I'm so excited to share this little geocaching story with you! You might remember this kawaii little anime figurine from my Studio Tour. She was a random find at the mall!
When we were preparing for our Netherlands/Belgium trip, we knew we wanted to bring a Travel Bug over to Europe with us. For those of you that aren't familiar with Geocaching, here's a little blurb from Geocaching.com that pretty much sums it up:
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.
You can find out more here. And what is a Travel Bug?
Simply put, a Groundspeak Travel Bug is a trackable tag that you attach to an item. This allows you to track your item on Geocaching.com. The item becomes a hitchhiker that is carried from cache to cache (or person to person) in the real world and you can follow its progress online.
Find out more about Travel Bugs here.
When we were looking around the house for the perfect object to attach our Travel Bug tag to, when I saw this little gal, I knew she was perfect! She looked like a little traveler with her little pink backpack. So, Ethan poked (drilled?) a hole into her backpack and attached the bug. Here she is in Amsterdam about to be placed in the geocache.
You can put a request on the Geocaching site as to where you might want your Travel Bug to end up. You just log in the number on your Travel Bug tag at Geocaching.com. You can see Anime Traveler's profile here. Here's the goal we set for her:
With my world on my back, I want to see the world. Please photograph me and send pics.
I would especially love to see Asia.
Ethan wrote that. I have to point out the redundant word "world". That is me being anal-girl. Ha!
So cute though right?! I really hope she ends up in Tokyo. My ultimate goal would be for her to make it to every country on our planet. I have to say, it is THE biggest kick for Ethan and I when we get updates on where she is. You just never know how a Travel Bug is going to fair in the big wide world. We've seen some Travel Bugs that were just trashed. Sometimes people stumbled onto Geocaches accidentally and aren't very nice to them. :( But I think this little gal has a lot of personality, and it inspires people to keep her going. I would say for the most part, Geochachers are VERY into it. If you're a cacher, you're IN IT. Which is so inspiring. They take it very seriously and I think all cachers have a general respect for each other and the caches out there. It is such a neat world, this Geocaching thing!
While we were caching in Amsterdam, we stumbled onto what seemed to be the perfect place to set little Anime Traveler on her journey. What looks like a nondescript utility door, when you open it you see this:
So we put her in the little jar and set her free. ; ) We were amazed to see that while we were still in Amsterdam, someone had already picked her up! Here's a map of where she's been so far:
And here are some photos taken by cachers!
It seems that she was last seen in that little birdhouse up there in Vienna, Austria. I translated the note that the last cacher left on the site that says: "a small girl .. so, the journey continues". : ) I think they retrieved her, so she must be on a journey somewhere else. I hope whoever has her will keep the momentum going. Can't wait to see where she goes next.
You know what's cool? Apparently, you don't even have to see a cache in person to log it in on the site (you typically log any cache you find into the site, so that the cache owners can see who's visited! You can also leave notes if a cache needs attention. Sometimes the weather gets the best of them, or "Muggles" have tampered with them. Muggles are non-geocachers that stumble onto them. ; )
Ethan saw one day that someone logged in our Anime Traveler because they saw her on my blog! What a small world it is!
Here are some more pics of our Amsterdam geocaching adventures:
This one above was cool. Some caches are very small. This one was a little box attached with a magnet to this utility box.
The one below was SO rad!! There were some really creative caches in Europe. Look at this little decal. : ) It wasn't the final destination though...
You had to keep looking, but to the left of this light pole, was an identical decal attached to a fence. Ethan lied down on his belly (ha) and felt underneath the bridge and...
... there it was. We signed the log book, added my business card and put her back. I think she was attached with a magnet as well to the iron fence.
We also brought a Travel Bug that we found in Florida (I think?) while on vacation, to Europe. I took photos of it with the Amsterdam backdrop and posted them on the Geocaching site for the owner. : )
More log books. I always love looking through these to see where people have come from.
I'll be sure to update you on Anime Traveler's progress! :D
Also, I designed some Geocaching gifts for Ethan for his birthday last month that I need to share with you. Some personalized family caching business cards, a log book custom stamp and some customized wooden nickels. Personalized wooden nickels are popular with cachers and I had some made that represented our family. :D Will share soon!
Have a great weekend! Maybe do some caching? : )
Artwork sources: "friendly mail" letters & kawaii camera from Team Kitten's "Forever Friends" available here.