The Three Traveling Bears

Hi. I’m Bobo. This is my brother, Pooh Bear. This is my other brother, Pooh Bear. We are three traveling bears.
Bears at airport
Traveling the world might sound amazingly glamorous to you, but let us assure you, it is not. See, while our girls get to go traipsing all over the place seeing new things and meeting new people, we get crammed into backpacks or stuck in a little room. An around-the-world journey as the beloved stuffed animal of a little girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. No walks through ancient cities or boat rides through fjords. No African safaris or shopping trips through bustling Asian markets. Nope, not for us. It’s a lot of holding down the fort while our family has fun.

Take for instance our recent day in La Paz, Bolivia. We flew in, spent a single night, and then got dragged back to the airport the next morning. The highlights for us were the friendly Bolivian lady in baggage claim who kept saying how “precioso” we were and the taxi ride to the hotel.
baggage claimbears in chair

However, this is what our girls got to see during our short stay in this massive urban area surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Andes and filled with public parks, bizarre cultural markets, interesting people and beautiful architecture.

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I mean, come on. This has to be some sort of emotional stuffed-animal abuse, don’t you think? Although, it’s not our girls’ fault we haven’t seen much on this journey. They would take us everywhere if it weren’t for their high-strung, paranoid parents. “No, you cannot take Bobo to tour around Paris, Alison! What if he gets lost?” Bluh…such killjoys.

However, being left behind during all of these cool, international experiences doesn’t mean we aren’t loved. In fact, even though they seem like major buzzkills most of the time, we think “Mama” and “Daddy” care about us almost as much as our girls do. They know the important role we’ve played in this family’s trip around the world. Through all the changes our girls experience, we’re always there. We’re the consistency. With each new country, new city, new apartment and new bedroom we’re the constant companions, the nightly cuddle partners and the anytime playmates. “Mama” and “Daddy” are just protective of us because they know how much we mean to our girls.

And to be honest, we have had some really good times. We drove all over Europe and got to go on a camping trip in the wilderness of Ethiopia. We’ve played in some pretty cool backyards and toured the inside of many airports. We did have one unfortunate airport incident where my nose fell off in the check-in line, a highly traumatic moment for both Alison and myself. Luckily, with a little superglue I was good as new. We also had to be decontaminated due to lice outbreaks a couple times. Tumbling around in hot drying machines definitely isn’t my cup of tea, but Pooh Bear and Pooh Bear seemed to enjoy themselves. (They’re kind of adrenaline junkies, those two.) We also have a pretty good group of friends to hang out with when the girls aren’t around. The fourteen of us have a lot of fun together. That is, when Pink Owl isn’t fighting to be the center of attention. (He’s such a showboat.)
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We know this travel experience makes us pretty unique when it comes to stuffed toys. Our girls loved us before, but this journey has sealed the deal. The three of us have secured our positions in their hearts forever. Needless to say, we have no fear of the spring cleaning charity box. (I don’t think Pink Owl should feel the same, though.)

He said, “You become. It takes a long time.
That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily,
or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.
Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off,
and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.
But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly,
except to people who don’t understand.”

~ The Velveteen Rabbit

Girls with bears on couch

About the Author

Mom, wife, friend and change agent traveling the world with my family to learn our place in it. After spending a career in organizational change management and community initiative implementation, I put my career on hold for our family's trip around the world. In April of 2014 we sold almost everything we own, put the rest in a storage container, and departed on this journey. While my husband continued his software development work to financially support our trip, I planned and documented our adventure, homeschooled our three daughters, and found volunteer work opportunities for us to do in the communities we visit. Now that we've returned to the U.S., I'm completing book about our family's adventure and our lessons learned.

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  1. What a terrific post! It’s great that you gave equal time to the bears after they spent so much time patiently waiting for their opportunity! Most fascinating were some of the character pictures (the old man playing the guitar–was the old lady singing lead or just hanging on his every note?, the lady in the market with the hat–we marveled that she is probably just dressed for another day going to town!……) The scenic shots were spectacular just as we have come to expect! As always thanks for bringing us a little sunshine!

    1. Yes, Larry, Bolivia was an amazing place for people watching. You’re absolutely correct. The traditional clothing among the women is just their common dress. Bolivia, particularly the western side of the country, is a place that has held onto its traditional way of life. To answer your other question, the blind man and woman were both singing together and giving a great performance. So glad you liked the post. I’ll make sure Bobo and the Pooh Bears know you enjoyed it. 😉

  2. Absolutely cannot wait until your book comes out! I plan on purchasing one for everyone in my family!! I loved reading every single word of your blog, and I’m sure your book will be the same! Loved seeing the bears again! They appear to be very loved! Thanks so much for sharing your family’s adventure! You are a very special family!

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