DIY: Survival Kits For Friends You Meet On The Road

The people we meet on our travels have some of the biggest influences on our lives. They shape our views and teach us more about a place we probably didn’t know very much about. They make us more aware of the place we’re exploring; be it a village, town, city or even country. More than that, some of them become lifelong friends. In every city I’ve visited, I have found people who share a similar love for life as I do. They have that same whimsical spirit and thirst for all things good in this world. Sometimes, despite where in the world you are, you will meet people that you just instantly click with. You will meet your travelling soul mates. But at the end of a journey, how do you just say leave and goodbye?

You don’t. You say see you soon and make them something that will remind them that no matter where in the world you are, you will always be a just thought, chat message, video call or plane ride away. After all, we are living in the 21st century, right? Technology ensures that despite the thousands of kilometers, you can still speak and see each other as often as you like.

If you’re thinking of getting something meaningful for special friends you’ve met on your travels, then try making a personalized memory box and survival kit, filled with memories past and little items for future special or even difficult days when you won’t be there.

Here’s how:

  1. Start of by making a list of some of the memories you have shared together. These can be special conversations, favorite songs, meaningful books, sights you have seen and new dishes you’ve tasted together. Even crazy things you’ve done and laughed about.
  1. Next make a list of memorable or difficult moments that you think they might encounter in the future, moments that you won’t be there for. This way you can put something into the survival box that they can pull out during that particular time and hopefully it will make them feel a little better.
  1. Once you have your lists, think of small inexpensive things that you can find or purchase to symbolize those memories. This could be anything you want really.

Maybe some special tea for days when things get rough.


Perhaps, a mini bottle of their favorite wine or little notebooks to jot down all of their crazy ideas. A mug with a special saying. Their favorite chocolate for days when they need a pick up and a scented candle to soothe their soul after a rough day at work.


Tissues for days when you can’t be there to wipe away their tears and a picture frame with a special photo.Empty postcards and stamps so they can write you letters or even a special momento from your home town to encourage them to visit you. The list is endless and its completely up to you. Personalize it and make it something that is unique to what you have shared along your journey.

  1. Next attach a label to each gift and write a short message explaining why you chose that item.


  1. You’ll need some sort of box to put all you little gifts in. Depending on how many gifts you have and the size of each, that will determine the size of box you should look for. I like to have a bigger box just so I can lay things out nicely inside and scrunch up some tissue paper on the top. It gives that extra special feel.


  1. Line the box with tissue paper and place the labelled gifts inside. Start with the bigger ones at the bottom and strategically scattering the smaller ones on top of the bigger ones, so it looks like a box filled with a million memories.
  1. Sprinkle over some dried scented rose petals.
  1. Place another layer of tissue paper over the top.
  1. Write a note on some decorative paper and label it as Read Me First. Inside the note should be an explanation of what the box is meant to be and symbolize. You can customize this any way you wish. Place it over the layers of tissue paper so that it’s the first thing they see when opening the box.
  1. Put the lid over and tie on some pretty ribbon.
  1. Label your box with a personalized survival kit sticker.


 “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” – Miriam Adeney

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I'm Shalinee - a Geminian scientist who loves to travel, write, draw and eat chocolate. I've visited over twenty countries, published a Environmental Science encyclopaedia and somewhere along the way started a science communication company to help students and corporates translate that hard-to-read data generated in a lab. Other than that, I'm just searching for the magic still hidden in the world.

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