What’s it really like to travel with Ike?

Ike at Hveradalir, the valley of hot springs, in the Kerlingarfjöll mountains, Iceland

Everything you always wanted to know about travelling with the stunt double of a geographically inclined feline but were afraid to ask…

When, against the odds, our biennial holiday to drive around Iceland was still happening in summer 2020 we dug out the checklist we had made many months ago. One of the items on there was to arrange  to collect Ike.

We’d first seen Geography Cat on Felix the Huddersfield Station Cat’s Facebook page, and we had been following his posts and some of Ike’s adventures for some time. As we love Iceland so much – this would be our third 2 week holiday there – we were interested in showing a wider audience what the country has to offer if you venture a little off the beaten track of Reykjavik and the Golden Circle.

On checking with GC HQ, Ike was preparing to travel again so after packing our jumpers, masks and guide books the three of us set off on a holiday that had seemed unlikely to happen during the long days of lockdown.

Ike’s Iceland Diary shows the sights & sounds of our journey so we the humans thought we would add some of our experiences of travelling with Ike.

1. You learn more about the places you’re visiting

The type of holiday we were on is very heavy on the sightseeing, every day we were at a different place, usually more than one. Having Ike meant that we remembered to take pictures and because we wanted to provide Geography Cat with some background to the snaps we were reading (and photographing!) a lot more information boards than usual.

2. You need to plan. But just a bit

There are some logistics to showing Ike the sights – he needs to be with you most of the time, along with his props, & somewhere easily accessible. “Letting the cat out of the bag” became a literal saying! Also we found it easier to send his reports back every evening. Because we had quite a lot to show it was less confusing to do a little bit every day rather than try and remember when we got back.

3. Ike will attract attention

When, instead of a selfie, one of you is holding onto a cat and trying to stay out of the shot, you will get people asking what you are doing :-). But everyone we talked to was interested in him and Geography Cat and one lady even asked for her own picture with this little Social Media star!

4. Social Media

It’s been really interesting to see other people’s comments on our photos and fashion choices for Ike! Also when people have asked us about our holiday we have been able to point them to Geography Cat, hopefully picking him up a few more followers.

5. It’s addictive!

All being well we hope that Ike can accompany us on some of our future travels. You get used to seeing his little face every morning, with a look that say “What have you got to show me today? Where are the interesting places I get to go to now?” Sightseeing just wouldn’t be the same without him!

Written by Helen & Traff – Personal Assistants to Ike July 2020

Note from Geography Cat

If you would like to take Ike away with you please read Ten things you need to know before taking Ike on an adventure

Ike at Dettifoss – the most powerful waterfall in Iceland and second most powerful in Europe

2 Replies to “What’s it really like to travel with Ike?”

  1. Love viewing Ike s adventures and learning about places I have not visited

  2. Some people are surprised that one takes a toy cat with you, but most people are receptive to the whole idea. Once the ‘ice’ is broken, the public are keen to steer you to the most interesting aspects of the place you are visiting. Some participants also want in on the action, so Ike will appear on other media channels like Facebook feeds. Overall, most people value what is being achieved under the educational umbrella that has been created by GC. Ike’s adventures are all about life long learning.

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