This was originally posted back in 2017. Scroll past the grey box to see what Mocha has been to up to!
Week 6: Unusual Travel Activities and Photos
Meet Mocha everyone! Mocha is a travelling teddy bear and I’ve had her since my early twenties. At the time, I thought it would be a cute idea to pass around a travelling teddy bear around with my college friends who dispersed back to their hometowns or wherever opportunities took them as a way to keep in touch.
Also at the time, I was working my first professional job, I was not making a lot of money that allowed me to travel and visit my friends. I did not even have any funds to afford myself to own a car! The same also applied to a lot of my friends. To give this period more context: we graduated from college in 2009 around the time of the Great Recession. A lot of my friends were either unemployed, under-employed, or about to apply to school.
I thought sending Mocha around was like an extension of myself. My friends would take her around their hometown or their vacations and send me back pictures.
I would like to shout-out to my boyfriend at the time (now husband) for sparking this idea. He told me a story about how his 3rd class did a project where they would send their teddy bears to their pen friends. Their pen friends would write and send pictures of all the things the teddy bear did. Unfortunately, my husband did not participate in the project because he did not have a teddy bear. His parents were not able to buy him one. This story actually made me want to go out and buy a teddy bear and start this project.
Mocha likes to, of course, travel. I also learned Mocha likes to drink fine wine and beer.
Mocha also like the drive. Not pictured here is Mocha driving in a race car in Willow Springs (Rosamond, CA).
I had a scare when I almost lost Mocha a few years back. I was trying to send her to China only to have her return three months later. My friend from China never received her and I did not want to attempt to re-send Mocha to China.
We’ve taken Mocha around ourselves…
There was a missed opportunity when my husband forgot to bring her to Istanbul a couple of months back for work. Maybe taking the teddy bear around would have motivated him to do some sightseeing rather than work, work, work.
Our miniature schnauzer, Teddy, one time took Mocha and placed her in the yard. Now Mocha lives in a higher part of the shelf where Teddy can’t get her.
I confess, we haven’t actively sent Mocha around to people in a while. The last few years, we’ve been moving from place to place. Would I like to do another travelling bear project? It would be nice. We bought a house and set roots, I think we should have some bandwidth for the travelling bear project.
A few years ago when I was in Ho Chi Minh City, my travel mate brought her stuffed lion with her and took pictures of landmarks. She said the stuffed lion and pictures were going to be gifts for her friend’s baby since she won’t be home in time for the baby’s arrival. That’s a nice idea. I would love to pass down Mocha to my future kid. Behind the bear are stories and places she’s been.
If you’re interested in hosting Mocha, please let me know via the comments or the Contact Page.
And Mocha has tagged along on a few of our trips — whether it was a short trip to the snow or an international flight. The last international place we’ve been was Italy, France, and Germany back in February 2020.
Nowadays Mocha is quarantined just like most of us in the world. She enjoys spending time with her new friend Lana; she cuddles with Mocha to sleep. I also take Mocha along for Lana’s pediatric appointment and it has lessen her “white coat” anxiety. I would be open to send Mocha out in the world again. It would give Lana (and well any kid) an opportunity learn about people from around the world. But for now, I have mixed feelings because I don’t like the idea of them parting. Maybe for a future gift I’ll put together a collage of all of Mocha’s adventures in her room, then she’ll understand.
Watchmen by Alan Moore (borrowed from the library) – I’ve only seen the movie. But people who have read the graphic novel have raved it about for years.
Something Wild by Hanna Halperine (for bookclub) – An incredibly visceral book.