This is a post in an ongoing feature on Her Packing List called “The One Little Thing.” Each week or two, we’ll be interviewing a traveling lady to find out the one little thing she can’t travel without. This one comes to you from Kate Sedrowski.
What’s the one little thing you can’t travel without?
My teddy bear, Andy, who I’ve had since the day I was born.
Why has this one item been so important to you?
This teddy bear has been my constant companion on my journey through life, but even more than that, he has been a fantastic actual travel companion! I started taking pictures of him when I began traveling solo, because he was a way for me to take personal photos without having to try to always get myself in the shot somehow.
However, I soon realized that he was also an amazing conversation starter! When people see me taking pictures of my teddy bear, they are often intrigued enough to ask me the story behind it. From a few minutes that brighten someone’s day to forming friendships that last for years, my teddy bear has introduced me to so many people – which is quite a feat for a stuffed animal that doesn’t speak!
How packable is it? Does it take up much room? Is it heavy?
Perfectly packable! Every time I show my teddy bear to someone who has only seen him in pictures, they are always surprised at how small he is. Also, both my backpack and my purse have zippered pouches that I think were secretly designed with teddy bears in mind!
>>Check out Kate’s review of her Dakine Carry On Valise suitcase.
Why would you recommend this to your travel friends?
Traveling with a teddy bear makes the world a more delightful place! You can make people smile when you’re taking pictures – and again when you’re showing those same pictures to your friends and family! Plus, it is nice to have the comfort of a fuzzy friend when travel gets stressful.
Can you name one situation or incident where you were so happy to have this item with you?
On a recent trip to New York City, I was at a cute outdoor cafe on the High Line (an awesome park created on old elevated railroad tracks), and I sat down at one of the communal tables to take pictures of Andy enjoying the alfresco atmosphere. Almost immediately, the two women next to me stopped their conversation to start one with me about the story of this teddy bear.
Soon we were sharing tales of our lives and travels, until the group on the other side of me interrupted to find out if the teddy bear came with the menu or if he was mine. As we began talking, they gave me all sorts of suggestions for places to take my teddy bear during the rest of my time in New York. I took their recommendation for Governor’s Island and headed there the next day. It ended up being one of my favorite places on the whole trip, and I hadn’t even heard of it before my new friends brought it up!
How did you hear about this item?
Well, teddy bears are universally familiar, but I began traveling with mine after I had to get a passport in less than 48 hours to take a work trip to London. My cousin made Andy a passport so he could go with me! Not only are stuffed animals a great way to meet new people, but they are also a way to bring your family along on your adventures!
What sort of traveler is this item perfect for?
Teddy bears make great companions for solo travelers! You can document your travels in a unique way without having to resort to selfie sticks, since the stuffed animal is your stand in. Plus, traveling with a teddy bear is a wonderful way to make new friends on the road – you’re never lonely with a teddy bear in tow!
About Kate: I’m a videographer by profession and a traveler by passion. My favorite souvenir is the scar from the broken nose I got in a snowball fight with strangers who became friends on a solo trip to Québec City for my 30th birthday. Follow your own compass to wonder, wander, discover and delight on my blog, Travel Like a Teddy Bear, and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Feature photo and last photo are courtesy Johnny Wolf/Flytographer.