“When pigs fly” is a common saying of disbelief, but this family has taken the term to new heights…
If you happen to be a parent and aren’t familiar with the adventures of Flat Stanley, then now is time to take note! Based on the book series by Jeff Brown, little Stanley is accidentally flattened when a bookcase topples on top of him. Thankfully, the boy is okay but becomes completely flattened! Taking advantage of his new condition, Stanley travels the world by mail with the help of other young school children.
An idea stemming from the children’s books came the Flat Stanley Project. Serving as a perfect lesson to show children the wonders of the world, teachers have their young students send their own Flat Stanley to a relative who travels frequently. The travelers include Stanly in on their photos during their trip then returns him with his pictures to share with the entire class.
Yampu Travelers, Ned and Carol played the Flat Stanley game for many years with one of Carol’s nieces in Nebraska. When the couple first visited Peru with Yampu, the two began a similar travel tradition that they have since carried all over the world.
“On our Peru trip last year, we really hit it off with our guide at Lake Titicaca, Carlos Raul Zea Jara (quite the name!). On the island we visited in Lake Titicaca, we came across a native woman in traditional dress selling items along a steep path just beyond one of the ancient archways. From her, we purchased a tiny foam-filled knitted pig that we named “Cartiti” — a combination of Carlos and Titicaca.”
From Cartiti’s adoption, the little-stuffed swine has seen more of the world than most people with his travel family.
“Whenever we travel, we take Cartiti along; he’s become a three-dimensional Flat Stanley. He’s a wonderful ice-breaker with guides, strangers, barmaids, etc. They eagerly pose with him… “
Between his origins in Peru and the family’s recent trip to Argentina and Brazil, Cartiti has visited New York City and the Grand Canyon among many other places, with his photos being sent to their guide, Carlos in the true spirit of Flat Stanley.
Showing stuffed animals and childhood toys traveling the globe has become a fun social media trend in recent years. In place of their owners who may have health or financial issues and are unable to travel, teddy bears and other toys are sent abroad to experience the world in their place. Once he arrives at his destination, Teddy takes to the area’s must-see locations and poses for photos and documents his journey to send back home.
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The fun project strikes a chord in many travelers! By being able to see something so comfortable and familiar out experiencing foreign lands gives a sense of worldliness to those who may not be able to experience these places the same way.
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The trend has grown to be so popular that actual travel agencies have popped up exclusively for your childhood best friends, aka ‘Stuffies’. From passports to organizing transportation and tours, the stuffies travel companies handle all of your best friend’s logistics, much like Yampu!
Would you send your childhood stuffie on a trip to tide over your travel bug, or would you experience too much FOMO? Tell us in the comments! If you happen to travel with your own stuffie or Flat Stanly, be sure to share with us on social using #yamputravel!