cream).
In addition to just enjoying a treat that we rarely have at home this has led us to some fun memories. There are a large variety of ice cream types and flavors in the world and some very fun shops and kiosks that sell it.
Tiny, about an inch and a half diameter boules of gelatto in Colmar France. The woman with the cart wouldn’t sell them to my husband because he said “une vanille et une chocolat” instead of “une de vanille and une de chocolat”. She sold them to me and we enjoyed them very much, although my husband, over 30 years later, still expresses outrage.
Fruit frozen yogurt at the village market in Kenya.
In Japan there are some very intriguing flavors of soft serve. Green tea is delicious but they also have sesame, which I’ve never seen anywhere else and we once got maple at the ferry terminal for Miyajima.
Other nice things
Even though I am frugal I always pad my budget, just in case. More often than not I don’t use it. I came home from my first trip to France with enough money in traveler’s checks (obviously it was a while back) to buy a new Pfaff sewing machine (now almost 30 years old! it was a good investment).
And yet a couple of times I have been glad to have a little extra on hand.
Like the time when we visited Kenya with a rather disorganized group organized by a woman from Kenya. We had been driven all the way from Nairobi to Lake Nakuru National Park and people were balking at the entrance fees (I was shocked, and annoyed, that they hadn’t figured out what it would cost to get in before setting out). Anyway I was able to help pay the fees so our entire day did not consist of driving to and from a National Park in Kenya without going in!
Or something unique and beautiful
On my last trip to China I bought myself a Jun ceramic teapot. I discovered this wonderful shop…The story is in the post Take Luck.