Although I almost always travel as light as I can, I’m a sucker for travel souvenirs and collectables and over the years I have kept boxes with things from my travels in them. In this new mini series I will mention some of the things I collect. First up is country flag patches and destination patches.
I own a green fleece with Northern Ireland written on it. This fleece was actually bought as a present from my parents about 7 years ago. When I was in Tasmania in 2010 I suddenly decided to start collecting flags from all the countries I had been to and iron or sew them onto the back of it. On the front I planned to put all other miscellaneous patches. These patches can be bought from market stalls in many destinations. Most recently I have seen them in Siem Reap in Cambodia, La Paz in Bolivia and Bangkok in Thailand.
It has now snowballed and the back of my fleece is now only for countries and colonies flags, the left arm is for places I’ve called home and the right arm is for football teams I support.
Every time I visit a new country I need to buy that countries flag to iron on to the back of my fleece. I also include places like Breizh, Tierra Del Fuego and Guernsey. These places all have iron on patches available and while they are not strictly countries, it makes for more colour and variety. One thing I’m strict on is that it has to have the name of the country under the flag, and some places only have the flags, so I wait until I find a vendor that sells them with the name on it.
I have yet to find iron on patches for the following places (must be rectangular and contain the country/place flag with the name only below):
(If you see them or know where I can get them, please let me know!!).
On the front of my fleece I just collect any random patches I find that have some kind of link to my travels. I won’t add a place unless I’ve been to it. It’s become a bit of an obsession collecting these and adding them to my fleece.
I do carry my fleece with me on most of my travels, but I don’t always wear it. It’s like my pride and joy and I don’t want it getting dirty, damaged, ripped, lost or stolen! It is also quite difficult to clean. Once I have it finished, I’ll retire it and hang it up. I’ve still got room for a lot of more countries on the back having just hit the 70 mark with Brunei Darussalam this week…
There will be more travel collectables to come in this series. Some small things just remind you of your epics journeys on this magical ball. I’ll leave you with my own country’s flag, we don’t get much recognition…Northern Ireland.
6 thoughts on “Travel Collectables: Country Flag Patches For My Fleece”
No way we started collecting patches of the countries we’ve traveled to too! We started in Thailand on our honeymoon, we collected all the patches for all the countries we have been too! We too also got patches for our favorite sports teams, MILWAUKEE BREWERS!!! We are going to split up the patches between both our backpacks!!!
Nice one guys! I also collect my favourite football (soccer to you) teams on one of the sleeves. It’s a nice travel memento to collect. Safe travels! Jonny
G day Jonny
love ur site, i am a addicted traveler as well, 64 countries down,
i have a few questions for you, if you could help me out that would be great
1) what is the cheapest and most expensive country flag you have seen/bought
2) where is the market stall in brisbane for the patches? i am from australia!
3) what sort of badge do you want for Antartica? as its not a country?
4) got any info on traveling to antartica? want to do it my self next year
5) what do you do to fund you travels?
where are you now? china? me too, beijing untill tuesday
Thanks for your comments. Here are my answers:
1. Probably San Marino. Had to pay $2.50 AU and postage for it.
2. South Bank area of Brisbane – I was there on a Saturday about 3 years ago. No idea if it’s still there but he has a website too so you could e-mail him:
3. I wanted this badge with the word Antarctica on it (if you check my fleece you’ll see I bought an Alternative Antarctica badge – photo above):
4. Are you kidding?! Lol. Click on my Antarctica tab – I have about 30 – 40 stories on it including how to book it on the cheap!
5. I’ve had over 50 jobs on my travels, I try and work in 3-6 jobs at the same time to earn a load of cash in bulks.I’m always busy. Every Wednesday I share some travel work tips and stories on “Working Wednesdays”. Here are the jobs I’ve had down the years (not updated yet): I dont sit still very often 😉
I’m in Hong Kong right now. Back to China on Friday, then North Korea then heading to the Middle East!
Safe travels. Jonny
PS – a lot of the questions you, and others often ask me are already on my blog – have a look round the various posts and pages I have – a lot of info on there!
It is always good to remind yourself the wonderful countries that you have been to. As for me, I get more than patches and go for other unique things like scarfs, curving and flags. Thanks a for sharing, and aww, you’ve visited more countries than I have 🙂
Hi Tracy, thanks for the comment. Glad you also love collecting these types of things. So you travel a lot too – how many countries/cities/states etc. have you been to so far. Safe travels. Jonny