When I was a kid, I used to collect stamps. Then I got older and it was Diana memorabilia (as in Princess Diana). As an adult, I hadn’t really collected anything other than making sure I bought one "nice" souvenir from each place I traveled. But then came the Starbucks mugs.
In my personal opinion, whatever marketing person created the city/country-specific mug idea at Starbucks is pure genius. My own awareness of the mugs came a little late, in that I had already visited places and hadn’t yet started to "collect" them. But once I began, I started purchasing a mug from whatever city I visited, including those in the states.
I noticed that some teachers in our school had done the same thing, some displaying their vast mug collections in the classroom. I don’t know if the teacher(s) actually visited all of these locations personally — perhaps some students gave them as gifts. Whatever the reason, I became fascinated in seeing all of these places where Starbucks has made its mark!!
My own collection is quite small by comparison (I just noticed when taking the photo that I haven’t bought a Beijing mug yet!), but I’ve decided that these mugs will ultimately replace the random assortment in my cabinet at the moment. I can’t quite decide if I prefer to purchase city or country mugs, so I have a mixture of both. I just want to remember with fondness the places I visited when I have my morning coffee or evening tea. I finally found my adult collection, which will continue as long as my travels do!