You’ve head of ‘conversation pieces’ – they’re often sold in boutique stores so people can put them on display in their house and appear much more interesting than they really are. Sometimes it’s a model plane, sometimes an African pottery but most often the person has never flown a plane, skipping just above the treetops nor stepped foot in Africa.
Start a collection with basis and personal meaning – it will not only serve as mementos from past journeys, challenges and adventures – it will serve as the ultimate ‘conversation piece’. Instead of simply explaining what it is, explain how you got it, the mis-steps along the way and the backroads that took you there.
What you collect isn’t as important as when you start. Though I have, and continue to build, a collection of things I’ve picked up along my travels, built (or broke) over the years, and prized gifts – what I most collect is beer bottles. I like to collect beer bottles because they represent the far corners of the earth, have a strong link to vivid memories at home and abroad and yet are readily accessible in 95% of the world’s countries. A custom built shelf the height of one wall and perhaps 3m (10′) long displays (most) my collection and without fail, whenever I have a guest in they’ll ask about the collection and often one bottle which catches their particular interest. Perhaps a souvenir from sailing in the caribbean or backpacking through Europe many years ago – each has a story.
Collections, when meaningful and tasteful, not only collect your memories but collect the interest, awe and playful-jealously of those you can share your stories with.