As you may have already noticed, I have a roaming gnome. His name is Isaac and he was given to me by my very good friend Megan. After venturing off on two trips to Europe together, Megan felt is necessary to bequeath me with a gnome.
One thing that really irks me when I tell people about Isaac is the response of “Oh, you mean like the Travelocity gnome?”
No. Not like the Travelocity gnome. I mean no disrespect to Travelocity, but their gnome was not the first to ever come into existence! The tradition of travelling with a gnome is decades old. It is said to have started in the 1980’s when an Australian woman found her precious friend missing from the lawn, replaced by a note. “Dear Mum, couldn’t stand the solitude any longer. Gone off to see the world. Don’t be worried, I’ll be back soon. Love Bilbo xxx.”
Stealing garden gnomes before embarking on a holiday became so popular that clubs have formed, dedicated to acquiring and travelling with garden gnomes. The Travelling Gnome Prank went viral before anyone knew what “going viral” meant.
I’m not encouraging everyone to go out and steal garden gnomes from their neighbors. That would be considered theft and considering the reputation of the Garden Gnome Liberation front, it’s probably not a good idea. Stealing 150 gnomes or staging a mass suicide with 11 gnomes hanging from a bridge is not the best way to start of your travels. I just think it’s important that we have a small understanding of how the roaming gnome started so we don’t give credit to the wrong people.