An ode to Travelling Ted

24 Sep

A teddy bear is your childhood wrapped up in faded yellow fur, and as such, he commands affection long after he is out grown.

~ Pam Brown

Many children get attached to a physical object at a young age. Most often this is a blanket, a doll or a stuffed toy.

My sister and I were both given stuffed dogs when we were little. Puppy never left my sister’s side, whereas my dog Bella was played with occasionally, but mainly spent her time on the shelf.

I only had eyes for Travelling Ted.

A gift from family friends when I was born, Travelling Ted was a yellow, fluffy medium-sized teddy bear with brown button eyes. He was my constant companion on family holidays, hence the moniker. He came with me on every trip or vacation I ever went on, right up until I was aged 18.

In 2000, after our 12-month trip to Brazil, Travelling Ted decided to semi-retire. He was getting a little too well worn in places and his knees had become a bit creaky. We discussed his options and decided that it would be best if he only accompanied me on big adventures—those longer than 3 months.

I gave him the prime position on my bookshelf and promised him that, although the days of weekenders to the beach were over, he’d still be my number one buddy.

When we returned from my 6-month sojourn to Mexico in 2005, I became a little bit concerned about the state of Ted’s fur coat. As well as a few small tears and one rather large hole under his right armpit, there were also several bare patches that looked a little iffy.

Wanting to be a good bear-mum, I took Travelling Ted to the teddy bear hospital without delay. (Yes, they do exist.)

They carefully washed him, sewed up all the rips and patched him up as best as they could. However the prognosis wasn’t good.

“He’s that old now, his fur is starting to disintegrate,” the teddy-bear doctor informed me.

“He shouldn’t be handled too much, if at all, or placed in direct sunlight.”

“In fact,” the doctor added, “if you can keep him in a zip lock bag for protection, that would be best.”

I took Ted home and gave him a big cuddle. I found him a special shelf to sit on, one in a quiet spot with no sunlight.

I drew the line at the zip lock bag though. I knew it was probably sound advice, but the thought of Travelling Ted, he of many adventures and escapades, trapped in a plastic bag like some sort of ursine bubble boy didn’t appeal.

A bear needs to have his dignity, after all.

And there he remains. He sits on a soft, lavender-scented pillow and reminisces about his past expeditions.

And so, when I depart for Honduras in 2013, I shall be leaving behind a small, yellow, fluffy piece of my heart.

The one and only, Travelling Ted!

This blog’s for you buddy; you’ll be missed!


7 Responses to “An ode to Travelling Ted”

  1. thehealthyglobetrotter September 24, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    I have a ted too!! He’s been on many adventures and even a trip to the teddy bear hospital after I accidentally dropped him getting into the car on a driving trip around Australia. He’s at my parent’s home these days but whenever i there i always make sure i say hello 🙂

    • honduranhiatus September 25, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

      Everyone needs a ted. 🙂 Teddy bear hospitals are great, aren’t they? I was glad there was somewhere I could take my Ted, as my needlework is atrocious.

      P.S. You’re the first person to leave a comment on my blog. How exciting!

      • thehealthyglobetrotter September 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

        Oh I know that excitement! I received my first comment a few days ago!! 🙂 Glad to be of service.

  2. Mick B September 25, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    Beautiful words Miss Em. Perhaps you should look for a small Travelling Ted ‘Mini-Me’ to take along and share your next journey. It would be nice to have a friend from home to talk to. He wouldn’t take up too much space.

  3. julia November 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Your taking the best travelling ted with you, she’ll meet up with you eventually.
    Take good care of your new travelling ted she’s the love of my life.

    • honduranhiatus November 3, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

      I’ll definitely take good care of her. We’ll take good care of each other! It’s going to be a wonderful experience for us both. And me being able to speak the language will be a big help.


  1. Greetings Earthlings | Honduran hiatus - April 3, 2013

    […] I’m writing about a travel companion who’s too frail to join me on this trip, my efforts to remain healthy in the face of rice and beans, or the crazy drivers of Tegucigalpa, […]

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