There is a long tradition of silver smithing here on Iona. A young woman as taken up the craft. She makes lovely contemporary pieces and showcases other artist's work, like the ring I got.
It is in two parts and depicts the elevation of the island as you sail around it. I loved how it symbolically denotes the "thin place" between heaven and earth...sometimes pulling apart, sometimes coming together. I couldn't have designed a better souvenir!
The second souvenir I chose is called "The Wee Moon". She is making it for me and will send it to my home in Maine in June but this is an example from the shop. It will depict the exact phase of the moon on my 65th birthday. It will actually be opposite this example. The day of my birthday, the moon was just off full with just a sliver of dark along one edge. She will inscribe the event on the back.
You can see her work online here. Aosdana means people of the art, craft or gift. I'm giving her shop a little plug because I was so taken by her work.
Finding handmade pieces that reflect the meaning of your journey is what makes for a contemplative souvenir. Next time you travel, look for something that is a memento you will look at and remember. An object that will forge a connection to your experience. Photographs are, of course, lovely souvenirs but an object, hand-made by a local artist, is also something to cherish.