Forty years after the company that we know today as Pelikan came into existence, a new word of German origin came into use; wanderlust. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines wanderlust as a “strong desire to travel.” Perhaps not used as much in today’s vernacular, during 2013 the creative minds at Pelikan conceived an interesting idea for which that word was well suited. A project was born with strong ties to Facebook and social media which they dubbed “Pelikan Wanderlust 2013.” The original concept for this project was to send two bottles of Edelstein (pronounced EY-dell-shtine) ink around the world making stops along the way in the homes of different pen enthusiasts, collecting a hand written letter from each before moving on. Applications were solicited in order to select the participants with an initial vision of making 40 stops across the globe. Based on the feedback received, it was ultimately decided that three bottles would be sent instead of two thereby increasing the ground covered and making for a total of 60 stops. Those chosen to participate in this international tour of ink were notified in early August of 2013 and on August 30th the journey began. Travelling in special blue containers, the first bottle was personally delivered by the Pelikan team in Hannover, Germany. The other two began their trek via the post in Malaysia and Hawaii.
Along the way, much news has been shared about the journey of these flacons on social media via the hashtag #pelikanwanderlust. Photos, YouTube videos, and blog posts have allowed others to share in the experience of the ink traversing the globe and uniting people from across the world. Each week-long stop allowed a new letter to be written but every journey must ultimately come to an end and the blue boxes housing the ink and letters have finally returned to Hannover. On Pelikan’s Facebook Wanderlust page (linked below) is a map naming each of the project’s participants and every pin houses uploaded photos and a scan of many of the letters written.
To commemorate the occasion and the letters received, Pelikan intends to host an online celebration to which all are welcome. This will take place on Thursday, March 26th at 2-4pm UTC+01 (9am Eastern Time). Many well-known Pelikan retailers have stepped up and offered P200/205 pens for a number of winners who will be chosen based on the comments received by the end of the celebration. I for one am intrigued to see how Pelikan will structure the online event and facilitate the discussion. This journey home has been a long time in the making and I think that these letters will help to illustrate that no matter from where we may hail or how different we may at first seem, there are many common themes to the human condition which I expect to see pervading these letters.
For more information;