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A dominant impulse on encountering beauty is to wish to hold on to it, to possess it and give it weight in one’s life. There is an urge to say, ‘I was here, I saw this and it mattered to me.”

― Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel

Who is Souvenir Finder?

I am a New York City attorney, freelance writer and the managing editor of Souvenir Finder. When not traveling, I can be found experimenting with recipes, taking dance classes, or reading non-fiction with my chihuahua on my lap.

Why this site?

I love to travel and scope out local shops along the way. But finding local shops when traveling was getting harder and harder– every high street from New York to London to Seoul was starting to look depressingly similar. Small, independent shops that I once loved were shuttered on return visits, replaced by chain stores. Was the world destined to become one giant mall, all accessible online via Amazon?

I started this website to encourage others to get offline and seek out their own travel experiences– the souvenir is just the topping on the cake, the memory that you can wrap your hands around and bring home with you. It’s unfortunate that the word souvenir has gotten a bad rap from its association with those mass-produced, dust-collecting trinkets flooding tourist sites. I think we should reclaim the original meaning of the word:

a thing that is kept as a reminder of a person, place, or event.  Origin: late 18th century: from French, souvenir, to ‘remember’. Oxford English Dictionary

A souvenir doesn’t have to be a tchotchke– this memory-to-go can take the form of a local artisan craft, an object that represent the traditions or culture of the area, or even a natural object you can’t even buy, like sand from a beach. This site will help you skip past the ash trays and shot glasses and point you to the best souvenirs (and travel experiences) for your next vacation.

–Kristin

Souvenir Finder has been featured in Travel and Leisure, Huffington Post, Weight Watchers, Racked, Travels of Adam and Ladies with Luggage. I’ve also freelanced for the New York Post and  Walks of Italy.

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