I'm not huge on souvenirs.
At some point like most people I figured out they make traveling harder, not easier. And the good stuff is mostly invisible, intangible. And so on.
There are some exceptions. I'm still fond of receiving envelopes like this one in the mail. Reminders of an experience 5 months ago that is fading fast, and in fact, already feels unreal.
The experience of riding 1200K is so intense that it burns brightly in the days after the ride. So brightly it's often hard to articulate what happened and how it felt. What it might mean. Then maybe coming out of such an intense and different experience, as we return to our routines and mundane details and possessions, the memories fade even quicker than normal. Like they're pulled away into a vacuum.
It's a huge loss and this too is hard to express in words to anyone who was not there. Which is basically everyone around.
That's why for randonneuring, I'm in favor of the tangible stuff they keep for a few months and then send to you on a different continent. As tangible proof. The word souvenir after all, means memory. A proxy.
I carried this around for four days. Rain, wind, darkness, blazing heat. Hope and despair and everything in between. Glad to see it again!