Every traveling group has to have a mascot, we figured. Ours is a 2-inch long fabric fish named, not particularly creatively, Travel Fish.

Travel Fish, as of this writing, has been to nine countries and 19 US states. Nineteen is more than either of us has visited, but he sometimes accompanies family or friends who are going some new place.

He is is on his first transatlantic journey and is looking forward to a summer in Europe. He is wearing a mask wherever he goes because there is no way he wants to get Covid.

About a decade ago I was sitting at the waterfront in Savannah, Georgia when I was approached by a gentleman who was clearly down on his luck. He held a little fabric fish in his hands. The red hearts and white background stood out against his dirty clothes.

“This is Travel Fish,” he said, holding up the trinket, its button eyes catching the last bird of the sunset. “I promised I’d show him the world and I can’t do it. I think I’ll be here forever. You seem like an adventurer. Will you show him the world?”

At the time, I didn’t know how much of the world I would get to see but I knew I’d get to travel so I accepted him.

Travel Fish is no trouble at all. He’s quiet, eats nothing, and takes up almost no room in my backpack.

Our travel companion has his own “passport”, though the doesn’t get official stamps.

Keep an eye out here for where Travel Fish (and Steve and I) find adventure this summer.