It is not a hard thing to have your pet with you all the time when you’re travelling if such life is for them a usual thing. A puppy, a kitten or any other kind of animal can adapt to always changing surroundings and continue their life like this. Of course, it is possible to start training your pet when they’re older, but mostly it brings a lot of stress for both sides.
I got my cat, Lori, when I was 16. Back then I had no idea what my life would look like in the future, so taking her under my wings was not too binding. Even when I was away (studying), I knew she’s home with my Mum and that eventually I will come back. 7 years later I’ve realised it’s no longer possible. My life took a completely different and unexpected turn. I was torn apart by a desire of fulfilling my dreams and love for this fluffy little creature.
All in all, she still lives in the same flat, but with my sister. Since the day I’ve decided to travel, I can’t shake off the feeling of guilt. I know I was lucky because Lori stayed with people she loves and I’m sure she happily purrs into their ears, but still… She’s the one I can’t even explain to why I’m gone all the time and why I always come back only for a few days. I wish she could understand.
The subject of animals in travel came up because every time Nick comes across a dog, any dog, he basically rolls together with them on the ground. He runs with them, he “fights” them, laughs, plays… and then he comes to me with a mixture of happiness and sadness, saying that he really misses having a dog and he wants one. Sure, we could have a pet, but… how? Travelling locally would be okay, many dogs like riding in a car. But what if we want to fly to another continent? There’s a whole issue with getting a passport, a chip and I don’t know what else. But paperwork is not what scares us away, it’s the lack of assurance that the dog won’t suffer during transportation or in different climates. I heard that you can have a dog on a plane next to you, but if the flight lasts over 10 hours, what is it like? Also, very often animals have to stay a week or two in the quarantine area. It seems like a lot for a creature you love.
Another difficult point would be the mean of transportation on land. We’ve sold the motorcycle, yes, but we still plan to get a new one. For now it wouldn’t be a problem, beause we travel by car, but what when we go back to riding two wheels again? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen dogs on motorcycles- it’s hilarious and looks like a lot of fun, but I guess it’s good when you go by the lake near your city or to see friends around, but doing 300km like this doesn’t seem safe or comfortable for a poor doggy. Not to mention that we sometimes travel without having any means of transport on our own. We hitch hike, we take a bus or train, we walk a lot… Especially hitch hiking is out of question as many drivers would choose not to take a smelly cat into their shiny new Porsche.
We also thought about having the dog with us when we’re in Europe and having it with someone while we’re away, but it seems wrong. Especially when the dog gets attached to you, it’s just too cruel and confusing for them.
We think getting a pet could be quite a selfish act as we have no idea where our wanderlust will throw us any time. We don’t want to sentence our beloved animals to a stressful life full of separations. The long ones, when we decide to travel around the world hitch hiking, and the short ones, when we would take them on board of a plane for 15 hours, alike.
It turns out it’s actually easier to travel with children than with animals. ;)