Earlier this month I wrote about Pelikan’s Wanderlust Project, a concept based around a joy of ink and fine writing instruments, married to social media (#Wanderlust). Three flacons of Edelstein ink were dispatched from Germany to travel the world in large blue boxes. Ultimately, 60 stops were chosen after a review of approximately 200 applications. Cumulatively, the three boxes visited 37 countries over 5 continents covering almost 112,000 miles, a journey that would roughly circle the world four times. The project began in 2013 and today Pelikan hosted an online celebration via Facebook (2pm-4pm UTC+01) in honor of the return home of those “blue boxes.” The letters written by each participant that were returned to Germany (57 in total) were posted individually to the event’s Facebook page along with many photos. The company posed various questions with each post and the letter’s authors were all invited to participate as well. If exploring those wasn’t enticing enough, Pelikan went even further by obtaining 22 sponsors from their pool of retail partners. These sponsors offered up several P200/P205 pens that were given away in a raffle to event participants based on comments left with each post. Over 600 people had affirmed their desire to attend on the event page ahead of the celebration and based on the languages and locations that I observed, it was truly an international event. Winners of today’s raffles will be announced tomorrow, 3/27.
With the close of the Wanderlust project, Pelikan has decided to begin a new venture, an effort that they have christened Wanderbox. If this sounds similar, that’s because it is but with an interesting twist. The Wanderlust boxes traversed the world but did so on a fixed and predetermined path that was decided upon ahead of time after an application was made to Pelikan. The path of the Wanderboxes will not be nearly so well-defined. Similar to the prior project, recipients will get a big blue box which houses a flacon of Edelstein ink (perhaps Ink of the Year 2015). Four of these boxes will be distributed across the world to chosen bloggers/fountain pen lovers starting in Belgium, Germany, the U.S.A., and a fourth location chosen from one of today’s event participants. As before, the recipients of the box will write a letter and post it to social media with the hashtag #Wanderbox. By geotagging the post, people will be able to follow anew the journey of these boxes and will have an opportunity to read the letters written. What distinguishes this from the prior effort is the fact that the next person in the chain is not predetermined. It is up to the recipient to pass it on to a person of their choosing. No other rules govern the handoff. As Pelikan says, “No supervision, no control, no plan.” Think of Wanderbox then as a freestyle spin-off of Wanderlust. It should be exciting to see where these boxes end up and how much of the globe they will traverse.
If you’re curious to see what lands these boxes will visit, make sure you follow along on social media via the hashtag #Wanderbox. Also, check back here at The Pelikan’s Perch in a few weeks time when I will be posting details and thoughts about my experience with the Wanderbox. I have had the good fortune to be chosen as one of the starting locations and couldn’t be more excited to help kick this off. The hardest part will be determining who to choose as the next link of the chain….