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 letterboxes 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:


  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

  25. Belize

  27. Costa Rica

  28. The Azores (Portugal)

  29. Denmark

  30. Estonia

  31. Russia

  32. Finland

  33. Sweden 

  34. Norway 

  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)
Puerto Rico (USA)

  47. St. Kitts & Nevis

  48. Aruba

  51. Grenada

  53. Cuba

  54. India

Be sure to look for Rodrigo near well-known international landmarks. Even if you don't find him, you may find one of these: 

Wynwood, Miami

The QR code on them will direct you to this page.


About the Sharonicles

The Sharonicles is a travel humour blog by a location-independent South African travel writer. After five years as a cruise ship crew member, Sharon is now trying to adjust to life on land with itchy feet. (That is an expression but cruise ships will literally give you Athletes Foot, just FYI.) Born and raised in Johannesburg, she is now exploring her new home city of Cape Town (and hopefully a number of more land-locked locations throughout the rest of the world too).

Here she shares advice, opinions and anecdotes revealing the funny side of travel from her experiences on five continents and a number of seas.

She also photographs a plastic flamingo called 'Rodrigo' on her travels because it seemed like a good idea ten years ago and 54 countries later, it’s probably too late to turn back now.

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

Browse by category

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.