Despite 17 hours of transit time, I was still excited to open the packages of souvenirs I'd mailed home from Hong Kong, China, Nepal, India, Thailand, and South Africa when I got home from Colombia.
Some of the stuff seemed trivial (like the stupid aluminum can tuk-tuk I paid far too much for in a Bangkok market) while other items like the Tibetan “Wheel of Life” thangka I spent a day shopping for in Kathmandu were as beautiful as I'd remembered.
For a few items, I used expensive courier shipping like FedEx, but for most, I relied on the national mail service.
I lost one package, which contained all the souvenirs I'd bought in Cambodia and Laos, plus a few DVD's of photos and videos. I learned a valuable lesson I used the rest of my trip, and will continue to adhere to on future trips – burn two copies of photos/video, so if you mail one home and it doesn't arrive, you've got the back-up still in possession. Blank DVD's aren't that expensive these days…anywhere.
Thankfully, I had been compulsively uploading ALL my photos to Flickr like a mindless travel-blogging zombie, but only a few of the video clips were ever uploaded to YouTube, so the rest of the footage I took during the time period was lost.
Since I didn't talk much about my souvenirs while I was traveling, I thought I'd feature some of my favorites week to week. Of course, each one has a story to tell…if I can manage to remember them!