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SOUVENIRS – TO TAKE, OR NOT TO TAKE, THAT IS THE QUESTION.

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I realize that the title could hint towards the issue that certain goods make questionable souvenirs. But to address this quickly: if you doubt a souvenir for either for ethical or environmental reasons, go with inspirational quote of only leave footprints and only take memories. Let the others, and I’m thinking alligator heads and things of dubious or sacred origins, stay put and enjoy looking at while there.

But I actually wanted to talk about the fact that depending on where you are going to, you may or not be allowed to take certain things with you. You would think this knowledge is a given. Well, honestly to me it wasn’t and talking to a lot of people about it recently, I don’t seem to be the only on who was somewhat naïve when it comes to customs. I learned my lesson quite late in life when I was traveling from Rome back to South Africa with the biggest piece of parmesan and lots of Haribo in my hand luggage. Upon going through customs I was stopped and asked to show them my bag and *shakes head at her own stupidity* revealed my cheese with a proud! smile. The thought that even pasteurized and vacuum sealed cheese was not allowed, had clearly not occurred to me. I guess in hindsight I got off lightly because it was only taken from me and tossed. While I still grief for that beautiful piece of cheese, I know now it could have been a lot worse. A friend recently told me about getting off a qantas flight in Australia and taking her apple snack she had gotten on board, only to be stopped and fined $150 for it by customs.

With that said, should you feel inspired to follow my lead and get certain souvenirs you read about, please make sure that you are allowed to take them into your country and the quantities. Needless to say that I cannot officially advise you to hide souvenirs you aren’t allowed to take in your suitcase nor will I replace your parmesan should it get confiscated!

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