One small toy on one big journey

Friend and fellow blogger Miss Roslyn recently blogged about a site she found, called ToyVoyagers.

A ToyVoyager

From the site’s “About” page:

ToyVoyagers is a free-to-join website dedicated to travelling toys and their adventures around the globe.

We have a friendly international community. We offer ID numbers and activation codes to allow your travelling toy to become a ToyVoyager, have a Profile page on our site and to ‘blog’ its travels using our Travelog system, which is also linked to a mapping feature.

People have the option of either tagging the toy and leaving it somewhere for another person to find, or sending it in the mail to a “host” who will then take the toy to see new places. I prefer the latter option, since I read about a poor toy who was left somewhere, tagged, by its owners and then was destroyed by Lost and Found.

The same toy, on a fire hydrant

The people who came up with this idea were inspired by some pictures of their son’s toys on holiday, as well as the traveling gnome in the film “Amelie.”

I have been browsing through the ToyVoyagers’ blogs, and some of these toys have journeyed a lot more than I have! I’m not sure why this idea seems so appealing to me. When I was a child, I played with lots of dolls and stuffed animals, and whenever I went somewhere cool I wanted to take at least one stuffed animal with me so they could travel as well and see all the new things I was seeing. It makes me think of my childhood, along with my love of travel. The great thing about it is the pictures. Whenever the toy visits a new place, the host will take a picture of the toy in front of the place and post it online so that viewers can keep track of the toy’s progress and experience travel through the eyes of, well, a toy.

After a while, these toys gain personalities of their own. They see awesome places, meet wonderful people (and toys), and make new friends.

Kiku-chan. Picture taken from her site

They also have a feature called “Voyager of the Week”, where a toy’s travels are featured. This week’s is a kimono-clad bear named Kikuchan.

Kiku left home (Takamatsu in Japan) on 22nd Feb 2010 and by 12 March had visited no less than four of the world’s capital cities, picking up some top quality sight-seeing photos in the process.

That’s more than I can say for myself! She is so cute, too. Love the outfit!

Here’s another ToyVoyager, Cekelat from Malaysia. He’s a bear who has done a lot of traveling, both with his main host and with several other host families. A map of his journey can be found here. Apparently, Cekelat started in Malaysia, traveled to Singapore, Cornwall, Vienna, and Hong Kong, before returning back to Malaysia where he’s with his original host again. The map tells me that he has traveled a total of 20538.82 miles. The last that was heard from him was in June of 2009, but I believe he is still happily going places.

It makes me really want to take a toy around traveling with me. Unfortunately I don’t do a lot of traveling.

I think I’ll definitely try it in the future.

not a toyvoyager

All photos are under a CC license and used with permission. Click photos for credits.

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12 thoughts on “One small toy on one big journey

  1. I love this idea of toy voyaging. I always squeeze my teddy in my rucksack when I travel. Not sure I could bear to leave him travelling alone though.

    And thanks for your comment on my post too. What? Pardon? Eh?
    🙂

  2. That’s such a cool idea!
    And yeah, I used to take one, and only one, stuffed animal on trips. (Which animal I brought varied. I didn’t want any of them to feel left out.) 🙂

  3. How fun! It’s kind of amazing some of these toys have traveled so much more than humans. I bet you’d be surprised that where you live and travel are interesting to others more than you think.

  4. My hubbie and I did that on our first trip with a little pig we got from a Happy Meal. This totally reminded me of that. I might do it for our next family trip!

  5. I really love the idea of traveling toys! I think the reason why so many people find it appealing is because they’re able to experience places that they may not be able to visit secondhand through the toy. It would be so much fun to start one of these one day.

  6. Oh I love this idea!! Since watching the “traveller” garden gnome in Amelie, I thought that would be great sending photos of a little stuffed friend in different places, it could also look more artistic and less boring than the same travel photos that had been taken thousand times in front of famous monuments…
    Thank you for sharing this great site, I will go to check it out!!

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