The Story Behind the Shirt

Since it makes its debut appearance in my next post, I thought I would explain the story behind the t-shirt I am wearing.

picture courtesy of Uncruise Adventures

We’re sitting in a diner. In my experience diners are often where the best ideas are birthed.

I suddenly remember an article I read earlier in the day, and become extra animated.

I explain to Shannon that the article was about a place in Norway. It is a venue where you can watch the Northern Lights, something that still remains on our bucket list. It is also a wolf sanctuary, so while you watch the Northern Lights, the rescue wolves snuggle with you.

“I mean, that’s one-hundred times better than just seeing the Northern Lights. You get to see the lights and you get to snuggle with wolves,” I exclaim.

Shannon puts his fork down and sighs.

“Sometimes I think you just want to go places so you can snuggle the wildlife.”

It’s true. I was watching the Travel Channel one day. They were doing a countdown of the world’s best beaches. When Boulder Beach in South Africa popped on the screen, showing a multitude of penguins wandering about, a beam of light shone down on the television screen.

I ran up the stairs yelling to Shannon,

“We have to go to South Africa to see penguins frolicking on the beach!”

For my birthday this year, I am campaigning hard for a trip to Crystal River, Florida, so I can snorkel with manatees.

At the diner Shannon suggests,

“You should get a t-shirt that says something like, I’m just here to snuggle the wildlife.”

We laugh, and then pull out our phones and Google t-shirts plus the phrase. There is nothing that really captures the true feeling.

There was only one option. I’d have to create my own t-shirt.

Now here’s the disclaimer. I am fully aware that you shouldn’t actually snuggle wildlife. I am a huge lover of animals and thus I am respectful of them. I only snuggle when it is appropriate to do so. I am not like the girl we saw on a California beach, who was quite insistent, and was very dismayed, when the seal on the beach kept trying to bite her as she attempted to give it a hug.

Keeping a respectful distance from sleeping seals

My shirt is more about a state of being. I enjoy animals, I relish seeing them. I can’t help but want to smother them with love, but I resist the urge to do so. Every time we plan a trip, I’m always on the lookout for animal experiences (ethical experiences of course). I joke that I appreciate seeing them and snuggling them with my mind.

I put the phrase/t-shirt up on Redbubble, just in case there are others out there who also love snuggling the wildlife and want a t-shirt of their own.  To go the store, just click here.

If you do get the shirt, definitely post a pic up of you wearing it on twitter or Instagram  and tag me. I’d love to see it.

The Story Behind the T-shirt-The Obligatory Traveler









  1. Susan

    August 26, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Love this. I too love the critters. I heard you campaigning for the manatees today. Hope you get you wish.


      August 28, 2017 at 2:17 am

      Thanks. Keeping my fingers crossed for sure. My birthday is on a Saturday, so it would be a perfect year to do it.

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