Yesterday I was trying to organize my photos (finally) and found some photos from 2005 that I haven’t seen in a long time … and then suddenly I ran into the Travel Bear.

To be honest, I don’t really remember the details but there was some kids in school somewhere in the US who had sent the Travel Bear to a conference, SIGCSE, in St Louis that I visited in 2005. A friend asked if I wanted to take care of the Travel Bear for some time, take him to Sweden, send some progress reports back to the kids and then find some other traveller so he could continue his travels. Well, I thought it was kind of cute and decided to let him come with me and this is the story of Travel Bear going to Sweden”. These photos were among the first digital photos I’ve taken (and the first photos in many years), they were taken using my first digital camera (a Nikon E885) and I was just learning about photography.

Does anyone recognize this? I suspect that the Travel Bear concept was a common thing but does anyone recognize this particular Travel Bear and know what happened to him?

Travel Bear goes to Sweden

Hi, Travel Bear spent the night on a luxury hotel in downtown St Louis, he was a bit sleepy and difficult to wake up but he finally opened his eyes.

While Travel Bear was awake he was a bit sleepy so he decided to take a slow morning and listen to some music on the iPod. But he couldn’t stay in bed forever since it was the last morning in St Louis, in a few hours we was taking the first of several airplanes in order to reach our final destination: Yttersjö, Umeå, Sweden.

Despite being quite sleepy, it was winter so he probably wanted to sleep until spring, I managed to get him to airport.

Travel Bear got quite interested in the airplanes and wanted to take a closer look at them.

However, as soon as we got on the airplane he got sleepy again.

After a couple of flights Travel Bear got very confused when he tried to read the signs, he had severe difficulties in reading the white text and I had to explain to him that it was Swedish. Aha” he answered and went back to sleep.

A few hours later we disembarked from our last flight and got a ride with Roland, our local cab driver, to my house. Being a foreigner Travel Bear got to sit in the front seat.

Of course Travel Bear was quite sleepy after the trip so he went back to sleep … in my bed (hmpf).

The day after he found my kids GameBoy and played a few round before breakfast, then he decided to follow my two youngest kids to the school bus.

Why have they put all their backpacks in a row” he asked. I explained that the kids didn’t like standing in a queue waiting for the school bus, instead they put their backpack in a queue and when the bus came they just took the same position as the backpack. Smart kids” he answered.

I spend a few hours showing Travel Bear around until my kids came back home and started to play with him

A few days afterwards I took Travel Bear to my office

And then to one of my lectures (which he found pretty boring).

During the next few weeks Travel Bear and my kids explored Yttersjö, they found a snow castle with a slide

Travel Bear also made some attempts to learn skiing but he didn’t succeed that well. His favorite place was the snow castle + long walks in the village when the kids weren’t at home.

However, not being a ice bear Travel Bear sometimes really enjoyed some quality time in front of the fire place.

We also went to a Dojo in Umeå were there was a wrestling competition” where my youngest son were competing.

Of course Travel Bear and my son wrestled for a while and guess who won!!!

One day my kids and Travel Bear decided that he should visit their school and here you can see a few pictures from their school.

Travel Bear’s time in Sweden were coming to an end but my kids and he decided that he should take part in some local fishing competitions. The first was a really local one, just a few hundred meters from home. First my son had to teach Travel Bear how you fish in the winter: first you remove some snow from the ice, then you drill a hole through the ice until you reach the water, then insert the fishing line (with a hook of course) and then you wait until some fish decides that it looks tasty.

Some fishers lies down and look at the fish swimming under the ice. Travel Bear doesn’t need to do that since he catches the fish anyways.

After a while Travel Bear got tired of waiting for more fish and started to wander about, disturbing the other fishers.

Then he saw something interesting on the beach … snowmobiles !!! So Travel Bear decided to try one

By now the competition was finished and people gathered for the price ceremony (and some burgers).

A few day afterwards it was time for the second competition, but this time it was necessary to travel to a small village called Varpsjö - but this time Travel Bear and my daughter decided they needed a chair.

He also met a moose for the first time in his life

When we got back home Travel Bear played a last game on the GameBoy before it was time to leave Sweden for some new adventures.

July 28, 2015