And, the bags are stuffed with stuff.

We all like stuff. One could say that travel is partially the acquisition of stuff. Pictures, nick-knacks, t-shirts, ticket stubs and receipts, and memories. All the things that make travel rewarding collect in our bags and end up leaving them overstuffed. Its the great part of the experience.

Back toward the beginning of this blog I championed the idea that less stuff was better. That downsizing was a good way to make a travel lifestyle easier. Where this was, and still is, quite true … it doesn’t address how we usually end up collecting all that stuff to begin with. It would seem that I acquire mine through travel.

In the last year I have spent in the deserts of the Middle East, I have given in to my inherent need to collect stuff. I find that stuff gives memories context. They are memories in physical form.

My particular weakness in life is t-shirts. I collect t-shirts. I can’t seem to help myself. I own bins and packing totes full of t-shirts from far-flung parts of the globe. Some have been worn once, and others many times. A couple hadn’t been worn at all. That being said, I continue to buy more. It seems true that I really can’t help myself. I see a t-shirt … and after talking myself through not needing another one, I go buy it anyway.

Sometimes, buying the shirt is the memory itself. I remember talking to this older gentleman in a shop in Lisbon, Portugal. After pointing to the t-shirt in the window and saying something like ‘extra-grande’, he laughed and countered with ‘no-American size. Too big’. Needless to say, we both laughed and then went back to the business of making a sale. I still have and wear my Lisboa t-shirt, though I admit it is a little small.

Since I have been in the Middle East I have acquired several new pieces for my collection. Got me some t-shirts, a coffee mug, countless pictures, and a random stack of ticket stubs, receipts, brochures, and change.

Where I am still a proponent of less is more, every experience should have a souvenir. Wether that be a t-shirt, a fridge magnet or a scar. Don’t short yourself the chance of reliving the memories later-on. Travel makes memories.

A footlocker full of memories, headed for the storage unit. Hahahahaha

Get out there. See stuff. Buy t-shirts!

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