Tiny Wolf Travels is the brainchild of this little guy:
No, not really. Being a dog he tends to focus his energy on chewing sticks and pooping on things to claim them as his own.
But Lex is the inspiration for this site. Lex’s humans, Rosie and Morgan, are super into travel. After having to leave Lex behind for far too many trips to exotic places, we started talking about how we should just take him with us. It was a great idea for a few reasons:
- Lex is super cute! He’s our buddy, and we miss him when we go away.
- There was no way we could go on a trip longer than 2 or 3 weeks without him, and we were craving a longer trip.
- Lex does love camping, mainly because it means he can sleep on our faces in the tent.
So what started as a silly joke slowly, somehow, became very real.
This was alarming for several reasons. Lex may be cute, but oh BOY is he needy. He’s also, well, old. Lex is rapidly approaching his 14th birthday, and while still in excellent health, he does have a special list of things that trigger him. Here are some of the main things that make Lex freak out like a werewolf at full moon:
- Strangers hugging
- People he knows hugging
- Being left alone for longer than 5 seconds
- The doorbell ringing
- Strangers entering his territory
- Other dogs entering his territory
- His humans paying attention to other dogs
- Tall people
- People being tall near him
- People stepping over him (because he chooses the worst places to sleep)
- The indignity of sitting on the floor without a pillow. Or t-shirt. Or even a plastic bag if needs must – Anything to protect his delicate derrière.
And the list could go on. But even if our dog was effortlessly and perfectly obedient and not at all socially awkward, there are still all sorts of strange and wonderful rules and regulations, as well as simple practical limitations that can make travelling with a dog a bit of a nightmare.
Bearing all this in mind, we decided to take Lex on an extended road trip through Europe. Our increasingly outlandish plans started to involve driving around 15 different countries, pitching our tent wherever we landed and checking out dog-friendly Airbnbs along the way. How hard could it be?
This blog will describe exactly that, in all the gory detail!
Some background on us
As we approached our late twenties, several alarming things happened all at once. Our friends starting getting engaged to each other, couple after couple vowing life-long commitment. They applied for mortgages and furnished new homes with joy and enthusiasm. We watched them build careers, growing in confidence and maturity as they flourished in the world of adulting.
Around the time our friends started talking about having children, we decided to leave our jobs and take a three month road trip through Europe with our dog.
It wasn’t that our jobs were terrible. We actually both enjoyed our work, and we loved our hometown of Brighton. We lived sandwiched between a national park and the beach, and spent our weekends hiking, climbing and swimming in the sea. Yes Lex violently objected to the latter two activities, but aside from that life was pretty good.
Something was missing. We yearned to travel beyond the limits of an annual leave allowance. The more of the world we saw, the more we realised how much we had left to see. After travelling to over 50 countries between us, we felt we had just scratched the surface; gained a tiny glimpse of the enormity and richness of the world.
At the end of 2016 we stood atop a hill with our friends, watching fireworks explode over the city as we drank prosecco from paper cups. Thinking back over our year, everything fell away except for travel. Days in the office, hours spent commuting, even our precious weekends faded into one as we reminisced about our travel experiences. Looking forward to 2017, all we could think of was travel; the places we wanted to go, and all the things we wanted to do and see. We spent 17 days in Southern Africa in 2016, and each day of this trip burned brightly in our minds, while memories of the rest of the year generally blended together into an opaque swamp of routine.
We started talking about flipping the balance. Having more days that were worth remembering; more experiences which would form us, challenge us and expand our worlds. Instead of planning our travels as swift breaks from a well-structured life, we would take the plunge and cut ourselves loose in the world, just for a little while. We would blow in the wind and gain some perspective on the lives we had built for ourselves.
And we would take our grumpy old dog with us.
Our adventure has now begun!
Click here to read our somewhat-daily diary posts from the road.
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