Twitchhiker | Paul Smith's travel tales from here and there


Pass it on
28/02/2009, 22:35
Filed under: twitchhiker project

A couple of weeks ago, I asked for suggestions on gifts I could give to those who help me on my journey. There were dozens of suggestions; buttons, badges, stickers, t-shirts, flash drives, chocolates and my favourite (but sadly the least practical) – bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale.

If I accept help twice a day (for transportation and accommodation) I could need up to 60 gifts in my luggage. I could manage badges or stickers, but they feel twee and inconsequential. Anything else would mean no room for clothing, and nobody wants to accept a gift from a man wearing the same underwear for 30 days straight.

So here’s another idea. I take just one gift with me, which I give to the first person I meet. In return they give me a gift, which I then exchange with the second person to help me. I take their gift and give it to the third person, who gives me a gift to pass onto the fourth person, and so on.

The gift could be anything, and needn’t be expensive; it could be a photo of a person or a place, a forgotten trinket collecting dust on a shelf, or a favourite book, well thumbed and ready to be passed on. Whatever it happens to be, everyone will receive a personal memento of the part they played in this adventure, and the exchange will continue across countries and continents until the journey’s end. And I get to pack an extra set of underpants, which will go much further in helping make friends around the world.


5 Comments so far
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I like the power of gifting. EG. “Pay it forward” the movie. I suggest you try for the power of 3. Each on pay it forward to 3 people. More power!!!!!

Comment by Jan

Ooh, I like it! Of course we’ll want to see photos of them all on twitpic🙂

Comment by Equinspire

Oooh, dunno what to give you to start it off with! Cool idea, definitely. Will get my thinking cap on🙂

Comment by minxlj

But then you’re asking someone to help you and give you something…

I have another suggestion – vegetable seeds, in a small envelope with a little message on who you are and what you’re doing. It also brings home the importance of water.
Small and compact.

Comment by Anna

Take their photo and post it on the website with a tweet from them. Then TRADE something of yours for something of theirs…then you can keep TRADING as you go.

Comment by Karin Katherine




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