Our Story

Gnome

Inspiration

One day Michael was walking around in his usual dream state on his way to work. It was probably very dark and cold, this being sometime in the middle of winter in Stockholm. For some reason he had been reminded about the six degrees of separation theory (a picture of Kevin Bacon on the tube?), and in his mind he then made the somewhat bizarre connection between this and a story from way back when about the travelling gnome prank. Perhaps he was also thinking of Audrey Tautou in the film Amélie? Putting two and two together to make five, Michael came up with the idea of sticking all this together on the internet and replacing garden gnomes with teddy bears. At work Michael then approached his colleague Richard in a feverish state by the coffee machine, and to his surprise Richard agreed later that day over a lunch of pea and ham soup (with a side order of pancakes) to bring his Web 2.0 skills to the table too. Hours later the first version of the website was born.

Strange Fruit

Since then both Michael and Richard have been working on this project on top of their day jobs. It's been a struggle, but they think the end results are worth it, and they hope you do to. The whole point of this site is to enable people - and especially kids - to have a bit of honest, decent fun, and to find out about the world in which they live in a new and exciting way. When you start a Teddy Trips Adventure, you never know where the next turn might take you. But that's point and the fun of it. Sometimes it's nice to strip away the order and everyday structure of things, and allow a little creative chaos and serendipity to creep in.

Steinbeck
 

As Steinbeck said in his short story Junius Maltby about some people talking lazily by a river:

"they didn't make conversation; rather they let a seedling of thought sprout by itself, and then watched with wonder while it sent out branching limbs. They were surprised at the strange fruit their conversation bore, for they didn't direct their thinking, nor trellis nor trim it the way so many people do"

John Steinbeck

This site is dedicated to precisely that kind of magic, and the strange fruit produced by random connections. Like putting Kevin Bacon and Gnomes together and watching them add up to Traveling Teddy Bears. Michael and Richard hope you'll enjoy this site and idea as much as they do.

About Michael

Michael currently lives in Stockholm where he speaks mainly using his hands. He is however at heart a simple Derbyshire lad who spends way too much time daydreaming and listening to Sufjan Stevens and the Beastie Boys. He is married to a Swede and has three very rowdy children, plus a dog called Eddie. He has an MA in Philosophy and is a Libran. His favourite quote is, "I know how to spell banana, I just don't know when to stop".