Memories make up an integral part of expat life, memories of "home" or previous countries lived in, often rose tinted, usually nostalgic, sometimes sad, mostly happy, but always there. Of course every life is comprised of memories whether expat or not, but here I'm talking from a personal point of view as an expat since birth. My memories are helped kept fresh by many things including photos, music, smells and importantly, souvenirs. Souvenirs, for me, are precious keepsakes from my well-travelled life not just trashy trinkets from a weekend away.
Definition in English: souvenir n. a thing that is kept as a reminder of a person, place, or event.
Definition in French: souvenir n. a memory or a keepsake, se souvenir v. to remember.
The English word comes from the French. Souvenirs/memories, memories/souvenirs, in the Franglaise life I lead I find these two words being used interchangably, they've practically become one. My souvenirs, things picked up in the 9 countries I've lived in, help keep my memories alive. And so my house is literally littered with souvenirs.
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