For most travellers, bringing home a souvenir is the best token to have from their trip. From artisan crafts and clothing to shot glasses, everyone wants a piece to bring back from their adventures. But what about leaving your own token to say "I was here"
? In the age of selfies and instant sharing, it's easy to show the world where you've been, but there's nothing like leading your own own souvenir for someone else to stumble across like a message in a bottle. Here, we run down some of the best places on earth to leave your mark.
Great Wall of China
Recently, the Great Wall of China designated a space specifically for tourists to write & carve anything from their name to love messages on the 2,000 year old structure. While the graffiti has been common place for years, officials made a special zone in order to keep the eventual damage to the stones centralized, so try go easy when you leave your mark!
Pont De Arts - Paris, France
A handful of bridges in Paris have become synonymous with Love Locks, where couples from all over the world inscribe their names onto padlocks and secure them to the gated sides as a symbol of eternal love. Paris officials have removed some of the locks over the last few months due to the extra weight they place on the bridges, however they always return and is a custom that's not likely to end anytime soon.
Wandie's Place - Soweto, South Africa
This buffet-style restaurant lets diners leave everything from hand scribbled notes, business cards to currency on its walls, giving any diner a lot to look at while enjoying excellent South African food.
Lennon Wall - Prague, Czech Republic
One your run-of-the-mill wall, its been filled with artwork and Beatles lyrics since the 1980s beginning with an original painting of Lennon. Over the years, the government has painted over the wall, but each time it's redecorated with even more messages of peace.
Juliet's House - Verona, Italy
The words of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet are what make this a favourite of hopeless romantics the world over. This 16th century home once belonged to the Capello family, purported to have provided the inspiration for the Capulet family and their daughter Juliet. Every year, thousands of visitors leave love notes on the walls around the famous balcony Romeo calls up to in the story, writing their own names and the name of their beloved to solidify a current relationship or in hopes of finding someone from their past. Those who can't make it to Italy actually send these same love notes and letters to the home's address, typically answered by volunteers who call themselves Juliet's secretaries.
No matter where you choose to leave your mark in the world, remember to check out the messages left behind by other travellers just like you. Safe travels!