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November

2016

Traveling Fulltime With Pets, We Did It!

EDUCATION, FAMILY, France

traveling fulltime with pets

Bonjour, friends. Let’s talk about traveling fulltime with pets today. We did it! We got a Syrian hamster and his name is Sunshine. I think today is a good day to keep it light.

Before we dig into traveling fulltime with pets, let’s talk about next week. I have a really big surprise!!! I can’t wait to share it! But in the meantime, I’m going to take you on a journey into our slow travel life through pictures each day next week on the blog (and possibly Instagram). There will be no words, just images. There are many reasons why I am going to do this, but at the forefront is my desire to connect to you and my family on a more intimate level for an entire week. I want to step away from the blog and social media and just create images. Does that make sense? I am also going to do this in the name of a new business I am developing which will partially be revealed next week. So make sure you stop by each day to see what we have been up to and to see the big surprise! I am not sure on what day it’s coming, but it’s worth the visit. Are you feeling the need to connect differently these days? How do you plan to do that? Next week will be my meager attempt.

How did traveling fulltime with pets evolve?
As most of you know, we had our dog Peanut in Costa Rica with us. She was 15 years old and we suspected CR would be her final resting ground, it was. Peanut had a great life and we are happy we were with her during her final months. Over the course of the last year the kids have been expressing interest in getting another pet. They wanted a dog, but a dog is just not possible with the kind of travel life we have led thus far. I don’t think it would be fair to the dog considering how often we move and the possibility of quarentine requirements in some countries. The next option was a cat. Frankly I was on board for a cat. We want to RV, sail, and a bunch of other adventures and I know that a cat tagging along would be possible. Since we were on the cusp of a visit to the US, we put the pet thing on the back burner for a bit. Ironically enough, during our visit we spent time with our friends who have the “new” dog which is a dwarf hamster. Avalon fell in love with them (Largo was indifferent) and she started researching the options.

In an attempt to convince us that a dwarf hamster would be the best choice, she created a Powerpoint presentation clearly outlining all of the details surrounding owning a hamster. She shared everything from life expectancy to the items that stress them out. I have to admit that the life expectancy of 1-3 years was a big selling point for me. I like the idea of venturing down “pet land” again with an end date in sight, just in case it is not a good fit. Not because I don’t like pets, but because I don’t know how it will work with our lifestyle. Plus, I don’t want to commit to 15 years that might not be in the best interest of the pet.

Part of the deal with the pet was that the kids would have to do all the work and pay for it. Largo quickly decided he really did not want a hamster, nor did he want to contribute financially (he is saving to hit the millionaire track before 18). Avalon was fully onboard with the guidelines. She went into this adventure full steam ahead and now one month in she is still very committed. I am proud of her. I never have to ask her to feed him, love him or clean his cage.

How do we think traveling fulltime with pets will impact our travel life?
Well, right now it’s not an issue because we live in an apartment and we have space for Sunshine. However, he is nocturnal which could present an issue when we get into smaller spaces next year. Sunshine is very active at night, especially on his wheel, which makes a lot of noise. Avalon has already started researching silent wheels and the possibility of getting one for him. If our future plans go as we are hoping we will be in Europe for another year after our time in France so there will be no need for him to board a plane. Honestly I am not even sure how that works with hamsters. Can they go under the seat like a dog? Would that be too much stress on him? I guess we will cross that bridge when we get to it.

Would I do it over again?
As it stands today, yes. It has only been a month, but it has been a good experience. I have grown to like Sunshine more than I thought I would. He is cute and pretty friendly, plus low maintenance. Our life is not easy to navigate with a pet, but this little guy seems to work quite fine with it thus far.

Will there be other pets in our future?
Maybe, well, probably a very strong yes. I don’t ever see another dog in our future, but I can see a cat once we get on the boat. I know Largo would really like a cat and if we can make it happen then I am all for it. I will definitely be seeking advice on how to toilet train the kitty though. I hate dealing with a litter box.

So, tell me, do you have a pet that travels with you? If you are thinking of taking off on a travel life and have a pet what are your plans? If you don’t travel, but you have a great suggestion for a travel pet please let us know? Nothing prickly or slithery please. I don’t do snakes, spiders or iguanas, we had our fair share of those in Central and South America.

Happy Friday, my friends, have a  fabulous weekend and go adventure. It has been a long and hard week. I will stand tall and fight for values that we commit to as a family. Go out this weekend and share a meal with someone different from you. Baby steps.

Besos,
Jessica

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