Okay, that’s not completely true. Some are from places I haven’t been to yet.
It started when I was at university and still hadn’t discovered my travel-bug. My mom started traveling a lot and one time she brought back a bookmark for me. It was the one from Brazil, I think. On all of her subsequent journeys I asked her to bring me back a bookmark, and she did. I’ve always been a bit of a collector. I’m not a big picture-person, though. I rarely bring a camera on vacation. I don’t have to now because my boyfriend has a very fancy one. It takes great pictures and I have no patience for it. But the bookmarks remind me of all the amazing places I’ve been, and I actually have a use for them.
When I stopped being a poor student and was finally able to start traveling myself, I continued the bookmark tradition and now I cannot go to a different country without bringing back one. Ok, once I had to because I simply didn’t have time to find one. Admittedly, it’s occasionally been a bit of a stress factor for me, feeling that I need to find one no matter how many stores I have to visit. But I do think it’s worth it. Some are beautiful and hand-crafted locally. Others are standard cardboard with pictures of attractions. But that’s ok, as long as I have one from every place that I visit. A few don’t say where they were purchased, as for instance the one in the picture with the orange fox-like animal. That one is hand-painted and from Belize. I bought it from a very chill rastafarian dude. I’m sure I won’t forget that any time soon.
These ones below are all from the Americas. My mom gave me the ones from Brazil and Florida. The rest I brought back myself from trips to Peru, Argentina, Chile, Easter Island, Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Galapagos (took forever to find ones there!) and California. I didn’t get one in Bolivia. I guess I’ll have to go back there some day.
These are from everywhere else. My mom brought home most of them, except the ones from China. I haven’t been a great many places in Asia and nowhere in Africa. That is, of course, just a matter of time. My favorite one is the giraffe, I think. I’ve had that for years and used it more than any of the others. Once I left it in a book that I’d put back on my shelves and I forgot about it. I woke up in the middle of the night, realizing that I didn’t know where my giraffe bookmark was and freaked right out. Thankfully I eventually found it. I guess I go a bit nutty about my collected treasures. Charlotte the Dragon.
This Summer we’re going to Northern Sweden and Norway. I wonder whether they’ll have bookmarks there. I hope they do. Maybe one with a moose or a whale or, even better, a wolverine! Yes, they better have one with a wolverine. I’ll let you know.