About The Great International Teddy Bear Exchange

The Great International Teddy Bear Exchange was begun in the spring of 2014 when I came up with the great idea to send a teddy bear from Richmond, Virginia across the Atlantic to the UK and invite my friend, Anna, in the UK to send a teddy bear to us here in Richmond. The idea is that shipping a small teddy bear was much less expensive than buying plane tickets for an entire family, and this way our kids could experience life on “the other side of the pond” without ever having to leave home.

Anna and I agreed that when our bears arrived, we would take them into our family, much like an exchange student, and let them experience our daily life with us. Through this blog, Anna and I posted photos and travelogues from our “traveling teddies” so that each family could see all the new experiences their teddy was having and see all the places they visited in their new country.

Our first exchange went so well, we decided we had to do it again, so I managed to make some connections and find a family in Australia who would be willing to host Tag the next summer. Tag went to the "Land Down Under" in 2015, and we hosted an Australian Koala named Koko.

In the fall of 2015, we set up a poll at an International Night at my son's middle school to see where Tag would go for the summer of 2016- Africa or Japan? Japan won out, so again, I worked on finding a host family, and Tag made his journey. While he was traveling, we received our friend from Japan- not a bear, but a cute pink monster named Moppy. Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen circumstances, Tag never made it to his destination, and because shipping takes so long, by the time he made it back home the summer was almost over. So we took a break from Moppy posts and decided to try again in 2017.

In 2017, travel plans were arranged once again, and Tag made it to Japan safe and sound. Moppy had spent the winter with us, and so blog posts were able to resume once again.

Meet the Bears:


Here is our U.S. family with our bear, Tag (atop my son’s head). Pandy (on the table) was helping Tag out by making a trip to Indonesia with some friends of ours. We are hoping to get some photos from that trip soon to complement our international blog.


Here is Charmin getting one last cuddle before he left his family in the U.K. to come visit America.


A very rare occasion when two traveling teddies cross paths- Tag just before he left for Australia and Koko right after he arrived in America!

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