If You Can’t Bring a Friend, Pack One

March 15, 2010

The film “Amélie” made it popular, but the French certainly weren’t the first to take an inanimate object and make it the star of travel photos. I’ve seen it done with other gnomes (Travelocity is a fan of them), plastic lizards, stuffed bears and Barbies.

None of them are cuter than my travel buddy though: Spike the Rhino.

What’s the point? Well, it’s silly fun, it gives me a reason to drag out my camera when I’m feeling lazy, and it’s a great way to tell your travel story. If you’re traveling alone you may not always want to hand your camera to a stranger to get a photo of yourself, but then you wind up with a photo album full of landscape shots:

The Wairaki Terraces, New Zealand, sans rhino.

Boring. Pretty, but dull. Add a rhino though:

Spike takes a steam bath.

Amazing! Adorable! And a little bit weird. My friend love him though, and the first question I get when I return from a trip isn’t, “Did you have fun?” but “Where are Spike’s photos?”

A little travel friend is also a great conversation starter. People always want to jump in a photo with Spike, ask me where he’s been and tell me about their own photo habits. Some want pictures of outhouses around the world, others collect photos of flowers or food. Even if you don’t speak the same language, a funny photo is something you can share a smile over.

Who are your travel friends?


  1. i wish i watched “Amelie” when i first started traveling. im contemplating on getting an inanimate travel buddy myself, but i cant seem to find the perfect one. hihihi and what about those past travel photos without him/her on it? crazy me.. lol

  2. nice and cool site, easy to understand articles and very informative

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