I recently found myself standing in the tiny two lines of airport security at the Bozeman airport having my belongings searched. As he searched my bag I realized wheat he was looking for. My jam and honey I bought on my travels. My bag was packed to the brim this trip as Montana weather is never consistent. Eventually, he found the honey, but couldn’t find the jam. I stood there not sure if I should help him in this endeavor or let him earn his pay check. I grew tired of this and told him it was in my shoe. Again, my bag was packed to the brim. He took out my 4 oz jar of jam and informed me I couldn’t take it with me and my options regarding the fate of my jam and honey. I could either have them shipped, which I wasn’t sure how I would do that as I was past security at this point, or I could donate them to the local shelter. I said farewell to my jam and honey and off they went to the shelter as I gave the TSA agent a look I could only describe as a four-year old’s version of F-you. Bless him.
I’m no stranger to the ridiculousness that is our TSA guidelines and since when were food products a no go?? I know liquids have to be under 3 ounces, but jam and honey too?? I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure I passed the class on states of matter in the third grade. I refrained from reteaching said lesson to my new BFF, Mr. TSA agent. Mr. TSA agent informed me they confiscate these jam jars all the time. Nice to know I’m not alone in my jam confiscation. My second remark may have been, then why don’t they sell it in 3 oz and not 4 if you are always taking them?
In case you are wondering, spreadable goods are not allowed on a plane, unless you buy them in the airport gift shop or have them spread on a substance such as bread. Can’t bring jam in a jar, but you can make PB&J till your hearts content. I’d also like to point out that my deodorant, a spreadable good, was not confiscated. PICK A LANE TSA. I just wanted my souvenirs.
In the book What I was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristen Newman, she states, “…a house full of cats used to be the sign of a terminally single woman, but now it’s a house full of souvenirs acquired on foreign adventures.” While I do have a fairly cool cat, I have some pretty cool souvenirs too.
My souvenirs bring me joy and remind me of the place and an adventure that was taken. I’m buying items made locally and not in a sweatshop in china only to be up charged 300% in a gift shop and 400% at the airport. I recently had a woman stop me in the parking lot of the grocery store wanting to know where I got my purse. I smiled and told her Africa, thus leading to a conversation about the amazing widow who made my purse. I get more compliments on this bag than anything I own.
My Montana souvenirs that weren’t confiscated are two watercolor prints of the Bridger Mountains and Hylete Lake. Two places I visited on my trip and when asked about them, I have stories to tell. Like a wind storm pushing me into trees while paddle boarding. I found these prints at a local art museum in downtown Bozeman giving my money to the starving artist and not some overpriced gift shop. When I went to San Antonio, I brought back some tea from my day at the Japanese Tea Garden. Take that TSA AGENT! Can’t take my tea leaves!
One item I look for when I travel, a pressed penny machine. I started this tradition when I started my travels. I wanted something I could collect that was consistent but I have no desire for a shot glass or Starbucks cups collection, therefore, I landed here. I found a website to aid in my locating of these machines and yes, my friends make fun of me for this. I put those pressed pennies in a shadow box and make a decorative item on my shelf. Can’t beat 51 cents for a souvenir.
While I’d hoped to bring home my jam and honey to share with my family in efforts to share my travels with them, now I know better than to carry on an extra ounce of jam. Next time you find yourself looking for a travel keepsake, get off the beaten path and you will find ones you truly enjoy.
What do you collect when you travel?