When we travel, we naturally bring back memories, experiences and ideas that were created in new places and cities, but also we bring back things. Nick-knacks, souvenirs, food, etc. How do you find out what to buy, where to buy it? How do you find authenticity when you travel abroad?
I’m interested in hearing about how people research for trips like this, or if you simple show up and discover things for yourself. I heard once that almost all souvenirs are made in China now, as far as magnets and t-shirts, the normal things go. But in the end, there are pieces of places you can take home that are more representational than a t-shirt (except maybe the I Love NYC shirt).
I think the creative industry has really added to the amount of information that is available online now about places around the world. What started out as Lonely Planet travel guides in book form has turned into an all out plethora of information now available depending on what your looking for. It can be the best pintxos places in the Basque country, or how to find a good osteria in Rome — it can even be a walking tour of coffee shops in Brooklyn, there is probably either an online guide, map or app that will help you plan you trip.
As part of my writing for Florens 2012 competition, I’m thinking about authenticity in travel and food and how we plane, discover and conceive our perceptions of authentic in the world. Since we are now to the point in time where maps are hip again and being used as decorations in our houses, utilizing Iphones and computers to plan routes and trips, are we loosing some of the “getting lost” or are people still getting lost? All questions to start a conversation — post your thoughts below.