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Why We Buy Souvenirs The trinkets, tchotchkes and T-shirts that say, 'I was there.'

By Bruce Schoenfeld

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The Indiana Pacers cap I'm wearing might make you think I'm a fan of that long-suffering team. My bright-orange Ragin' Cajuns T-shirt hints at roots sunk deep in the bayou. And nobody would own a Multnomah Athletic Club hoodie if they hadn't at one point frequented that Portland, Ore., facility, right?

Well, no. I have no affiliation whatsoever with Indianapolis, southwestern Louisiana or the Pacific Northwest. I own those items only because I recently made business trips to those places. And whenever I travel on business, I can't help coming home with souvenirs.

Lately my travel schedule has been full enough that my little hobby is taking on epic proportions. My T-shirts fill an entire closet. I didn't duplicate a hat, another Little League father remarked, during my son's entire baseball season. Yet I can't stop buying: from a college bookstore here, a minor-league ballpark there, a colorful barbecue joint, even a generic sports bar.

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