What's with the flamingo?

Top travel blog mascot

Once upon a time, there lived a girl in the Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg who longed for something tacky to adorn her lawn. If she journeyed into the East Rand, Garden Gnomes were in abundance. If she went to the West, there were wagon wheel fences. And, in both one can find letter boxes made to look like wooden barrels. Throughout her city, though, lawn flamingos remained rare and elusive.

One day, she journeyed to North America to sail one of the seven seas and there, while swimming off the quiet Island of Cozumel, Mexico, she met a scuba-diving instructor with crazy blue eyes named Rodrigo, who gave her some snorkelling advice and then tried to convince her that his future happiness was based on the hope that she would one day return to the island and allow him to drive her into the sunset on his scooter. Terrified that she had stepped into a bad bad romance novel, the girl fled the quiet seaside bar never to return again (on that contract), unaware of the fact that she was leaving her beloved SPF 50 (and the secret to her non-tan) behind.

Upon her return to the home port of Mobile, Alabama, the girl set off to replace her much needed sunscreen and there, in the discount section of Target, she found the Lawn Flamingo she had always wanted. She named him after the creepy Mexican guy, and the pair set off across the sea to the Bahamas and inland through the USA in search of adventure and the two-storey Barbie house at the Toys R Us in Times Square.

They then travelled throughout Europe, held up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, watched the sunset from the Eiffel Tower, crossed the London Bridge, visited the Vatican and befriended obscene gnomes in Germany. 
Their tamer adventures in South Africa consisted mostly of surviving a particularly wild house cat. 


Apart from visiting six of the seven continents (bypassing Antarctica, it's cold, no one needs to go there), Sharon intends to take Rodrigo to Cozumel, to find that creepy scuba-diving instructor, allow him to drive them around the island on his scooter and see if he remembers her after all.

You can read more about his adventures here, and you can follow him on Instagram here.

Countries and territories visited so far:


  1. The USA
  2. The Bahamas
  3. The Turks and Caicos
  4. South Africa
  5. England
  6. France
  7. Switzerland
  8. Austria
  9. Germany
  10. Italy
  11. The Vatican City
  12. Greece
  13. Slovakia
  14. Slovenia
  15. Czech Republic
  16. Belgium
  17. The Netherlands
  18. Mozambique
  19. St. Maarten (The Netherlands / France)
  20. U.S Virgin Islands (USA)
  21. Anguilla (Britain)
  22. Mexico
  23. Jamaica
  24. Honduras
  25. Belize
  26. Colombia
  27. Costa Rica
  28. The Azores (Portugal)
  29. Denmark
  30. Estonia
  31. Russia
  32. Finland
  33. Sweden
  34. Norway
  35. Ireland
  36. Northern Ireland
  37. Scotland
  38. The British Virgin Islands
  39. Zimbabwe
  40. Bermuda
  41. Canada
  42. Antigua & Barbuda
  43. St. Lucia
  44. Martinique (France)
  45. Puerto Rico (USA)
  46. Barbados
  47. St. Kitts & Nevis
  48. Aruba
  49. Curacao
  50. Bonaire
  51. Grenada
  52. Guadalupe
  53. Cuba

See his photo gallery here.

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Entries close 30 April 2019

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Sharon Waugh

Sharon is a writer, cruise ship entertainment host and freelance unicorn wrangler, living it up on the high seas. She also likes to photograph a plastic lawn flamingo in exotic locations because it seemed like a good idea 10 years ago and 53 countries later, it’s probably too late to turn back now.

 Sharon greatly dislikes reading “travel blogs” by people who are just rephrasing press releases or composing lists like “15 ways to travel the world for cheap”, specifically formulated for SEO, with absolutely no evidence that the writer has ever left their bedroom. (This is not one of those blogs.) Sharon also dislikes bigotry and referring to herself in first person, apparently.

To find out more about Sharon and Rodrigo’s travel aspirations read this.

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Practical travel tips and destination guides for anyone visiting any of the places I have been.


My thoughts on travel mascots, photographing your butt in exotic locations and the addictive nature of cruise ship employment, among other things.

True stories about trying to find trolls in Norway, toilets in Denmark and getting flashed in Cuba, to name a few.

Tips for cruisers and crew members, as well as anecdotes from a variety of experiences at sea.