Asian Tigers Group provides international relocation solutions for more than 16,000 families each year, with offices in 14 different territories. In their regular column in our quarterly Expat Living magazine, they provide answers to expats’ questions about arriving and leaving Hong Kong. Here’s the latest instalment.
“What are some good souvenirs for remembering our expat experience?”
We asked a group of returned expats around the world for the best souvenirs to capture life in a foreign country, and their answers ranged from the practical to the extravagant. A simple river rock can be as meaningful to one person as a framed art piece by a local artist to another. Many respondents regretted not buying a particular item that caught their eye because they were worried about shipping fragile items. (Read our blog at asiantigersgroup.com/category/media/blog for tips on this!)
Experiences, friendships and new traditions are arguably the most remarkable treasures, but what are about more tangible reminders to spark conversations? Here are three ideas for starters that go beyond the standard souvenir.
#1 Local cuisine & kitchenware
Sharing meals by using local kitchenware – think a Japanese kitchen knife, a Moroccan clay tagine or a French crepe pan – is a fantastic way to help friends and family get a “taste” of your life abroad. In this vein, cookbooks and kitchen gadgets unique to that country can be great souvenirs.
This is a big one for many (in both senses of the word!) in recreating the look and feel of their lives abroad. Furniture can be both practical and aesthetically pleasing and can keep your memories alive through daily use – it could be anything from a grandfather clock to a Korean medicine chest.
Pieces by local artists capturing a familiar scene are common, but a significant example mentioned by one person in our survey was artwork they commissioned to capture their foreign homes, incorporating their family into the scenes.
If you have any questions about shipping memories of your adventures and fragile items, contact your local Asian Tigers office or reach out via asiantigersgroup.com/contact-us.
This article first appeared in the Autumn 2021 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.