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The ups and downs of traveling with your best (canine)friend

Hey there wanderlusters, it’s Riley!

There’s no denying that the most rewarding journeys I’ve undertaken have been with my favorite four-legged sidekick, Charlotte. This big black shepherd has not only taught me to find joy in the little things, but she’s also challenged me in ways I never expected. Traveling with Charlotte is a unique blend of elation and exasperation, of delight and doggie bags. But, at the end of the day, it’s all so worth it.

Let me start with the joy of seeing the world through Charlotte’s big, curious eyes. From sniffing out the best croissants in Paris to splashing around in the crystal-clear waters of the Greek Isles, it’s her relentless zest for life that sparks my own sense of wanderlust. When Charlotte’s  ears perk up at the sound of waves crashing onto the Australian shores, or when her nose goes wild as we hike through the aromatic pine forests of Canada, I see and experience the world anew. She invites me to re-discover familiar sceneries and dive into new adventures with a spirit of boundless joy. It’s Charlotte’s world, and I’m just lucky enough to explore it with her!

There’s also the charm of traveling with a dog that often breaks down cultural barriers. Where language fails, a wagging tail prevails. Charlotte’s friendly demeanor and playful antics have opened up conversations with locals worldwide, leading to friendships and cultural experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise. It’s like having a fluffy, friendly ambassador by your side.

But, for all the sunrises watched and friendships made, traveling with a dog isn’t all tail-wagging fun. Just like any adventure, it comes with its set of challenges.

One of the biggest annoyances is, undoubtedly, finding pet-friendly accommodations. Not all places roll out the welcome mat for our four-legged buddies. That adorable cottage in the Italian countryside or that chic New York loft might be perfect for Instagram, but if they don’t accept pets, they’re off-limits. It requires meticulous planning and often means sacrificing certain conveniences.

Then there’s the juggling act that is the logistics of traveling with a big dog. Getting Charlotte onto planes, trains, and boats isn’t always straightforward. There are always hoops to jump through, from vaccinations to paperwork, not to mention the heartache of leaving her in the cargo hold on long flights. Navigating this maze of regulations can be frustrating, but seeing Charlotte’s excitement as we land in a new country makes it all worthwhile.

Finally, there are the unexpected messes. Ever had your dog shake off sea water in the middle of a fancy Greek restaurant? Or how about needing to pick up after your pooch in the pristine streets of Tokyo? Trust me, it’s not a walk in the park. Charlotte, being a lab, is all about making her mark, and that often leads to blush-worthy moments.

Yet, despite these challenges, I wouldn’t trade our adventures for anything. Through all the messes and obstacles, Charlotte teaches me to embrace imperfection. Our journey isn’t about picture-perfect moments, it’s about shared experiences and the unbreakable bond between us.

Traveling with Charlotte has given me a front-row seat to the simple joys of life, to connections that transcend language, and to the kind of unconditional love that only a dog can provide. It’s taught me to appreciate the journey, not just the destination. Despite the hiccups, there’s no one else I’d rather share this wanderlust-filled life with.

So next time you’re packing your bags, consider taking your furry friend along for the ride. Trust me, the extra effort is worth the wags and sloppy kisses you’ll get in return!

Safe and paw-some travels,

Riley & Charlotte