How I Found My New Travel Companion – August, 2015
Travelling alone can be tough. When all of my snooty friends couldn’t join me because had families or careers they couldn’t walk away from, I had to get creative in my search for a companion.
I left the United States in June of 2014, travelling with a group of 500 soccer fanatics to watch the World Cup in Brasil. We were hundreds of strangers from across the US and everyone seemed to bond almost immediately
Then, after two weeks, they were gone.
I next stayed with a friend from Brasil, though she usually had school and I spoke no Portuguese at the time.
Then, after two weeks, I was on my own again.
I worked in Bahia for a month, then left and never saw my coworkers again. I repeated the experience in Salvador. And Ecuador. And Peru. You see the pattern.
To be fair, I reunited with a coworker six months later and I still talk to many of my friends and coworkers. I also have a steady girlfriend here in Santiago, Chile. I am not completely alone. Regardless, I wanted a permanent travel companion, flexible and adventurous.
So I made my own.
First came the pattern. I found this nifty guide, printed out a PDF of the design, bought some fleece, and got to work.
I started with the arms and legs. They were the easiest pattern, and as I had never sewn before, the least noticeable if/when something went wrong.
The work was incredibly slow and tedious, so I took a couple weeks off after finishing the arms and legs. I didn’t want to grow to resent my newfound friend.
When sewing didn’t seem boring to me anymore, I got started on the body. It went fairly fast as I had gotten used to sewing the stripes and seams from the legs
This finally looked like something beyond striped fabric, so I quickly finished the head and face and started putting everything together.
I then ran into a problem: I didn’t have enough cotton to finish. Well I did, technically, but I was at my girlfriend’s apartment and the cotton was at the hostel, which was an unbearable 25 minute walk through a public park away. Yeah, the weather was great and there was still daylight, but nah. I instead stole a bunch of cotton from a hole in the armpit of one of her stuffed animals and finished. She hasn’t noticed yet and doesn’t read this often, so I think I’m in the clear.
Our first adventure was to Valparaiso. I felt bad for my girlfriend… as she boarded the train with me and Hobbes, others looked our way and snickered, clearly mocking her stretchy pants. We spent the weekend exploring miles of stairs, mountains, ocean, and street art.
Hobbes got a bit carried away with the selfies, especially with other felines, but if you looked that good you would too.
The weekend adventure confirmed that I have finally found a travel companion.