Hi there. Now that I have you here, I need to come clean.  That title was, uhh, kinda clickbait-y. This post isn’t actually about the puzzling nature of travel (as if that’s even a thing). It’s about jigsaw puzzles, the newest hobby to compete for my limited time and scattered attention. A long-time crossword puzzle lover, I’ve only recently gotten into jigsaw puzzles. My timing couldn’t be worse, though, as puzzles and cats are a horrible combination.

Even with my new handy dandy, piece-protecting, feline-foiling roll-up puzzle preservation mat . . .

. . . it only works if I can get free and unencumbered access to it.

My new “mystery” puzzle (solved without the aid of a picture) and I don’t stand a chance, do we?
I would NEVER go after mommy’s puzzle pieces (mainly because I can’t reach the tabletop). But I will chew the box.

Even when I can sneak in and get some puzzling done, it’s only a matter of time before my efforts are thwarted.

Subtle, Mango. Really subtle.

But despite all the four-pawed interference, I have managed to get a few travel-themed puzzles completed.  It all started when my brother gave me this one after he viewed my Travel Opens Doors posts:

The addiction begins. . .

Our recent summertime trip to Breckenridge resulted in many frivolous purchases, including this ski run jigsaw. When I was in 5th grade, my parents took us on a ski trip to Colorado, but on the day the rest of the family skied Breck, my mom and I went shopping in town instead, so I’ve never actually skied any of these runs. That’s ok. Skiing not required for successful puzzle completion.

I bought this puzzle of vintage travel posters intending it as a trivia prize at our Travel Bucket List Party & Fundraiser, but couldn’t bear to part with it.

So I didn’t.

We had lots of “assistance” with this one.

I saw this travel-themed puzzle in a local shop and just couldn’t pass it up.

Fun to assemble, but a depressing reminder of how few national parks I’ve visited. I’ve only been to 12 of the parks pictured.

Discussing my newest obsession at work led to a trade and allowed me to keep the national park theme going.

I haven’t even heard of some of these parks.

And while trades and purchases are fine ways to obtain these visual-spatial brain teasers, I also subscribed to Completing the Puzzle, a puzzle-lending company. Remember getting DVDs mailed to you from Netflix? It works like that. The three-month term I chose allows me be puzzled during the height of winter when I’m stuck inside much of the time. Conveniently, it will expire right around the time the snow melts and my focus shifts to gardening.

I couldn’t help getting another door puzzle from Completing . . .

I have several more travel-themed puzzles on my Completing wishlist (Evening in Paris is on its way as I write this), but I’m afraid my subscription will expire before I can get to them all. No matter. I intend to resubscribe next winter. In the meantime, my Amazon wishlist is filling up fast with travel-themed puzzles, so this probably won’t be the last time you see a Traveling Has Me Puzzled post from me.

Next time, though, you won’t be puzzled by the title. 🧩

39 thoughts

  1. That feline puzzle mat works perfectly. It attracted a feline in no time flat. 🤣
    While I enjoy world puzzles, crosswords and brain teasers I’ve never really been a jigsaw lover. Probably because I’m not very good at them and get frustrated after the corners are complete. But I do understand the allure…

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This is such a great post and your travel-related jigsaw puzzles are so beautiful. I love puzzles and am fortunate to have a good few charity shops nearby where I can get them for a couple of euros. I find that getting stuck into a jigsaw is a much better way to keep your brain engaged than sitting in front of the TV for hours. There are a few puzzles I would like to challenge myself to such as the gradient puzzles and “Ice 9” which apparently is the world’s most difficult jigsaw puzzle containing just 9 pieces. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Aiva. Yeah, there are some really tough ones out there. The husband’s mom once completed a double-sided, all-black (both sides) puzzle. And then there are the 3Ds and such. In the puzzle world, I’m a baby beginner and will probably stay that way. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reading a newspaper was difficult when I had a cat. Now I have neither a cat nor newspapers, but I can imagine how much they love puzzles! They love anything that takes your attention from them, even if they pretend they don’t want your attention. I used to buy a puzzle from our travels too, but since we’ve switched to months long travel trips I’ve stopped. Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You clearly know cats because your description is spot on.
      Yeah, lugging around puzzles for months might not be a challenge. I’m not a light packer and even I wouldn’t do that! (P.S. Just back from Jamaica last night, which is why I’ve been AWOL on reading blogs. Back soon.)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I like to tell myself they’re good for my brain somehow. Not sure I can back that up, but it’s probably not the worst thing in the world.
      I watch the cats like a hawk so we’ve had no chewed pieces (so far). I do wonder how they know if all the pieces are returned. I wonder if they have something like those coin counting machines they have in banks, but for puzzle pieces…


  4. We do a lot of jigsaw puzzles here but without assistants like yours. I’ve never tried one of those roll up thingies, but have seen them. If you want some real puzzle fun, now that you’ve bought a few puzzles from the same company, look for ones that have the same piece count, the same dimensions, and the same puzzle piece shapes, THEN combine two puzzles into one by mixing up the pieces/images to create a new puzzle. It’ll all click together eventually. It’s wacko fun, but a hoot to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m gonna have to subscribe to that puzzle lending company, that’s such a great idea! We’re currently working on a Yellowstone one. Also, the first national parks puzzle you showed… Pat and I have done that exact same one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just found a Bryce Canyon one I bought for my classroom years and years ago but nobody ever tried (now that I look at it, it’s too advanced for elementary students) so I’ve brought it home to give it a go. Isn’t that puzzle lending company a good idea? Kinda wish I’d thought of it…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We have the travel puzzle and the national park puzzle (the first pictured one)! We really love doing puzzles but we tend to get almost competitive with it so we have had to only pull them out here and there and the 6 year old has become the official puzzle referee. I want to see if I can find the Breckenridge ski slopes one to give to hubby for his birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. One of the best travel experiences of my life was a trip to the Oregon coast.

    One of the worst travel experiences of my life was a trip to the Oregon coast that included a jigsaw puzzle.

    I’m sorry, Tara and I tried to get into it. We tried for three hours. And were both bored out of our minds. I wish their had been cats there to wreak a little mayhem! Haven’t touched a puzzle since.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand – that’s how I feel about American football. I’ve found that I’m partial to certain types of puzzle pictures and rather dislike others. Perhaps you just haven’t met the right puzzle yet… 😉


  8. I always used to do a puzzle every winter until I had a cat. She rolled over one in progress and it sprayed in pieces around the room. I’ve taken it up again, just finished one for this year, from a painting (not travel themed, although most have been from photos of travel places). I once had a custom puzzle made from a photo of my son taken from one of our trips.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I would not be able to work a puzzle at home–it would be hard to find a dedicated space. But, we have a vaca home, and there is always an in-progress jigsaw set up on one of the tables. Anyone who goes there can work on it, or leave it alone. It might take years, but the puzzle eventually gets done, and we crack open another box!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You sly person, you, drawing me in with the fake promises of puzzlery :p

    But it does look interesting though. I have been hankering for a good puzzle or two, but I don’t think I can dedicate so much space for that pursuit, as my past experiences with paint-by-numbers would suggest, lol. Lovely pics as always too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gotcha! haha 🙂
      Thank you. I’m annoyed with the glare on those pictures, but with the glossy finish of the puzzles, the light directly above it, and where the puzzle is relative to the closest natural light source, I can’t seem to avoid it. Holy cow, I’m boring myself reading that last sentence. As if anyone cares about my photography woes! 🤣


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