Experiential Minimalist Adventurers aka those who don't buy souvenirs
Updated: Feb 25, 2020
As I walk down the street I hand reaches out & grabs my hand shaking it fiercely.... "what country are your from? Ah Wellington Australia -insert crying emoji - clearly the rest of the world thinks that Australia owns NZ -What is your good name? You come my shop"
I cannot tell you how many times I have had to politely decline this offer or sit through all myriad of fabric avalanches before I make my excuses & leave... apologetically empty handed.
Minimalism.... thats my excuse oh and Instagram... cause, well I don't have to carry it or figure out what to do with it when I get home...
Are we a new breed???? Experiential Minimalist Adventurers a seekers of experiences that will be artfully captured on smart phones & curated as moments of bliss & shared with our global digital tribes .......OOOOOOMMMMMMMM ............oh yeah my home is currently a back pack & a suitcase the latter more frequently left with a friend as I hop skip & jump to my next Yogi Adventure... this is not easily explained to myself much less a hungry sales person.
As easy as reaching into my trusty cross body travel bag whilst sipping my morning coffee I flick through a few hundred snaps on one of my devices (I travel with an iPhone & local Oppo phone for India / Indonesia & my mac book & a tripod which is apparently a selfie stick & there for a weapon so cannot possibly go in your back back pack in the tummy of the plane...... So I am able to get a quick fix a trip down memory lane whetting my appetite as I plan or unplanned my day or get lost in thought planning my next carry on only adventure......except to NY at Christmas which was definitely check in...
All this however his does not fare well for souvenir shop owners who have little & sometimes extended families to feed.
It is however great for me ... revolutionary in fact as I was a souvenir junkie loved a fridge magnet would often buy and use the tea towel, have also owned the odd snow globe.....
Now I literally buy nothing, nada, nix, noin, no, nothing which leaves shop owners with a wobbly bottom lip...
As we now snap pretty much what ever we like often sneakily like you are pretending to scroll through a message or chat with your travel buddy just as a side note... on many occasions I ask politely before taking photo & some savvy entrepreneurs have a snap for tip situassy occurring mmmmm... entrepreneurial :) Some even say "no foto" so that if you are trying on sunglasses or hats or souvenir shirts you can't do a sneaky snap & bolt.
This is a monumental change for me ... money saving time saving space saving its environmentally thoughtful but maybe its also an economy destroying evolution ...
What actually happens to the small villages & families that earn a living off the painted elephants, sliver jewellery & embroidered everything that we no longer need to buy??? Is the selfie evolution killing little family owned street side store fronts? Are clip on koalas gonna stay on the shelf??
A lady today was literally crying as I walked passed her store I looked at something (that I didn't need) really it was just to admire it she told me in Balinese that she hadn't received any money from sales for 5 days & the price of the item dropped rapaciously to less than half as she begged for me to buy it ....I felt rotten as I walked away apologising..... but I just don't need it .... The fashion industry almost a dirty few words these days as it pumps out billions of cloth constructions with its bonded labour, disposable farshan items & chemical affects on our blue green sphere of the universe but thats another blog. not to mention that as I walked away this same item was front & centre at every single shop on that block...
I feel a mix of pride & sadness the pride comes form knowing how far I have come & what changes I have made in my life & I am certain that some of you in reader lad have similar stories... I feel sad as I am not sure what how some families will survive the selfie shift
Bali has been quick on the uptake... building swings over rice fields & a whole new industry has been born - selfie frames- think giant nests & love hearts for savvy entrepreneurs to set up so that tourists can pony up for a pod/ heart / nest/ swing/ chair/ rice terrace selfie.
There will surely be further evolution for these businesses & families necessity being the mother of invention & all that. Perhaps we will see a diversion from the row after row of shop sameness
Would love to hear if you are selfie or souvenir kinda traveller? Have you switched? & what have you seen that is taking advantage of the selfie evolution??