When you are looking for gifts on your travels, it is generally true that you look for a gift that is not too bulky, not too heavy, not too junky, and not too expensive. These are the first things you will consider when looking for a gift from Australia to either carry back home, send home or to keep as a memento for yourself – a memory of your holiday in Australia.
Buying patterns for souvenir purchasing have changed somewhat since I first started travelling 20 years ago. Society has changed and is still changing. As consumers we are wanting more meaningful products, more practical gifts – something we know will not end up in a landfill. I was never a gimmicky, junky souvenir buyer. I always carried a backpack and was conscious, not only of the size and weight of anything I bought, but also of the price. This is probably still the case with most travellers today.
As I moved into my 30’s and now 40’s, I became even more particular about the gifts I purchase. The price is less of an issue, weight and size are still on my mind, but the meaning behind the gift is of the utmost importance. The meaning and uniqueness of what I buy is always at the forefront of my thinking. Will this gift mean something to the receiver? How will they feel as they open it? Is it relevant to them or will it end up in landfill? We all want to be sure that when we give a gift to someone they will love it. We want to see a smile appearing on their face and we want to feel the connection.
Drawing on a lifetime´s experience in travelling and a desire to make a difference in people´s lives, I would like to offer some suggestions of gifts you could consider for someone you love or admire.
The gifts below are very different. The receiver will not only love them, but, they will also be aware of the love that has gone into the design and creation of the gift, and the packaging. These gifts all have a story behind them, stories which can be retold for many years to come
How about this gorgeous fine bone china mug by Aboriginal artist Melanie Hava ($19.95). This artwork is inspired by the spirit of kinship. The artist, Melanie Hava, was raised in the outback where she would often see emus travelling through the long grasses. Occasionally, she would observe two males joining forces to protect their chicks. This banding together in kinship to feed and protect their mob echoes the way aboriginals once lived.
If you are worried about weight or postage, consider choosing Melanie’s equally beautiful tea-towel which has the bonus of being printed in Australia! ($24.95)
Looking for something to take back for your mum? Or, maybe you are yourself a fan of Australia´s most amazing and distinctive wildflowers? How cute is the little blue wren sitting on top of my own favourite wildflower – the Banksia! This mug ($14.95) is very practical and a good size, holding 360ml.
If you are a sun lover and beach wanderer and are looking for something with a little more joie de vivre, why not try something from the Australiana Collection. How about a set of these colourful ceramic coasters which are not only super practical, but only cost $3.95 each.